What Animals Commonly Damage Foundations in Northern Virginia?

Nuisance wildlife can cause a lot of damage to your home and your property if left unattended. Which animals are the heavy hitters when it comes to the severity of the damage? Animals that can damage your home's foundation take the cake. Groundhogs, skunks, foxes, and moles may end up costing you the most money in repairs because they commonly cause damage to the foundations of homes. At Summit we offer wildlife trapping, removal, disinfecting, damage repairs, and exclusion work to keep the animal out. Summit provides services for everything you need to remove an animal from your home, repair any damages, and restore your peace of mind. 


Groundhogs, also known as Woodchucks, are common in Northern Virginia. They are compact and chunky rodents supported by short, strong legs. They have long, curved claws on their forefeet that are well-adapted for digging burrows. Groundhogs prefer to dig their burrows in open fields, brushy areas near open land, and suburban areas where the combination of food and ground cover produces adequate habitat. Burrows are commonly located near the bases of trees, along fence rows, and near building foundations. The burrows themselves can be up to five feet deep and 60 feet or more long. Entrances are often well hidden and can be difficult to locate. In urban settings burrowing along building foundations can cause damage that weakens the efficacy of the entire structure, resulting in costly repairs. While nuisance wildlife can be just that, a nuisance, it is important to remember that groundhogs are just trying to live in an ever-shrinking habitat and that they do not have malicious intent. Call Summit for a free inspection and one of our wildlife experts will provide appropriate management options to help you make an educated and sound decision about how to resolve your groundhog conflict. 


Striped skunks are found throughout northern Virginia and they more commonly come in contact with people than other species of skunks. Skunks have earned a pessimistic reputation because of the smell of their musk. Skunks generally make their homes in an underground den, in a hollow log, or under decks and building structures. Striped skunks sometimes build their dens in short proximity to human dwellings which deems them nuisance wildlife. They dig holes in lawns, golf courses, and gardens to search for insect grubs found beneath the ground surface. Skunk diggings appear as 3-4 inch cone-shaped holes or patches of upturned earth. Skunks may enter your home through holes in your foundation which is especially concerning because skunks are a main host for rabies. Any skunk showing abnormal behavior, such as daytime activity and a lack of wariness, should be treated with caution. A skunk that refuses to spray when harassed is a good suspect for rabies. Many damage control techniques are available for homeowners, but because of the tendency of skunks to spray musk and their potential for carrying rabies, most homeowners do not feel they can appropriately handle the problem. Local wildlife pest control operators, like Summit Wildlife Removal, can be contacted to remove skunks and other nuisance wildlife. We can safely and humanely remove the skunk, and provide exclusion work to keep the skunk out. We can also provide repairs for any damages done, and we offer flexible payment options to help you get the conflict resolved faster.


Red foxes have the largest worldwide distribution of any carnivore and are commonly found in northern Virginia. Red foxes are adaptable and can be found in rural, suburban, and urban areas. They thrive in urban areas because of the abundant sources of food available. They are opportunistic but generally eat small mammals, rabbits, squirrels, and birds. They are a significant threat to poultry farmers especially. Red foxes usually only use dens when they are raising their young in spring and early summer. Other times of the year, they find cover to hide in to rest. Dens are generally well-drained and usually have at least two entrances. If you have a fox den on your property, cover the entrances to prevent it from being used again after the young have moved on for the year. Do this in late fall when foxes are no longer using dens. Fox dens nearby homes or building structures can cause foundation damage. Prevention and discouragement techniques are commonly effective against foxes. However, since they can carry rabies it is highly recommended that you leave trapping and exclusion work to the professionals. If you do not want to deal with a fox yourself, contact a licensed nuisance wild animal control operator, like Summit Wildlife Removal

Moles and Voles

The Eastern Mole and the Meadow Vole are native to Virginia. Moles and Voles are tunneling mammals which means that if they are left unattended long enough their tunnels could cause foundational damage to your home. Mole tunneling activity not only creates passageways for transportation but also aerates the soil. This aeration makes it easier for water to penetrate and seep deeper into the soil. The water can remain within the hollow tunnels, leading to water pooling. The water that seeps through mole tunnels can make it all the way to your home’s slabs and foundation. The water pooled near the foundation can freeze and then thaw several times over the duration of winter. Experts say these effects can make such structures more prone to cracks and damage. Homeowners who are concerned about mole damage to their foundations can try to reduce mole activity by using crushed marble or pea gravel instead of bark chips as mulch around the foundation. If moles are already established on your property then trapping, removal, and exclusion are the most reliable methods for getting rid of them once and for all.

Remove Nuisance Wildlife with Summit 

If you’re not sure how to deal with groundhogs, skunks, foxes, or moles yourself then you should contact a licensed nuisance wild animal control operator, like Summit Wildlife Removal. Moreover, if you have any of these animals on your property, do not hesitate to take action sooner rather than later or it could cost you more in foundation repairs later on. Summit Wildlife Removal offers all of the services you need to remove an animal, repair any damages, and restore the structural integrity of your home. Call us today for a free inspection at 703-337-3686



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