Wildlife Identification

What are wildlife?

Texas has a lot of wildlife, and while most live well away from people, some have learned to live on our properties and in our homes. As habitats for wild animals have become smaller because of human development, they have adapted to living near people.

raccoons in a tree

Some of the most common species of wildlife to invade our properties include the following:

Raccoons

Nocturnal mammals about the size of a house cat, raccoons have a dark black “mask” of fur covering the eyes and a tail ringed in gray and black fur.

Ringtail Cats

Despite their name, ringtail cats aren’t cats, but a member of the raccoon family and look like a mix between a fox and raccoon, weighing only one to two pounds. They have a small face with a pointed nose and large rounded ears. Ringtail cats have an elongated body and long black-and-white striped tail (similar to a raccoon tail).

Opossums

As the only marsupials living in the United States, opossums have a long narrow face that is lighter in color than their body. Their ears and tail are hairless, and their tail is prehensile and allows them to hang upside down from tree branches.

Skunks

These mammals have a black body and a white stripe that starts at the head and divides into two stripes, and travels down the entire body and tail. A skunk sprays an extremely foul odor from glands found at the tail base to defend themselves.

Snakes

These creatures are legless reptiles with scales covering their cylindrical body. Their body typically tapers from head to tail. They are cold-blooded, which means their body temperature is regulated externally and fluctuates with the day’s temperature.

Squirrels

Squirrels are rodents with slender bodies, bushy tails, large eyes, and ears that stand up off their heads. The fur on its body is generally darker in color than its underbelly.

Are wildlife dangerous?

Their name says it all; wild animals are wild and, therefore, unpredictable, and if put in a situation where they feel threatened, they won’t hesitate to defend themselves. Wildlife may bite, hiss, spit or scratch when threatened. Some snakes have venom strong enough to cause a severe reaction in people that requires immediate medical attention.

In addition to causing us physical harm, their presence can make us ill. Wildlife carries and spreads pathogens, viruses, and bacteria that can make people sick. Skunks and raccoons are well-known carriers of rabies, which can affect both people and pets. Many rodents and other fur-covered wild animals are hosts to disease-spreading parasites. If wildlife moves into your yard or home to nest or forage for food, they will introduce parasites like fleas and ticks onto your property.

After moving into our homes to nest, wildlife will cause various problems, including the contamination of surfaces and food with their waste and saliva. They may also chew through structural elements like wires, drywall, pipes, flooring, and furniture. In our yards, wildlife will tear throughout gardens, lawns, and landscaping. They also create unsightly holes in our yards that could become a trip and fall hazard. 

Why do I have a wildlife problem?

Wild animals live all around us. Whether you live in the city or a more rural area, wildlife can become a problem. However, if your property is next to or near a wooded area, park, field, river, lakes, or pond, there is a greater chance a wild animal will find its way to your property.

Wildlife attractants include the following:

  • Trash cans and compost bins
  • Gardens and fruit trees
  • Bird feeders and wildlife feeders
  • Outdoor eating areas
  • Pet food

Where will I find wildlife?

Areas near our homes where wild animals like to nest include spaces next to or under foundations, porches, or decks. They also nest in woodpiles, brush piles, tree hollows, and areas of dense vegetation. They choose secluded areas that keep them out of sight of people and other predators.

Once living in our yards, it is common for wild animals to find a way into our homes to escape harsh weather or to secure a safe place to nest. Once inside, wild animals often take up residence in basements, wall voids, attics, chimneys, crawl spaces, and any other similar dark, secluded areas.

How do I get rid of wildlife?

Wild animals will not hesitate to move onto our properties to acquire their basic food, water, and shelter needs. If you need help getting nuisance or dangerous wildlife off your property or would like to prevent future problems with wildlife, Accurate Termite and Pest Control can help.

Our family-owned and operated pest control company is dedicated to our customers and helping people maintain pest-free properties. We tailor our wildlife control programs to meet our customer’s individual needs. With over 20 years in the pest control industry, you can feel at ease trusting us with your wildlife control needs.

To learn more about protecting your Texas residential or commercial property from various species of wild animals without the threat of contracts or hidden fees, call us at Accurate Termite and Pest Control today!

How can I prevent wildlife in the future?

Our professionals at Accurate Termite and Pest Control have put together a list of helpful prevention tips to help Texas homeowners avoid problems with wildlife:

  • Fill in any ground holes that develop in your yard, around trees, or in garden areas.
  • Place fencing around the perimeter of sheds and gardens.
  • Remove things like woodpiles, brush piles, and construction debris that wild animals can nest or burrow in.
  • Make sure to trim tree branches back away from your home’s exterior.
  • Make sure to place trash in cans, not just outside your home.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and compost bins.
  • Remove bird and wild animal feeders from your yard, or place them at the perimeter of your property as far away as possible from your home.
  • Pick up uneaten pet food every evening.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control offerings.

 

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