Wildlife Control and Removal Northern Virginia

ProTech has unique methods to control wildlife including squirrels, raccoons, and possums. ProTech has partnered with a humane wildlife exclusion service. Please call 703.440.8000 for your home inspection. This helpful advice listed below may be of help to you.

Advice for Wildlife Problems


  • Difficult to exclude from a property because they dig.
  • If a groundhog is removed from a property in Virginia, it has to be killed per Virginia law. It is also against the law to relocate groundhogs due to the potential for spreading diseases.
  • If a groundhog is relocated, 99% of the time it will die due to the time it takes to locate shelter, food, and water.
  • It does not make sense to trap and remove groundhogs because more groundhogs will move into the area if there is a good food source and housing.
  • It is best to make groundhogs uncomfortable in your yard.
  • Groundhogs do not see very well so their sense of movement is heightened to help alert them of predators.
  • Putting something in your yard that moves when the wind blows frightens the groundhogs every time the wind blows. A child’s pinwheel will accomplish this or tie a Mylar balloon (sold at the grocery store, looks like it made of aluminum) to a stake will also work. For better results, put out several of these around the yard. The movement of the pinwheel or the balloon makes them constantly look over their shoulders for predators and this constant fear makes them uncomfortable so they will move out of the yard.
  • The pinwheel lasts longer. The Mylar balloon will slowly lose helium and need to be replaced.
  • Coyote urine may also work. It can be purchased at Ace Hardware.


  • Chipmunks are very difficult to exclude because they dig.
  • If chipmunks are removed, they have to be killed per Virginia law. It is against Virginia law to relocate chipmunks due to the potential for spreading diseases.
  • 99% of wildlife relocated from its home will die because it takes them so long to adjust to the area (territorial issues), find food and water sources. It is best to make chipmunks uncomfortable in your yard.
  • The best way to run off chipmunks is to hang a fake owl in a tree near where the chipmunks come and go. Ace hardware sells a lifelike owl that moves and makes noise for a very reasonable price (less than it would cost to trap chipmunks).
  • Spreading around the Coyote urine makes the chipmunks uncomfortable enough to leave because Coyotes are a predator. Ace hardware sells Coyote urine.
  • Another technique is hanging up Mylar strips from strings in the yard. Chipmunks are afraid of the strips because they move with the wind and are reflective.
  • Using more than one technique works best.
  • If you are feeding the birds, stop. You are also feeding the chipmunks and squirrels. They will see your yard and your house as a great place to live for the free food. No one has successfully found a way to feed birds without feeding squirrels and chipmunks.

Snakes in a yard

  • It is difficult to trap snakes since they are attracted to live mice (or similar small rodent type animals). It is hard to keep the live mouse in a trap.
  • Snakes are good because they keep the mouse population down and keep the mice out of the house.

Snakes in a house somewhere

  • This is a difficult problem. A tech could search a house for six hours and never find the snake. A snake can hide in a coat pocket in a closet.
  • You can place down a pile of damp towels. Since the pile of damp towels is cool and dark, the snake will likely go into the pile. Then you could use a shovel and rake to put the pile in a laundry basket and take it outside. If you know the snake is in the pile of damp towels.

Raccoons in the yard during the early morning or prior to dark

  • During June and July, a lot of mother raccoons are out early and going into their den late because they are nursing young and need more food to sustain them. During June and July the nights are shorter so the mother raccoons have to take advantage of some of the daylight hours. This does not mean the raccoons are rabid.
  • Shortly, the babies will not be nursing from their mothers so the mother won’t have to eat as much. Be patient, they won’t attack your children; they are just looking for food.