Help! My Attic became a Raccoon Den!

It’s that time of year that all Floridians look forward too! Cool nights and comfortable days! I don’t know about you but on these cool night there is nothing like snuggling on the couch wrapped in a warm blanket. Well guess what?! We aren’t the only ones wanting to be warm and cozy at night! Raccoons are finding a cozy place to be at night too. Unfortunately for some that means your attic or crawlspace!

This can become a noisy nightmare for homeowners. During the summer months raccoons gorge themselves on any food they can find to store up some body fat to last through the winter. After they are done they find a nice place to take a long nap and call home for the winter. Your attic is the perfect place to make a den within all of your insulation.

A good idea to prevent this is to seal up your home before they find their way in!

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You shouldn’t kill that snake in your yard!

I am terrified of snakes, and I’m not afraid of anything so my first instinct when I see a snake in my yard is to scream and make someone kill it, but this is a bad idea and here are some reasons why.

Snakes eat rodents! If they’re catching and eating them outside, there leaves less chances for them to get into your home. A lot of non-venomous snakes in Florida eat insects, frogs and other small reptiles or amphibians and that’s why you don’t have an abundance in your yard.

Most snakes are not aggressive and will not harm you on purpose, they are probably in your yard and you don’t even know it. If a non venomous snake bites you, it will probably hurt and could lead to an infection if you don’t clean it and take care of it. However, if you get bit by a rat you take the risk of getting a number of illnesses and disease, including salmonella, histoplasmosis, typhus and meningitis. I don’t know about you but Id much rather take the risk of being bitten by a little garden snake than a filthy rat.

Moral of the story is simple, snakes are great for the environment….leave those slithering guys alone!

 

Foxes in Florida?!

There are two types of foxes in Florida; the red fox and the grey fox. I had never seen a fox here until recently and when I did I was shocked and excited. It was on the side of an off ramp on 95 North right at dusk and had I not been going so slow, I would have missed the sighting entirely. Im pretty sure it was a red fox based on the appearance, how cool right?!

The red fox is about the size of a small dog, they can be up to about 15 pounds and an average of 2 feet in length. Of course the have a reddish color and white bellies, they can also have some white spots on them. Their tail is bushy and has a white tip on them, these are the foxes we most commonly see depicted in cartoons and movies. They eat small animals like rabbits, rats and mice.

The grey fox is usually smaller than the red fox, they too have some reddish fur but are mainly grey. They can be up to 13 pounds and around 40 inches long. The female is usually smaller than the male but both look similar. These guys have a 12 inch tail!! That seems pretty long for such a small animal, their tails have a black tip on them. A big difference in the grey fox is they prefer wooded areas and climb trees. They tend to sleep in trees to avoid larger predators. Grey foxes eat the same things as a red fox will, but will eat just about any animal it can get its paws on.

Next time youre driving on 95, look around if its close to ark…you never know if you will spot an awesome fox!

There’s an Opossum in my kitchen!

A customer called us in an absolute panic, she said there was an opossum in her kitchen cabinets and she did not know what to do and of course she was terrified. Can you imagine opening your cabinet to grab a pot and a giant opossum is staring back at you? Me either! We sent a technician out to her home immediately to see what we could do to help her.

When the tech arrived the customer was on the edge of hysterics, she showed him where she had last seen the opossum and he was still there. Of course the animal was scared as well and not happy to be outside of his natural environment. When the tech opened the other cabinet door, the opossum hissed at him and bared his teeth. At that moment the tech knew he had to remove this guy and get him back to his normal home.

He went to his truck, put on his kevlar gloves and grabbed a catch pole. He went back inside and suprisingly enough he wrangled the animal pretty quickly and safely had him in a cage within minutes. The customer was very grateful and couldnt thank him enough. He took the animal to a wildlife area and released him safely.

Another happy customer, another animals life saved!

Florida Endangered Species

In Florida our population growth is very high, with growth comes development of land and that means the wildlife gets driven into residential areas, or their resources (food, shelter) gets depleted and the animals die out. What you may not know is endangered species are not just wild animals. There are also fish, plants and water critters, like crustaceans and coral.

Here are some of the more known endangered species:

  • Plants.
  • American Alligator.
  • American Crocodile.
  • Sea Turtles.
  • Birds.
  • Florida Panther.
  • Manatee.

If you see these animals healthy or injured please report it to Florida Fish and Wildlife. They keep track of sightings to maintain records of growth or depletion.

 

The War On Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers are considered to be migratory, non-game birds and so they are protected in the state of Florida by law. In order to have the birds and their nests removed you have to have someone with a special license perform the extraction and the laws for removal are very strict, there has to be good reason to have them removed or the removal will be denied.

Woodpeckers are attracted to fruits and nuts, so if you have a bird feeder or fruit trees in your yard, that could be whats attracting them. Of course removing your fruit trees would be hard to do and a little extreme, however removing your bid feeder is a good idea…not to mention bird feeders also attract rats, mice and squirrels and those guys can burrow into your home rather quickly.

There are some things you can do to prevent or control the woodpeckers from destroying your home or business.

Bird Netting- Netting is generally made out of a durable plastic material and looks like screening, this can be easily attached to your siding, eaves or other areas that are problematic.

Metal Barriers- Metal Sheathing can be used to cover areas that have already been disturbed by this invasive creatures. You can also use plastic sheeting but it wont be as effective and will have to be replaced often here in Florida due to weather conditions.

Fake Em Out- Use fake owls, hawks, snakes or other predatory animals to scare the birds off or to keep them away.

Loud Noises-You can try an air horn, banging some pots and pans or loud crazy music. The birds can associate your home with those loud noises and they may stay clear.

These guys can be pesky and annoying but handling them appropriately is very important, do not attempt this on your own!

Rabies, not just for raccoons

We’ve all heard the stories about crazy rabid raccoons right? If you see a raccoon during the day; its rabid! This is actually completely false. Raccoons in residential areas have become comfortable in those surroundings and will hunt for food, shelter or water during the day. Now, if you see a raccoon acting CRAZY, or foaming at the mouth during the day, there’s a chance it is rabid or has distemper. We also know that dogs and cats can carry or contract the rabies virus, hence why we get our animals vaccinated against it, right?

But did you know that otters can carry rabies? Neither did I until I did some research. They generally get rabies when they are attacked by another predator that’s infected with it. It is however very rare, in the last 20 years there’s been less than 30 cases of rabid otters reported in Florida.

Another animal that I didn’t think could contract rabies….Foxes, I’m not sure why I didn’t think they could contract the virus but I didn’t. It turns out all mammals can get rabies and mostly carnivores contract the virus, but not always.

Fish, Frogs, Snakes, Lizards and Birds can not contract the virus…imagine that!

Is it important to have a dead animal removed from your yard?

The simple answer is YES! Why? Several reasons, Ill break them down for you by section.

Disease/Bacteria: As animals decompose the disease and or bacteria that may have been contained in the animal will start to come expel and then humans can be exposed to them.

Smell: The smell of a decomposing animal is horrendous! The smell can be outside of your home but quickly permeate through to the inside and go through your ac ducts and now your entire home smells like dead animal, that is a disgusting odor you do not want to try and sleep with.

Attracts Other Animals: The smell of decomposition will absolutely attract other animals and they will tear the dead animal apart in your yard, spreading parts and pieces all over…and of course that will spread the disease and bacteria also, this can be a very bad thing. Now your yard is full of fighting wildlife, bacteria and a disgusting smell. Now these animals will associate your yard with food and you can possibly have unwanted guests daily while they are on the hunt.

The important thing here is keeping yourself and your family safe. If an animal dies in your yard, you want to have it removed ASAP. Give us a call, we will be happy to take care of it for you!

Vampire Bats: The real deal

Yes, vampire bats are real! NO….they will not turn you into an actual vampire if they come into contact with you. Vampire bats mainly bite large animals like horses, cows or sheep. They make a small cut with their teeth and then lap up the blood, kind of like when a cat drinks water, so its not “sucking blood”. If vampire bats do not find a meal for two days, they will die. Odd fact: Female bats will regurgitate blood to feed other bats in exchange for grooming…kind of creepy huh? Blood is absolutely vital for survival. The vampire bat has some different adaptations than other bats. They can walk, run and jump and this helps them hunt and feed.

Vampire bats can be very tame and even kind to humans. They can carry rabies so for animal farmers they are definitely a cause for concern. Vampire bats aren’t harmful to humans but of course humans can contract rabies also, so if you are bitten by a bat…you should seek emergency attention right away.

These bats love humid areas and tend to gravitate towards caves, caverns, hollow trees or anywhere kind of dark and concealed. They tend to love barn rafters or attic spaces. If you get bats in your attic, their guano can contain disease and you should call us right away for contamination removal as well as bat removal and to make sure your home is protected from any further animal issues.

 

Where to See a Gator in Florida!

If you have lived in Florida for any length of time it is likely you have spotted an alligator or two. However, you are more likely to see them in some cities than others. in 2016 there were 12,759 reports of alligators that resulted in 8,050 removals. The city with the most you may ask??? It’s Orlando! I guess tourist aren’t the most likely thing to find there!┬áSarasota, Tampa, Kissimmee, Fort Myers, Naples, Lakeland, Bradenton, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville round out the top 10 cities.

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