Identifying and Getting Rid of Wildlife
Wildlife is a word that describes animals found living outdoors in nature. As the habitats of people have merged together with the habitats of many wild animals, wild animals have learned to use our property and homes as easy sources of food, water, and shelter.
What are common types of wildlife in Texas?
In Southeast Texas there are many species of wild animals that have to potential to become problematic for home and property owners:
- Tree Squirrels
- Mexican Free-Tail Bats
- Birds Snakes
In general, tree squirrels are whitish gray, yellowish, red, or brown and their bellies are usually lighter in color than the rest of their body. Tree squirrels have a distinct, long, bushy tail.
Opossums are the only species of marsupial found living in the United States. Opossums have long, narrow faces that are covered in fur which is lighter in color than the rest of their body. Opossums are easily identified by their prehensile (capable of gripping), hairless tails, hairless ears, and feet that look similar to small hands.
The fur on their body is salt-and-pepper colored. Raccoons have a black “mask” of fur that covers their eyes. They also have fluffy black and gray, ringed tails. Raccoons have a hunched posture because their hind legs are longer than their front legs.
Armadillos have football-shaped bodies that are covered in thick skin; a bony, scaled shell; and coarse, yellowish-white hairs. Their bodies are brown to gray in color, and they have pointed noses.
Mexican Free-Tail Bats
Mexican free-tail bats. These are the most common bats found living throughout Texas. They are medium in size and have reddish, dark brown, or gray fur. Their wings are long and narrow, and their tails extend past their tail membrane by more than a third. Most bats have tails enclosed within their tail membrane.
Pigeons, grackles, starlings, and sparrows are all examples of pest birds. They live in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Pest birds are difficult to control and can be particularly problematic for commercial property owners.
Snakes are reptiles, and they are cold-blooded. They have long, thin bodies that are covered in scales, and they lack legs. Snakes vary in color and color pattern, depending on the exact species. Snakes are usually referred to as being non-venomous or venomous. In our area, the most common species of snakes include Eastern diamond-backed rattlesnakes (venomous), Southern copperheads (venomous), Texas coral snakes (venomous), and water moccasins (venomous).
Is wildlife dangerous?
Yes, wild animals have the potential to be dangerous to both people and property. If wild animals find their way into your home and feel threatened, they won’t hesitate to defend themselves by biting or scratching. Wild animals have the potential to carry and spread many diseases through their saliva, urine, and feces. Snakes have the potential to deliver venomous bites that can cause serious health consequences and require immediate medical attention.
Why raccoons are such a threat
Although these pests may have some environmental benefits, the fact of the matter is that raccoons are not to be trifled with. Many raccoons act as disease vectors for dangerous illnesses, including rabies. They are also extremely aggressive and are a common carrier of secondary pests such as fleas and ticks (each of which carries its diseases). Other destruction they can cause includes:
- Toppled over trash cans
- Dens in various spaces of the home, including attics and basements
- Pets or family members being attacked
- Messes made in the yard during the night
- Serious illnesses such as rabies, leptospirosis, and even baylisascariasis being spread
Why do I have a wildlife problem?
Wild animals are attracted to properties that offer food, water, and shelter. Wildlife often forages for food in places like gardens, fields, grasses, bird feeders, compost piles, trash cans, grill areas, and your pet's food bowls. Once wild animals feel comfortable on your property, they may make their way inside your home to forage for food. When the weather outside becomes too hot or dry for them to live comfortably, they may also begin to seek a way to get in.
Where will I find wildlife?
Raccoons like to live near wooded areas, and areas near water sources, such as rivers, ponds, and rivers. Squirrels live in trees. Opossums in the wild prefer to live in wooded areas with access to nearby streams or swamps. Mexican free-tail bats live inside caves. Birds live in trees, shrubs, on ledges, and in rock piles. Snakes are found burrowing into the ground, living in tall grasses, in wooded areas, along the banks of rivers, ponds, and lakes, and in rock piles.
When raccoons, squirrels, opossums, bats, birds, snakes, and other wild animals find their way into homes, they have the potential to take up residence in a variety of places. They usually choose dark, secluded, and quiet places like behind walls, inside attics, basements, chimneys, and crawl spaces.
How do I get rid of wildlife?
To find, eliminate, and accurately identify the wildlife that is living and nesting on your property or in your home, contact a professional pest control expert. At Bill Clark Pest Control, our highly trained 'Bugsperts' receive continuous education, and are up-to-date with the latest information and industry trends. To safely eliminate wildlife, our specialists provide thorough inspections, detection, and relocation services. They also offer pest proofing and exclusion techniques to help keep future wildlife out. For exceptional wildlife control in Southeast Texas, reach out to Bill Clark Pest Control.
How can I prevent wildlife in the future?
To stop wildlife from choosing your home and property to nest and live on our 'Bugsperts' offer the following prevention tips:
- Place wire mesh around decks, sheds, and similar structures to prevent animals from burrowing underneath.
- Trim tree branches and tall grasses away from the exterior of your home.
- Remove woodpiles, rock piles, and other piles of debris from your property.
- Repair loose window screens.
- Repair holes along the roofline, at roof intersections, and any other large opening leading into your home.
- Install chimney caps.
- Pick up uneaten pet food.
- Make sure that outdoor garbage cans have locking lids.
- Remove bird and other wild animal feeders from your property.