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Is It OK To Leave Bats Living In Your Attic?

Bats can be excellent neighbors when they keep a proper distance from your home. Other than acting as natural mosquito repellants, they promote pollination and aid in seed dispersal.

While bats don’t always live indoors, some situations force them to seek shelter, for example when they feel endangered or a female has just given birth.

If they are next to your house and find an opening in the attic, you can be sure they will seek shelter there.

Another reason that attracts bats to a home is the presence of insects like mosquitoes and moths around the lights. If the insects are always present, they may choose to find a nesting site close to the source of food or water, and your attic is a perfect spot!

Can You Let Bats Live In Your Attic Or Should You Remove Them?

When you have bats in attic, you might be tempted to let them stay because they help remove all kinds of bugs from your property. After all, they can eat up thousands of insects every evening, so you won’t have to worry about bugs anymore.

But while they are helpful, they can be a nuisance once they stay in your attic. For instance, they can cause infestations, make a lot of noise, and cause significant damages to your structure.

How Long Can a Bat Live In The Attic?

The average lifespan on a bat is between 10 to 20 years, but survival into adulthood is mainly determined by the quantity of food and the kind of shelter that’s available. If a bat manages to get food and good shelter, the animal will live long.

Your attic is one of the best forms of shelter a bat can get as it can get insects or rodents around the compound, if not in the house. Besides, most people don’t spend much time in the attic, so these mammals will be free to enjoy their stay almost uninterrupted.

Since the bats have everything they need in the attic, they can stay and reproduce more to make a large colony. In fact, they’ll live for generations if nothing is done, so don’t assume they will vacate willingly. Instead, be proactive and find a way to get rid of these animals as soon as you can.

Can Bats Damage Your Attic?

Compared to all pests and wild animals that can stay in attics, bats happen to be one of the worst.

One main thing they do is damage the property, particularly the electrical system, plumbing, and other similar fixtures. They also claw away the insulation, wood, and other similar building materials and leave behind rub marks from their body oil.

Even their feces can cause significant damages to the insulation and wooden building materials. The feces smell is also pretty bad and will permeate via the walls and spread throughout the house.

Can You Get Sick From Bats In Attic?

Other than damaging your attic and making a lot of noise, bats can make you get sick.

Their droppings, guano, contain a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum which is detrimental to people’s health. When the guano dries and becomes an airborne pollutant, it can be inhaled, and the fungus will cause a lung infection known as Histoplasmosis. The infection can spread beyond the lungs to the entire body, which is fatal. You shouldn’t even attempt to clean bat guano on your own!

These pests also expose humans to rabies. This often occurs when someone is bitten by an infected bat or comes into contact with guano, fur, urine, or blood from the bat.

When Do Bats Leave The Attic?

Once bats set up shop in the attic, they can stay for a long time if you don’t know their way of life. Mostly, female bats and their pups are ready to leave the attic to hibernate in the nearby caves right before winter. This is because the cold weather drives pests and insects away, and they only emerge from hibernation after the cold season.

Other bats opt to migrate to warmer areas instead of hibernating. This is the best time to rid yourself of the bats in attic. You should call professionals like Westchester Wildlife company who will determine the holes the animals used to gain entry or leave your attic and then seal them.

What Time Of Year Is It Legal To Remove Bats From Attic?

Since bats are an endangered species, they get protection from state and federal laws. This is the reason why you cannot get rid of them whenever you want even if they are a nuisance or causing damage to your home.

However, it is legal to remove bats from your home around mid-August to mid-October. Most pups can fly by July, so by mid-August, the bats leave their nursery site to find an ideal place to hibernate during winter.

Consequently, get experts to remove the bats and seal the openings within this time because when they hibernate in your attic, you will not be allowed to bother them until the next bat removal season.

 

If you have a bat problem in Westchester, Dutchess, or Putnam Counties, NY, and Fairfield County, CT, we can help. We specialize in the field of bat removal and bat pest control in the attic. So give us a call today!

Where Do Sparrows Nest In Homes?

House sparrows have long been associated with people. These pest birds have chosen to live near human dwellings and take advantage of this close association. As a result, they can wreak havoc on your property, and your sanity!

Sparrows prefer to nest in covered spaces, mostly in residential buildings, although they frequent barns and outhouses as well.

They build their nests using a variety of materials such as wool, hair, or man-made products, but grass or straw is always their favorite. Occasionally, they utilize nests abandoned by other birds.

In this article, we will discuss all the places that sparrows like to nest in your home. So keep reading to learn more!

Common Places Where House Sparrows Can Be Nesting

IN ROOF SPACES

They have a bad reputation for nesting in roof spaces where they gain access through cavities under the eaves. The gaps allow the sparrows to be able to get in and out as they please.

If the roof on your house has clay or concrete tiles, sparrows usually build their nests under the tiles, at the edges of the roof, and above the fascia boards.

When the birds push their nest materials under the overhanging barrel-shaped tiles, they will dislodge these tiles and cause them to fall crashing down.

In addition, loose, missing, or cracked tiles can soon become potential sites for sparrow nests, and harmless looking debris or dirt will only help fuel the problem.

Besides nesting in the eaves, in rafters, and underneath the roof shingles, house sparrows tend to make their nests in soffits. These spots are perfect for roosting as they provide cover to stay away from predators and good shelter from the elements.

UNDER AWNINGS

Sparrows can build nests on or under your patio awnings as they are easy to rest on.

There are many methods you can use to stop these birds from nesting under your awning. Using bird netting is excellent for keeping sparrows away and prevent them from making a nest in the awnings. And even if they come too close to the net, they will not become trapped in it.

 

IN CHIMNEY

Just like the roof and awnings, a chimney is ideal to set up a home due to the great deal of protection and warmth that it provides.

There is only one way that birds get into the chimney, namely through the upper portion of the chimney.

However, it often happens that the birds nesting on top of the chimney wander inside or slip off the edge. And that leaves them unable to fly up again to escape. There is not enough space to spread wings, nor can they fly vertically.

Sadly, birds can be difficult to get out of the chimney.

 

IN ATTIC

House sparrows in the attic are a common problem as they will build nests and lay eggs happily in such a warm, secluded place.

A high place like the attic is easy to take flight and stay close to food sources. Nests in attics are usually located 8 to 30 feet off the ground, which allows sparrows to hide from predators.

Damaged roofs and small openings near the top of a house such as attic vents, could allow birds into your home. Since sparrows are little creatures, they can fit easily through crevices in the roof, walls, and windows as tiny as 3/4 of an inch.

 

INSIDE WALL CREVICES

Sparrows are also notorious for sneaking into various openings in structures and making their nests in the crevices of walls. Once some of them have found a site they enjoy, sparrows will then begin to swarm the place in large numbers.

Thus, it’s important to inspect your walls for cracks, holes, and crevices that may serve as entrance points for these birds.

And if you notice that the exterior walls are stained with bird droppings, that’s a clear sign that sparrows are making themselves at home, in your home!

IN VENTS

Dryer vents, attic vents, as well as openings found on the home’s exterior walls from bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, provide excellent nesting locations. Since the vents are quite small (typically 3 or 4 inches in diameter), sparrows find them ideal to stuff their nesting materials into them.

Vent openings usually have plastic or aluminum covers that stop drafts from getting in. But these covers are nothing but just flaps or louvers that open easily to allow air to escape. The sparrows have learned to manipulate them effortlessly.

Feces and urine inside the vents can create a strong odor throughout your home.

 

IN GUTTERS

House sparrows might also decide to nest in your gutters. When a bird builds its nest in the rain gutter, it becomes a mess as there is a lot of debris and droppings left around.

This will eventually block the flow of water, which may present a fire hazard at some point. So this is why it’s very important to stop sparrows from nesting in the gutter.

 

IN TREES

Open tree branches or enclosed cavities in a tree are ideal places for the birds to nest in. And sparrows will indeed choose them when other sites such as holes in building walls, vents, birdhouses, and more, are scarce.

 

 

On a Final Note,

Your house structure can provide sparrows with a great substitute for a tree hollow. Thus, you need to act as soon as you see a telltale sign of them settling in so that you don’t let these little cute birds become a big pest problem in the future.

Here at Westchester Wildlife, our specialists have all the tools and knowledge to discourage sparrows from choosing your home to nest in. So contact us today and have our trained technicians deal with your pest bird problem safely and humanely.

Do Beavers Eat Wood In Your Backyard?

Everyone’s heard about the woodchuck chucking wood, but what about the beaver that eats wood? Could this be happening in your backyard these days, without you even knowing?

First, let’s discuss how beavers eat. The large front teeth, called incisors, that you see on the outside of the closed mouth of a beaver actually mean they are eating something most of the time.

Just like a human, a beaver tends to eat with its mouth closed. It just has a nasty overbite that it sometimes uses to peel off bark to eat much like a human unwrapping a candy with their own fingers.

Do Beavers Really Eat Wood?

The truth is, beavers do not eat the wood or the whole tree but rather the cambium layer – the inner bark off of the tree which they just chew and then spit it out.

After that the wood is taken to form a dam or a lodge for them to live in on the water of a river. It makes for a much lighter outward style of housing, even without the need for painting as it would be in the case of humans.

Beavers have also been known to eat the softer wood just underneath the bark of the tree at times.

Mostly though, they just eat leaves and aquatic plants that can be found just outside of their new woody homes.

What Type Of Trees Do Beavers Eat And Not Eat?

What about the kind of trees beavers consume the bark of and use for housing? No beaver will enter your yard if you don’t have the right trees, after all!

Conifer trees are only eaten by beavers if every other food source is scarce in the area. However, they love willows, so you may want to consider a small indoor container willow tree rather than a live one outside.

Do Beavers Eat The Whole Tree And How Long Does It Take a Beaver To Chop Down a Tree?

Also, people can sometimes get very confused about whether or not beavers use the entire tree for eating and the building of their homes, and how long this can take. After all, you’d rather have a tree fully removed from your home than simply leave a dead stump or having to look outside and see a half-eaten tree in your yard for a week, right?

If you consider an eight-foot tree to be the average in your yard, then you’ve gotta look out! The “busy beaver” concept is most true at night in this instance, where only five minutes is needed for a beaver to do enough chewing with its incisors to fell a single eight-foot tree.

Knowing that beavers often live with their families means they could chop down half your yard in that time if they all worked together. Imagine the nightmare that replanting all those trees would be!

These rodents do find a use for the whole tree as well. Of course, as stated previously, the tree itself is used for food at the time, but the branches are widdled down a bit at the ends and stacked together for the use of lodgings.

That means every part of the tree they cut down is primed for use. Even though they do leave a stump behind as a calling card for you in the morning, and that would be an unfortunate truth you’d have to deal with.

What Size Tree Can a Beaver Cut Down?

But going on the higher end of the spectrum, how tall of a tree can a single beaver cut down? And how much wood can the most eager beaver consume at once? Or will there be a log sitting next to your stump that the beaver just couldn’t finish gnawing on before you got up in the morning?

A tree as wide as 33 inches around, that’s 3 whole feet, can be eaten through by a beaver for use in their dams and lodgings. These animals usually prefer the smaller trees though, no matter how tall, at a 2 to 6 inch diameter. That means that your big, very old trees will most likely remain safe, while your new, small trees are the ones to look out for.

But this also means how tall your tree is doesn’t matter to the busy beaver. It could be 3 feet tall or 30, the beaver only has to chew the bottom off of it and you’ll have a problem anyway.

How Much Wood Can a Beaver Eat?

As it turns out, beavers actually only eat about 1.4 to 1.5 pounds of wood per day. That means, unfortunately, you will find logs sitting around at riverbanks or next to your wildlife pond that the beavers choose to live in.

Luckily, the beavers will move your log free of charge so they have ready access to the top of the chopped tree for building their homes as well as having an abundant supply of food for a few days or maybe even over a week.

This would explain why only one tree seems to be needed by a beaver at a time, at least before it starts a family.

 

Beavers are known to be very hard-working animals, but surely you don’t want them working hard on your property. It’s important to eliminate these critters as they can cause a massive amount of damage, fast! Besides cutting down the trees in your backyard, the dams they build can cause flooding that will destroy your landscaping.

Westchester wildlife offers professional beaver removal services for New York and Connecticut. Our beaver control experts will humanely remove these rodents and ensure they don’t return to your property. So if you are having problems with beavers, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Are Starlings Bad For Your Lawn?

European starlings are considered one of the most common nuisance and invasive bird species found throughout the United States.

No matter which area you live in, whether it’s a rural or urban area, starlings can be a real problem for residential as well as for commercial properties. Starlings can be a nuisance due to their nesting, eating, and roosting habits.

These purplish-green birds with yellow beaks and white spots are quite pretty to look at, however, they are despised by lawn owners, ecologists, and bird watchers alike. Starlings are loud, talkative, annoying, very aggressive, and they are just about everywhere!

They can be a pain to clean up after, not to mention the damage caused to your house and the appearance of your lawn.

 

Why Are Starlings Bad For Your Lawn And Yard?

When European starlings are in the flocking phase and congregate in large numbers, they can become a nuisance. Thousands of them will overwhelm structures, trees, and lawns. Starlings roosting in urban locations can cause health concerns, waste contaminated ground, odors, and noises.

Their droppings are hazardous and can spread diseases to humans and pets. When walking on the lawn, you or your dog can accidentally bring the bird waste into the home.

Dried droppings release dust that can cause bad health issues such as Histoplasmosis (fungal respiratory disease), or other illnesses particularly in those suffering from asthma. Bacteria and parasites in the bird droppings also pose a health risk.

If many starlings are foraging around your yard, they might bring in pests as these birds often carry ticks and mites, or other parasites. The pests can then transfer to people and their pets.

Do Starlings Damage Lawns?

Starlings can damage grass turf as they search for food. The root systems of the grass might be torn due to pulled roots while the birds are looking for worms.

Large flocks can destroy crops in your garden and disturb your newly seeded lawn when the birds feed on seeds and berries.

Also, their waste can possibly spread invasive weed seeds around your yard.

 

On the other hand, starlings can also be beneficial to your lawn.

Homeowners usually complain about starlings settling in numbers onto lawns. But these birds are actually helping the lawn by eating harmful pests, and thus, acting as a natural form of pest control.

Starlings love to eat leatherjacket bugs, which are the larvae of crane flies or daddy long legs. Leatherjackets are considered a pest as they damage crops, eat plant roots, and make the lawn look unsightly. So, the more starlings in your yard, the better off your lawn will be in terms of pest control.

In addition to getting rid of destructive pests, starlings will also naturally aerate the soil while poking holes in your lawn.

 

Why Do Starlings Peck Your Lawn?

Starlings are mostly ground foragers that feed on a variety of critters living in the soil. They tend to prefer open spaces and surroundings with not too many trees or shrubs. These birds also avoid high grass.

If you notice many starlings pecking your lawn, this could indicate that you have a pest problem in the lawn.

Starlings are commonly found feeding on grubs, cutworms, sod webworms, armyworms, and chinch bugs. When these worms are active, birds will happily feed on them.

If you don’t deal with the pest issues, the pests are most likely to do more damage than the starlings.

What Do Starlings Eat Out Of The Grass?

Starlings primarily forage on the ground in open areas, probing in soil and grass with their beaks.

Starlings are known to consume a varied diet including many types of bugs, larvae, seeds, corn, grains, and berries. However, they prefer catching insects, if available.

During summer, they prefer eating flies, caterpillars, beetles, spiders, snails, grasshoppers, earthworms, and other invertebrates.

In the fall and winter months, they will choose a wide variety of fruits in trees, berries, and seeds. At this time, they will often come to bird feeders as well.

Starlings often flock shortly after grass mowing as they are attracted to all the bugs and seeds that get exposed in the short, freshly cut grass. When you stir up the lawn with the lawnmower, it’s easier for these birds to reach the worms and insects that they’re after.

 

It is advised to be persistent in starling control and start working on controlling these obnoxious birds before they have gained a strong attraction to your yard. This way, you will be more successful in eradicating them.

Starlings are a very invasive species that require the help of a professional to get rid of them for good. So, contact Westchester Wildlife to learn more about our bird control services, which include bird proofing, removal, and trapping.

Our experienced technicians at Westchester Wildlife will humanely trap and remove the invading starlings from your property. We are servicing Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties in New York, as well as Fairfield County in Connecticut.

Can a Baby Deer Jump a Fence On Your Property?

The movements of a baby deer can differ from that of an adult deer. This is due to the small body size of the baby deer and also because it may be still learning from its mom how to successfully overcome physical barriers such as fences.

Deer have no choice but to jump over fences, and most of the time, they are successful at this when they have some practice.

Can Fawns Jump Fences?

A baby deer, also referred to as fawn, has little experience with jumping over fences compared to its mom who has a much higher success at crossing barriers. Instead, fawns often pass under the fence due to their smaller size and lack of experience in jumping.

Deer are likely to jump fences mostly during summer when they go to forage more. At this time, the doe, which is an adult female deer, is teaching its offspring how to jump and successfully cross barriers. However, it will be quite some time before the fawn can jump over the fence properly.

At What Age Can a Fawn Jump a Fence and How High Can It Jump?

As the fawn is so small, it certainly cannot jump over a fence that is 6 or even 4 feet high. This is until the deer is at least 2 months old when it is able to jump a 3.5 or 4 feet fence (42-48 inches high).

So if the fence in your yard is no higher than 4 feet, a little deer will jump out with mom when it’s 2 months old. It will not be able to do so at an earlier age.

If there is a space under the fence of at least 1.3 feet (16 inches) from the ground, it will allow the fawn to cross underneath. It can be heartbreaking to watch the baby run up and down a fence that its mom has already jumped over.

Do Deer Jump Over Fences?

Adult deer can jump over common yard fences. They’re more likely to clear a barrier if they are able to sense how high it is. Under normal conditions, they will not attempt a fence that’s 6 feet tall. However, if they’re being chased or threatened, deer have the ability to jump even an 8-foot fence on level ground.

The best solution to keep these animals away from your yard is to install a deer-proof fence. It’s important to check the height of your fence to make sure the deer is not able to jump over it and get onto your property. Higher fences act as a great physical barrier to this wildlife because they prevent the deer from jumping over and force them to go somewhere else.

Thus, the fence should be a minimum of 7 feet in height for a typical size yard. But for a very small garden area, like a 2×2 feet (25×25 inches), a 6-foot high fence should be sufficient in some locations with light deer activity.

What To Do With a Fawn In Your Yard?

Knowing that a baby deer can’t jump barriers, you may be wondering how a fawn ends up inside your fenced yard. During springtime, the mom jumps over the fence while she is still pregnant and delivers one or two babies inside the yard. After the first 24 hours of their birth, the doe jumps out and leaves them alone in your yard while she goes off to find some food.

Since a newborn fawn is too weak to keep up with its mom for the first few weeks of life, it will lie down motionless and nap nearly all the time hidden in deep grass where it cannot be found by predators.

Many people who spot a tiny fawn lying in the grass, make this critical mistake and try to care for it, thinking that it has been abandoned by its mom. But the doe follows her routine and will come back to feed and care for her baby at the end of the day. Unfortunately, despite your good intentions to help, it can be deadly for the fawn.

If the baby deer is a bit older, wait until you notice it is trying to get out. In this case, open the gate and let it out so that it can have the freedom to go wherever it wants.

 

In certain circumstances, if you see a lone fawn and a dead doe in the vicinity, or if the fawn has been in the same place for more than a day with no sign of his mom, or it’s walking around crying or visibly injured, call wildlife control company in your area for the best course of action before you interfere.

If they determine the fawn is really abandoned, they will know just how to deal with this situation. Contact Westchester Wildlife for humane, live and dead deer removal services in Westchester, Putnam, or Dutchess County, NY, as well as in Fairfield and Litchfield County, CT.

Are Moles Bad To Have In Your Yard?

You cannot be mistaken to know that a mole has invaded your lawn or garden. You’ll quickly notice multiple piles of soil – mounds that resemble a small volcano where the soil clumps are thrown out through the center and rolled down on all sides.

Moles, the extraordinary small mammals, spend half of their lives underground searching for food, beneath those annoying mounds of soil. In nature, they are woodland animals but can quickly take over and spread through adjacent lawns in residential properties. And the longer you allow moles to tunnel in your yard, the more difficult they become to control.

Although it’s not very likely to see them above ground, the hills and tunnels a mole leaves behind can be real eyesores in your yard. Not only will the molehills look like an unsightly lawn mess, but will also devastate your landscaping. The hills, however, are just a by-product of the animal’s industrious digging. The tunnels can do major damage to your lawn.

Mole burrowing activity varies throughout the seasons. The lawn damage is usually most noticeable during spring and early summer, but also in the fall. This is when moles are most active and are closest to the surface. In summer, the damage usually subsides when the soil dries out and moles excavate mostly at a deeper level.

Luckily, a mole is mostly a solitary, unsocial, and highly territorial animal, so if you eliminate one mole, most likely there isn’t another one nearby. If you find an elaborate sequence of tunnels, it probably is just one mole that is a very active builder. However, new moles can move into existing, abandoned tunnels within 24 hours.

 

How Long Will Moles Live in the Yard?

In general, moles have small home ranges and the animal will rarely stay in the same area for a longer period of time. Their activity in a particular area may only last one or two weeks until there’s no more food to be found. So, once all the local soil insects have been eaten, the mole will move on to a better hunting ground.

 

Are Moles Bad To Have in Your Yard?

Despite the damage that moles cause to a yard, they are not that bad. In fact, they are mostly good, bringing lots of benefits to your lawn.

In terms of damage done to your yard, moles are usually blamed for eating bulbs and the roots of ornamental plants. Although they can cause havoc with their burrowing and mounding, moles do not gorge on homegrown produce.

In fact, voles, chipmunks, and mice are the real culprits. Mole runways can be used by rodents that feed on bulbs, seeds, and roots, and these rodents will cause direct damage to your lawn, garden, or fruit orchard.

 

What Do Moles Eat?

Moles are insect eaters. Their diet consists primarily of earthworms, but grubs, beetles, snails, slugs, spiders, centipedes, and other bugs are also on the menu. On average, a mole consumes 40 pounds of insects per year. The mole’s main food source are earthworms, and the animal will eat about six big worms every day.

Do Moles Damage Your Yard?

Without a doubt, moles can locally be destructive.

They push mounds of soil to the surface and their tunnels create holes and weak spots in the lawn. The burrowing results in lines of raised ridges in the ground and ugly-looking mounds of soil.

They create easily noticeable trails of dead grass throughout the yard. When moles burrow close to the surface, it can cause harm to grass roots, leaving behind brown patches.

While tunneling for insects, moles can disrupt the roots of vegetables and other plants, and uproot turf. Their shallow tunnels will lift the soil and allow plant roots to dry out. Their digging through root systems of plants can kill the seedlings and expose bulbs and roots to the surface.

Their runways provide underground routes for other rodents searching for food. Their tunnels may suit other pests that will go after plant roots.

The molehills can be dangerous to walk over and might result in trips and falls. Mole burrowing activity will create holes in the lawn and a tunnel can easily cave in when accidentally stepped on, which might lead to your injury.

 

Benefits of Moles in Yard

On the other hand, we must not forget that moles are great contributors to the ecosystem.

If you have moles in your yard, it means you have healthy, rich soil, as these animals will feed on any earthworms and pest insect larvae found in the soil.

Moles will also eat grubs that are harmful because they destroy grass roots, and also beetles that feed on decorative plants. They effectively eliminate ants, snails, and termites.

Moles are known as natural aerators. They dig underground tunnels which loosen soil and form channels for air and water to move freely through the soil, which helps plant growth. Thus, mole tunnels promote the health of the soil by turning, aerating, and draining it, and fertilizing and mixing its nutrients.

 

To Conclude,

Trapping moles can be labor-intensive even if there’s just one mole to catch. There is no one-time solution to control moles, it is a process that requires continuous maintenance.

So if you’re not willing to battle the moles by yourself, your best bet is to hire an experienced exterminator in your area. You’ll want someone who can provide expert advice and can create a mole removal strategy that is effective and humane.

Give Westchester Wildlife an opportunity to prove what a professional mole control company can do for you. And all you’ll have to do is relax and let us deal with your mole problem.

Do Chipmunks Dig Tunnels in Yards and What Damage Do They Cause?
What Attracts Opossums to Your Yard?

Opossums are nocturnal marsupial species that mostly dwell in North America. Being related to kangaroos, opossums behave like them since they have an outside porch for developing young ones.

These animals are omnivores and therefore, feed on almost everything edible. However, they can be so hectic in neighborhoods because they like foraging through trash cans.

Regardless of their adaptability, these animals are slow runners and have poor eyesight. While active, possums can cause a lot of disturbance to pets and make a lot of noise while foraging through garbage cans. But, what attracts them to a yard?

They are attracted to your yard whenever food is plentiful, so leaving food scraps in your garbage will definitely keep them around. In most cases, these animals get attracted by odorous and overflowing garbage cans, any containers left outdoors, or uncovered compost heaps. Since opossums are scavengers, they can feed on anything they find.

They like moist areas, that is why they prefer inhabiting near water areas. Yards near a sewer, a drainage ditch, or a pond are likely to attract even more of these animals.

What Kinds of Food Attract Opossums?

Opossums are opportunists and they want mainly what is easy to find and eat. Since they have a lot of teeth, they are able to feed on various food sources, including fish, insects, birds, vegetables, garbage, crustaceans, rodents, dead animals, snakes, mushrooms, eggs with shells, grass, and all kinds of fruit.

The primary substance source of food includes rodents, worms, frogs, snails, and slugs. Additionally, these animals will feed on birdseed, nuts, berries, and even dry and canned cat and food.

Which Foods Do Opossums Like to Eat in Particular?

As opossums are not choosy, they like to feed on almost anything, even carrion. They will not turn their nose up at various plants, vegetables, tree fruits, meat and bone scraps exclusively.

However, possums need high amounts of calcium in their diet and this explains why they love eating skeletal remains of road kills and rodents. Also, if sweet potatoes and yams, which are rich in nutrients, are available, opossums will love eating them.

Moreover, possums enjoy feeding on sweet things, and particularly on marshmallows and peanut butter.

What Smells Attract Possums?

There are some smells that opossums find very inviting. They often get attracted to cinnamon scents, so if you have such scents lingering in your yard, be ready to receive these animals to your property. This explains why most people who wish to eliminate them from their yards use these scents to lure possums to baits.

Is It Bad to Have Possums in Your Yard?

Most people believe that opossums are nasty and dirty animals, which might pose a dangerous risk to their lives. In fact, it is not true.

Opossums are gentle and clean animals. They prefer not to fight, they may growl, hit, or even in some rare cases, bite, but they are peaceful animals. Opossums can choose to play dead or faint if you confront them, thus, they might not harm you. Therefore possums are beneficial animals that provide much value.

As already mentioned, opossums will feed on almost everything they can find on your property, they forage through garbage, eat the waste, dead carcasses, and even pests. Due to this, they help clean the yard and keep it free from dangerous pests and subsequent problems.

However, some people believe that these creatures are unclean and cause disease, which is somehow contrary.

Opossums are scavengers who help balance the ecosystem by cleaning up the area as they feed on a variety of pests that are found in yards, such as small rodents, beetles, snakes, cockroaches, snails, or slugs. Thus, they are a natural pest control method.

Opossums help fight against Lyme disease in your household. Even though they can also get bitten by ticks and get infected with Lyme disease, these animals are exceptional at finding and eliminating ticks. Scientists claim that opossums are natural vacuum cleaners for ticks as they are able to consume 5,000 ticks in a season and even more if ticks are plentiful.

Besides killing ticks, opossums can help cure snake bites. These animals feed on snakes, including the poisonous species, and have become immune to the snake poison. Scientists use the peptide found in possums, thus providing cheap snake antivenom treatments.

 

In Summary,

Opossums are North American natives who live and roam through the garbage in both urban and suburban settings. They feed on a variety of unpleasant things such as debris, vegetables, birds, and more. Since they eat vegetables and fruits, they might destroy fruit and vegetable gardens.

If you are in need of eliminating a possum from your yard, contact Westchester Wildlife today. We will humanely trap and remove the opossum from your property, and then relocate it to a safe place where it is able to thrive.

However, despite being such a nuisance, the animals come along with a lot of benefits. So don’t forget about the environmental benefits they bring before you send them away.

Why Do Raccoons Eat My Garbage?

Urban raccoons are on the rise and currently, they are forced to coexist with humans. You might view raccoons as adorable animals with small cute faces but don’t be fooled by their appearance. When they are hungry, they can rummage through the trash in your yard and leave a mess in your garbage bins.

So, do you wonder why raccoons raid your trash cans and scavenge through your garbage? This article will answer that.

Do Raccoons Eat Garbage and Why?

When not in the wild, raccoons will eat garbage that humans leave outside. But why do they eat trash? The simplest answer to this is because they have no choice. In an urban setting, your trash can is the easiest place they can get food.

Raccoons are also lazy, there is no doubt about it and the closer and more accessible food is to them, the better. Now that garbage bins and trash cans are available in abundance, especially in urban places, they make their lives so much easier.

Can Raccoons Get into Garbage Cans?

Raccoons are agile and can open garbage cans and bins easily and quickly scavenge the food in there. What’s more, they are also known as the expert garbage divers, they can climb, or jump up, and they will do anything to access food in a bin or can.

If they are unable to jump in, they can even knock over garbage cans for food. When they finally make it into your garbage can, they will dig through the items in there in search of food scraps. Garbage cans are also the unconventional places where they can get a wide variety of foods.

What Do Raccoons Like to Eat the Most in the Trash?

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will scavenge on pretty any kind of food found in your trash. They are omnivores and love eating meat scraps and freshly disposed of veggies. They are particularly fond of eating grapes. In addition, these wild animals have also been spotted eating a wide variety of fruits like melons or berries, sweetcorn, bread, and eggs.

Despite their scavenging nature, raccoons will try to avoid rotten food unless they have no other place to get food. Since getting the same garbage can food is hard in the world, they would rather spend the whole day knocking over garbage cans or jumping from your garbage can to your neighbor’s.

Why Don’t Raccoons Easily Get Sick on Eating Garbage?

It’s hard for a raccoon to get sick because of eating garbage foods, and there are reasons for that.

First, they have long intestinal tracts. This means that they are able to get rid of most of the toxins in the garbage food during the digestion process. Secondly, their stomach is highly acidic and will kill most of the harmful bacteria before they have a chance to work on them.

Lastly, most raccoons have evolved to know what foods can be harmful to them. They will avoid such foods in most cases and with this, they will hardly get sick.

What Foods in the Trash Are Toxic to Raccoons?

Even with these evolutions and resistance, there are some foods containing bacteria that are toxic to raccoons and can make them sick. Most of these bacteria will be present in rotten foods that they try as much to avoid.

Common toxic food to raccoons include nuts like macadamia, chocolate, and raisins. Onions and garlic are also known to cause anemia in raccoons. Thus, you should be careful what you are tossing in the trash as some items might be toxic to this wildlife. Luckily, there is no toxic agent that will wipe out the entire raccoon population.

Do Raccoons Carry Diseases?

Raccoons can carry and transmit a few illnesses to humans, the common one being a virulent strain of rabies. Their furry body can also carry infected ticks, lice, and fleas. Due to this, you should avoid engaging and cornering them but instead make loud noises from afar; this is often enough to scare them off.

However, if raccoons are a nuisance on your property, you can always reach out to a local wildlife control specialist for further guidance on how to deal with them.

 

Hopefully, now you understand why garbage food is so desirable to raccoons and why they are a common sight in areas with trashed food matter. In case you don’t want them making a mess in your garbage cans, you can always secure them with rubber bungee cords.

Also, it is best to contact our Westchester Wildlife team in your area for help on the humane removal of raccoons from your home if they make it their favorable eating spot.

 

When Are Coyotes Most Active and Aggressive?

Coyotes have often been depicted as cunning, sly characters that are untrustworthy. Unfortunately, public perception of these wild animals has not changed much with the connotations of coyotes remaining largely negative. But is it justified?

Coyotes are a species of canine native to the United States where they naturally inhabit the vast areas of deserts, mountains, and forests. However, due to increased human expansion into their native habitats, coyotes have had to learn how to navigate these new suburban terrains. They are intelligent animals that know how to adapt to different environments with ease and skill. It has become common to spot coyotes in major cities, even being seen in New York City.

Unlike their close relatives, the wolf, coyotes are solitary animals but when hunting large prey, such as deer, they can choose to work as a pack. Coyotes are nocturnal animals (meaning they sleep in the day and are most active at night) that come out to hunt at night. Though, it is not uncommon to see them scavenging for food during daylight hours.

Are Coyotes More Active in Winter?

As winter closes in, coyotes become more active during the day in their search for food. They will also travel together more in the winter than they do in the summer months.

Despite what you would assume, coyotes are not purely carnivores but rather omnivores with 10% of their diet being made up from non-meat sources. They are unfussy animals that will happily eat a variety of things such as fish, frogs, rodents, and larger prey like deer. Snakes, grass, fruit, and insects are also on the menu.

However, when food sources are scarce, coyotes will happily turn to scavenging for any source of food in suburban and urban areas of cities and in small towns. They are known to get into garbage and dig in trash cans to pull out any leftovers.

What Month Do Coyotes Mate and Have Pups?

Coyotes start mating from mid-January. The breeding season for coyotes is in the spring months, peaking in late February and early March. The gestation period is 58 to 63 days on average. Spring marks the start for females to begin preparing their dens for new pups. A mom coyote awaits her pups to be born somewhere between mid-March to mid-May.

Are Coyotes More Dangerous During Their Mating Season?

Coyotes can become more dangerous during their breeding season as the males will want to protect their territory from other males. Also, female coyotes will protect their pups and make sure they are not seen by any predators, thus they can get dangerous in some circumstances.

During this time of year, coyotes will pose a major risk to smaller pets, and the risk increases even more during their mating season.

When Are Coyotes Most Aggressive?

As coyotes populations continue to expand at a steady rate, human encounters have become more frequent. Even with this, attacks on humans are rare and highly unlikely.

Like most wild animals, coyotes have no desire for conflict with humans. They would prefer to avoid us and get on with their lives interruption-free. They are of very little risk to you or your family if the right precautions are put in place. But coyotes are more of a risk to family pets than humans.

There are a few simple ways to avoid conflict with coyotes. Firstly, do not under any circumstances feed them. This leads to overconfidence in these animals as they lose their natural fear of humans. Even leaving garbage and pet food where coyotes can have easy access is considered feeding.

Next is to fence your yard and ensure that your pets are not roaming loose. While coyotes can jump fences, if they are built high enough they will deter the predators.

 

Final Words,

More and more coyotes have been observed living in developed areas and often, people are unknowingly in close contact with them each day. These wild animals are watching and learning from humans who influence their behavior. Coyotes also play a vital role in the ecosystem by providing a great deal of rodent control, and if we respect them, they will do the same in return.

One option that might be used as a compromise in lessening coyote conflicts with humans is to humanely trap them and then relocate them to a distant site.

If you need help to deter coyotes from your property, contact Westchester Wildlife. We are an experienced wildlife control company serving Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam Counties, NY, and Fairfield County, CT.