How To Keep Nuisance Wildlife Away From Your Spring Property
Many of us grew up with Saturday morning cartoons following the antics of Wile E. Coyote, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Woody the Woodpecker, and many other animated wild animals. Of course, the animals didn't appear undomesticated to us because they were comedic cartoon characters.
In real life, we go to zoos to see exotic wild animals and are amazed at their strength and beauty. It is one thing to enjoy wild animals as cartoon characters or animals behind large iron protective bars, but it is another thing when wild animals are in our yards or house!
If you have wildlife on your property or suspect a wild animal is in your attic or under your porch, you need the best pest control in Spring, Modern Pest Control. We have been removing wildlife from Spring homes since the days when Mel Blanc was doing the voice-overs for Bugs Bunny!
Common Types Of Wildlife That Invade Spring Properties
In simplistic terms, we have three broad categories: insects, rodents, and wildlife. We can break the insect category into stinging, crawling, and flying. Stinging insects include bees and wasps; ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, spiders, ticks, and termites are crawling insects, and flying insects include mosquitoes and flies.
The next group is rodents. These mammals have constantly growing incisor teeth requiring them to gnaw on items to keep their teeth trimmed. Mice, rats, and squirrels are in the group; although many pest control companies like Modern Pest Control put squirrels in the wildlife category, they are rodents.
Wildlife animals are not insects or rodents but are undomesticated animals that live mostly away from humans. As a company that offers wildlife control near you, the Modern Pest Control customer service team constantly receives calls from people seeking help to remove wildlife from their Houston property. You'd think that we would not have wild animals in Houston, but people in our urban community have problems with the following animals:
Although technically rodents, most view squirrels as wildlife. Squirrels are constantly chewing to keep their growing incisor teeth from becoming too long. Squirrels common to the Houston area include flying and tree squirrels. Flying squirrels create nests in the cavities of trees and abandoned bird nests, and tree squirrels use twigs, leaves, and grass to create a drey (also known as a nest) between tree branches.
Squirrels will enter homes through unprotected attic vents for warmth and shelter during the winter; other places attractive to squirrels include lofts and garages. Squirrels in Houston homes can't access twigs and leaves, so they use insulation, paper, cotton, and other products for the nesting material.
These medium-sized rodents are diurnal, which means they are active during the daylight hours and return to their nest at night. Squirrels hibernate during the winter months.
Although often classified as rodents, raccoons are not rodents because they do not have constantly growing incisors in their upper and lower jaws. Fortunately, raccoons are not aggressive toward people; however, they will attack if threatened or cornered. Before they attack, they will try to scare you away by hissing, but if you don't retreat, they will scratch and bite. If you encounter a raccoon, back away and give them room, and they will run away. In Houston homes, we find raccoons in chimneys, attics, and under decks.
Five of the 11 species of skunks live in Texas, and the striped skunk species is the one you are likely to encounter in Houston. Skunks move deliberately and slowly, are omnivorous, hibernate in the winter, and prefer to live underneath brush piles, porches, and decks. Like other wildlife, skunks avoid human contact if possible.
Unless you are out late at night, you will not see opossums because they are nocturnal. Opossums are about the size of a house cat, covered in greyish-white fur, and prefer to live alone. In urban areas like Houston, they seek out hollow logs, brush piles, garages, and attics. Opossums tend to be problematic for homeowners near streams and fields.
Although they may attack by scratching and biting if threatened, they may also pretend to be dead. When opossums act like they are dead, their anal glands secret a putrid liquid creating a horrific smell, and they draw back their teeth allowing saliva to foam around their mouth.
Areas with a high concentration of insects, like mosquitoes, attract bats. When bats arrive in the area, they search out dark, quiet places with a consistent temperature that protects them from outside elements like chimneys, roof eaves, attics, and wall holes. Bats use these areas to rest during the day, build nests, and raise their young. Bats avoid people and are not aggressive unless infected with rabies.
These are the primary wildlife animals that our team at Modern Pest Control receives calls from Houston homeowners looking for wildlife removal near them. Additional animals considered wildlife that may affect Houston homes include birds, foxes, and snakes.
The Problems Wildlife Can Create Around Your Property
You need a wildlife control service like Modern Pest Control because wildlife can cause damage to your home and property. In addition to property damage, these animals can infect household members and pets with serious, even deadly, diseases! Let's revisit our animals and look at the damage and possible infections they may spread.
Squirrels: Due to their need to constantly gnaw, squirrels in your home can damage wall insulation, electrical and phone wiring, HVAC ductwork, and exterior siding. Damaged electrical wiring can pose a fire hazard to your home; if they destroy your internet line, you could lose time and money if you work online. Squirrels can harm the environment in your house due to the strong odor from their urine. Squirrels rarely bite and are not known to spread disease.
Raccoons: Unlike squirrels, raccoons account for nearly 30% of rabies cases in wild animals. Raccoons transmit parasitic worms like tapeworms, flukes, heartworms, and roundworms; they can be vectors for diseases like tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, and salmonellosis. Raccoons also carry canine distemper, which can be deadly to the family dog or cat.
Skunks: Raccoons may account for about one-third of all rabies cases, but according to the Texas Department of Health, 73% of rabies cases in Texas are from skunks.
Opossums: When they play dead and have foam coming out of their mouth, many assume they have rabies, but opossums rarely contract or spread rabies. However, opossums spread leptospirosis, tuberculosis, tularemia, and other diseases. In addition to potentially spreading diseases, opossums can destroy ductwork and insulation.
Bats: The main concern regarding bats is the fungi in their droppings (guano) because it can cause histoplasmosis, a lung disease. Despite common belief, bats are not the primary transmitters of rabies amongst wild animals.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported in 2010 that 92% of rabies cases in the United States were from wildlife. To protect your family from rabies and other pathogens and guard your Houston home against damage, you need wildlife control from Modern Pest Control.
Six Natural Ways To Deter Wildlife From Your Property
Our warm weather creates an inviting climate for wildlife, and keeping the animals off your Houston property is the best way to protect them and your family. When wild animals are on Houston properties, children may innocently want to touch them and play with them. Even if the adult animals do not allow the children to get close, their offspring may not. If a child stumbles on a burrow or nest with baby animals and proceeds to play with them, they are prone to be attacked by the angry parents of the wild animal.
You do not need expensive traps or chemicals to discourage wildlife from entering your Houston property. Use these six tips to naturally keep them from entering your property:
Provide proper drainage or disposal of standing water on your property. Water attracts wildlife; therefore, items that collect water, like bird baths, puddles, drainage ditches, potted plant sauces, air conditioner trays, children's playsets, and old tires, should have adequate drainage. Remove the items from the property if proper drainage is not possible.
Remove or make food inaccessible on the property. Cover garbage cans with secure, airtight lids and do not leave pet food exposed in the yard. Make bird feeders inaccessible to raccoons, possums, and squirrels by putting them high on poles. Fill the bird feeder with only enough seed for the day. If you store bird seed outdoors, use a galvanized steel can with a tight lid. Pick ripe fruit from fruit trees on the property, and remove fruit that has fallen.
Remove brush, leaf, and wood piles from the yard because wildlife and their prey use these as shelter. If you use firewood, store it at least 20 feet from the house and elevate it.
Plan your yard carefully. Wild animals use blackberry shrubs and lilacs for food and shelter; fruit trees and berry plants allure animals to your yard. If you want to plant a garden and berry bushes, use protective wire to keep wildlife from accessing the plants. Keep fruit trees picked and remove fruit that is in the yard. Although it can be expensive, placing a fence around the yard may help keep wildlife away.
Trim bushes and trees away from the house. Squirrels and raccoons use tree branches as superhighways into attics. Prune back branches at least six to eight feet from the roofline.
Guard the house against a wildlife invasion. Seal openings, place screens over attic and soffit vents, exhaust fan openings, doors, and windows, and install door sweeps under the exterior doors — including the garage door.
You are at a greater risk of wildlife wandering onto your property if your Houston home or neighborhood has mature trees and is near a forest preserve, golf course, park, river or creek, vacant buildings, or railroad tracks. If this describes your situation, you need to implement these tips because of the higher risk for wildlife and because they are good practices for wildlife and pest control. Things that attract wildlife also attract rodents and pests, so these six tips will help prevent an infestation of more than just wildlife.
The Most Effective Wildlife Control For Your Property
Most people want to save money, so they purchase do-it-yourself tools and kits for wildlife trapping. While DIY products may help a little, they do not solve the main problems and can be dangerous. A trap may catch an unsuspecting critter but does not remove the offspring in a hidden nest. Unless you have experience with wildlife, do-it-yourself trapping is dangerous because the animal will attack you when cornered or even trapped. Furthermore, traps can injure the user if you do not understand how to set and work them properly.
No one wants wildlife in their Houston homes or roaming on their property, but we want their removal to be humane. Without expertise in wild animal behavior, you may hurt the animal you are trying to catch.
The best way to get rid of wildlife is to use your local company with decades of experience with wildlife control in Houston, Modern Pest Control. When you schedule your free inspection, one of our highly-trained technicians will examine your Houston property looking for access points into your property and house.
Based on our findings, we will develop a custom plan based on the animal type because some animals require traps, others need a one-way door system, and others demand an entirely different approach. Once we have removed the troublesome animal from your Houston home, we seal entry points using materials to prevent future access by animals into your home. Because we use quality materials to close holes, cracks and gaps, if an animal reopens a sealed area within a year after our service, we will return and fix the damaged area free of charge. If you want more peace of mind, we offer extended warranties too!
Don't live with wild animals on your Houston property. Up to 40,000 people are exposed annually to rabies and other diseases from wildlife in their homes. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Spring and to schedule your free inspection. Remember, Modern Pest Control offers professional wildlife removal, and we back our services with a quality guarantee.