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What are wildlife pests?

Three common wildlife pests in Florida are squirrels, raccoons, and opossums.

Squirrels are so common that people often forget they are rodents. The eastern gray squirrel is the most common and identified by its gray-brownish fur and bush tail. Their bodies are usually about 10 ½ inches long, and their tails add about another 8 inches to their total length.

Raccoons are nocturnal mammals that are known for getting into garbage cans. Their round bodies are gray and black with ringed tails and black markings across their eyes, like a mask. Raccoons grow between two and three feet long.

Opossums are the only marsupials in North America. They are gray and white have hairless ears and hairless tails. Their pointed faces have long whiskers. They grow to be about the same size as the average house cat.

raccoons eating trash

Are wildlife pests dangerous?

Squirrels aren’t only guilty of raiding bird feeders or getting the family dog worked up; they can also cause a lot of property damage and spread diseases. As rodents, squirrels need to chew to keep their teeth from overgrowing; they can cause structural and cosmetic damage on a residential property. Squirrels can also spread rabies, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tularemia, ticks, and fleas.

Raccoons pose more threats than making a mess of your garbage. They can carry many diseases, including rabies, salmonellosis, roundworms, leptospirosis, giardiasis, and E. coli.

While you might not see opossums that often, they are likely lurking around your property at night, these nocturnal critters can become aggressive when cornered. Though they aren’t known carriers of rabies, they can spread tuberculosis, tularemia, and leptospirosis.

Why do I have a wildlife pest problem?

Having wildlife on your Tampa, FL property is often unavoidable because residential properties provide these critters with the things they need to survive, such as a place to hide from predators, food, and water. Food sources can include gardens, garbage, compost, bird food, and pet food. Another factor inviting wildlife to your home is a lack of fencing or damaged fencing.

Where will I find wildlife pests?

Squirrels typically build their nests in trees, but they can find their way into a home, usually through the roofline. They will build nests in attics and even inside walls when this happens.

Both raccoons and opossums aren’t picky about where they live. Common places include hollow trees and logs, dens abandoned by other animals, and rock crevices. They will find their way under structures like decks, sheds, barns, garages, and crawl spaces on a residential property.

How do I get rid of wildlife pests?

If you are experiencing wildlife problems on your property, you shouldn’t try to get rid of them on your own as they can be dangerous to handle. Instead, contact us at Haskell Termite & Pest Control.

We offer rodent removal, sanitation services, and attic restoration. We can also remove insulation in your attic that pests have damaged and replace it with pest control-rated insulation.

To learn more about how we can help treat wildlife on your property, call us today at Haskell Termite & Pest Control.

How can I prevent wildlife pests in the future?

While it may seem impossible to keep wildlife off your Tampa Bay area property, there are things you can do to make your property less attractive and deter them from making themselves at home.

  • Replace any damaged fencing
  • Install animal-proof fencing around gardens and block off spaces under decks, sheds, and other structures. 
  • Clean up fallen fruit and remove bird feeders. Even if these feeders are “squirrel-proof,” they can still drop seeds that attract other animals.
  • Use motion sensor lights to keep nocturnal pests away.
  • Inspect your home to make sure there aren’t any potential entry points; this should include using chimney and vent covers to keep squirrels out.
  • Use garbage cans that can’t be easily knocked over and that have tight-fitting lids.

Wildlife prevention isn’t always clear-cut, which is why you should contact us at Haskell Termite & Pest Control for more information on our home pest control options and the best way to keep wildlife away.

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Efficient, effective and trustworthy. After using them, I paid the annual insurance in case the drywood termites came back. When they did come back, Haskell promptly re-tented the house - no arguing, no cost to me.

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- Tampa, FL | Read Review
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