Wildlife

Raccoon

Appearance

Black ‘mask’ around the eyes, bushy striped tail

Color

Grey with black and white features

Size

16-28 inches long with an 8-16 inches tail, 9-12 inches tall and 4-30 pounds.

Habitat

Raccoons are usually found in wooded areas because they need vertical structures (trees) to climb when they are threatened

Interesting Facts

Raccoons have incredible memories, recalling solutions to certain tasks, paths and food opportunities for up to three years

About the Raccoon

The raccoon is a medium sized mammal native to North America. Easily distinguishable by the ‘mask’ of black fur around its eyes, the raccoon is a very intelligent animal that has adapted itself to live in many different environments. Some of those environments happen to be around people, and in many areas it has become known as a pest.

With the raccoons increasing in urban populations, interactions with humans have increased over recent years. Experts also believe that large numbers of people feeding the raccoons in city/urban areas has increased their numbers as well. Because of this, as well as their long life span (they can live for up to 20 years), they have become a nuisance to many business owners.

Raccoon Control

Raccoons are considered pests for several reasons. They are carriers of the disease rabies, which they can spread to humans. They also make dens in attics and crawlspaces and often do thousands of dollars in damage.

If you have a pest raccoon, your best option is to call a professional, especially because killing or relocating a raccoon may be illegal in your city.

Tree Squirrel

Appearance

Medium sized rodent with a bushy tail

Color

Gray possibly with a brownish-reddish tint and white underside

Size

9-12 inches with a 7-10 inch-long tail weighing 14-21 ounces

Habitat

Usually in large areas of woodland or wooded urban areas

Interesting Facts

While most tree squirrels are grayish in color, they can also be solid black or white

About the Tree Squirrel

Tree squirrels comprise an entire grouping of squirrels that includes up to 180 species. In North America, especially the east coast, the most common species is the Eastern gray squirrel. It can be found from the southeastern United States all the way into Canada and as far west as Texas.

While they usually live in wooded areas, they have also made themselves at home in urban areas that have trees. They are usually harmless but squirrels can become quite troublesome when living around humans.

Tree Squirrel Control

Tree squirrels tend to nest in attics and walls and can cause serious damage. They have also been known to gnaw on electrical wires when making their dens in structures. The best prevention methods are similar to other rodents; sealing any entrances to the dwelling.

Because they can be vectors of diseases, Strategic Industries recommends a professional to efficiently solve the pest problem.

 

Flying Squirrel

Appearance

Large eyes and a furry, flattened tail; ‘wings’ between their front and rear legs

Color

Grayish brown on top with a cream colored/white underbelly

Size

8-10 inches long and around 1.5-3 ounces

Habitat

They prefer forests with large populations of hickory and beech trees, but they are also found in human habitats

Interesting Facts

The flying squirrel can’t actually fly; it uses its ‘wings’ only to glide from tree to tree

About the Flying Squirrel

Flying squirrels are one of the more interesting species of rodents. While they can’t actually fly, they do use their ‘wings’ to glide quickly from tree to tree. They are surprisingly graceful in flight, weaving between objects at will if needed. The membrane between their front and back legs cause them to be clumsy on their feet.

Flying squirrels don’t usually find themselves in densely populated areas but they can present problems when around humans. They almost always reside in naturally occurring shelters such as holes or woodpecker holes, but they will also make themselves at home in attics, causing damage.

Flying Squirrel Control

The best way to get rid of a flying squirrel problem is to contact a Wildlife Control Specialist as soon as possible. They can carry diseases and are difficult to catch.

Vole

Appearance

Similar to a mouse but with a stouter body and tail

Color

Grayish brown on top with a cream colored/white underbelly

Size

3-9 inches long

Habitat

Voles are burrowers, so they are usually found in tunnels and burrows under vegetation

Interesting Facts

Voles have an extremely short gestation period and could have up to 10 litters of young in a year (if they lived that long)

About the Vole

Voles are small rodents that are very similar looking to the common house mouse. There are upwards of 155 species of voles, all of which are burrowing animals. Voles are very short-lived animals, rarely making it to a year old. They make up for this by becoming sexually mature at a very young age and having a very short gestation period.

Voles become pests when they find themselves burrowing under human crops and other vegetation. They will attack crops of all types including fruits and vegetables. Turf and grass can also come under the fire of voles, especially at sporting fields and golf courses. Trees and bushes can even be at risk when the voles chew their roots.

Vole Control

There are a variety of methods to control and prevent voles. To get rid of an existing population of voles you should contact a Wildlife Control Specialist.

Mole

Appearance

A small, fat rodent with enlarged front paws for digging

Color

Range of browns and taupe colors, sometimes appearing black

Size

5-6 inches long

Habitat

Moles are burrowers, so they are usually found in tunnels and burrows under vegetation

Interesting Facts

Moles can eat up to 100% of their body weight in food in a single day

About the Mole

Moles are found all over the continental United States. They prefer areas with little tree coverage because the roots interfere with their burrowing, so they are most often found in fields, pastures, meadows and large yards. Since they spend almost their entire lives underground, they are almost blind and their eyes can hardly differentiate between light and dark.

Moles can actually be beneficial to the soil they dig through because their burrows aerate the soil and help get moisture deeper in the ground. However, when they burrow under grass in landscaped lawns it will often kill the grass on top of the burrow, so they become pests.

Their burrows can also cause structural damage and disrupt landscape features.

Mole Control

Every mole treatment is unique to the area needing treatment. There are numerous methods available, including mechanical and application of deterrents. Call a professional for a thorough evaluation of your pest problem and to learn more about your remediation options.

Fox

Appearance

Small to medium sized animal similar to dogs with a bushy tail

Color

From reddish/orange to brown, grey, and white

Size

14-20 inches tall at the shoulder, they vary greatly in weight from 4-31 pounds.

Habitat

Most of North America other than the southwest/west coast; they are very adaptable animals and can be found in dense woods, deserts or urban environments

Interesting Facts

The red fox has the largest range of any species in the order Carnivora, which includes bears, cats, canines and wolverines

About the Fox

Foxes can be found throughout most of the United States in almost every type of environment. Foxes can make themselves at home in almost any situation, whether it’s hunting for its own food in the woods or stealing trash in the city.

Foxes have been hunted for thousands of years and have been considered a pest animal throughout most of that time. They carry a wide variety of diseases and parasites, including rabies. They will also kill livestock, especially chickens, and have also been known to kill some smaller domesticated animals.

Fox Control

The best methods to rid an area of pests are trapping or hunting, but there are also alternative methods that can be used.

The many risks involved with handling foxes means you should call a wildlife control specialist.

Coyote

Appearance

Very similar to a wolf but with a slimmer muzzle and smaller size

Color

Grayish-brown and reddish-brown to light gray and white

Size

23-26 inches at the shoulder, 15-46 pounds in weight

Habitat

Most of North America

Interesting Facts

Coyotes have been known to mate with both domestic dogs and wolves, creating the hybrids Coydogs and Coywolves

About the Coyote

Coyotes generally travel in packs but may also hunt alone or in pairs. They usually avoid contact with humans by being primarily nocturnal and staying out of the way in their burrows. Coyotes are omnivores with a diet consisting of small, game-like squirrels, mice and birds, as well as bigger animals like livestock and deer. They will also eat fruits and vegetables when they are available in the warmer months.

While coyotes have proved themselves better able to coincide with humans than wolves, they still have their share of human interaction problems. They will kill and eat cats and smaller dogs, as well as livestock in agricultural settings.

Coyote Control

Coyotes are most often seen as pests because in rural areas they often attack and kill livestock, including cows, pigs and sheep. Farmers, as well as the US government, kill around 90,000 animals a year to protect livestock.

If you see a coyote in your area, especially during the daylight areas, do not attempt to manage the situation yourself.

Opossum

Appearance

Marsupial about the size of a housecat with a hairless tail

Color

Gray to white body fur, usually with a white head and black ears

Size

Varies greatly, from 13-37 inches long and from 2-14 pounds in weight

Habitat

Most of North America

Interesting Facts

The Virginia Opossum is the only marsupial native to North America

About the Opossum

Opossums are an extremely adaptable species, and because of this, they live in a very wide range of environments. Their range extends from the east coast all the way west to the Rockies and south to Panama. They are comfortable living in both rural and urban settings and have a history of human interaction, especially in the southeast.

The opossum is known for ‘playing dead’ or ‘playing opossum’. When they find themselves threatened or in danger, they will simply lie down and pretend to be dead. Scientists now believe that this reaction is completely involuntary and triggered by fear. Opossums will also display aggression when it awakes if the threat is still there.

Opossum Control

In urban areas opossums quickly become pests, eating pet food and getting into garbage cans and trash. There are a variety of wildlife control methods to address opossum problems.

Chipmunk

Appearance

Small striped rodents

Color

Reddish brown fur with 5 dark stripes and lighter fur on the lower body

Size

4-7 inches long with a weight of 1-5 ounces

Habitat

Wooded areas and urban parks

Interesting Facts

When building its burrow, chipmunks will carry the dirt far away so it doesn’t draw attention to its home

About the Chipmunk

Chipmunks are solitary creatures outside of mating season. They spend most of their time defending their burrows and collecting food in the trees, as well as what they can find on the ground.

The reason chipmunks are considered pests is that their burrows can cause damage to human structures. They have been known to tear up patios, pools, stairs, retaining walls and other landscaping features. They are also notorious pet and bird food thieves.

Chipmunk Control

As is the case with most rodents, efforts to prevent the chipmunks from entering your property are the best option. By keeping your landscaping free of debris and ground covering and keeping food sources such as pet and bird food out of reach will help to keep chipmunk numbers down.

If you already have a problem there are several pest control methods and materials that may be used to trap or eradicate the pests.

Skunk

Appearance

Medium sized mammal with long hair and two white stripes down its back

Color

Black or dark brown with white/cream stripes

Size

Vary in size from 15-36 inches long and 1-18 pounds.

Habitat

Most of North America

Interesting Facts

Skunks are one of the honeybee’s primary predators

About the Skunk

Skunks can be found throughout most of North America, excluding extremely arid areas in the southwest. They are most known for their method of defense, which involves spraying a very odorous liquid at its attackers. They are also omnivorous and highly adaptable, which is why they can be found in such a large range.

Skunks usually try to avoid humans, but they will venture indoors looking for food. They will seek out garbage cans and will also eat any pet food found in garages or accessible basements.

Skunk Control

If you find a skunk on your property the best course of action is to contact a professional. They can be vectors of disease, and their defensive liquid is very potent.