RACCOON: (Procyon lotor) This common nuisance species is very intelligent, curious, and physically capable - strong, and a good climber. Raccoons frequently break into
houses and attics, both in search of food and shelter. They'll also steal pet food, poop in your pool, and get into all sorts of mischief. Adults range from 10 lbs on up, with some reaching over 40lbs. They can live up to
12 years in the wild, though average life spans average closer to 5-6 years. Raccoons mate in the winter, around December, and the females give birth to an average of 3-5 young. Raccoons are omnivores, which means that they
eat both meat and plant matter, and they have a varied diet. They live in a variety of habitats, but the highest populations are actually in developed suburban or urban areas.
EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL: (Sciurus carolinensis) Squirrels love to live in attics. Adults average about one pound in weight. They can supposedly live for up to ten years, but life expectancy in the wild probably isn't more than 3-4 years. Squirrels give birth to two litters per year - one in late summer, and one in winter. The female gives birth to 3-4 young after a 44 day gestation, and the young grow quickly, and are weaned in about ten weeks. Squirrels are most active in morning and evening. Squirrels eat mostly nuts and seeds. They live in a variety of habitats, both forest and suburban or city areas.
OPOSSUM: (Didelphis virginiana) Possums are nomadic and opportunistic animals. They sometimes establish a home base, especially a female with young, and often live in human structures. Adults average 10-14 lbs. They don't live very long, rarely more than two years, three max. They mate in January, and then the tiny young climb into the pouch (opossums are marsupials) and grow, then cling to the mother's back, then leave. Opossums are omnivores, which means that they eat anything. They are nocturnal. They have the most teeth of any mammal (50), a prehensile tail, opposable thumbs, the male has a bifurcated penis, and they have incredible immune systems.
NINE BANDED ARMADILLO: (Dasypus novemcinctus) Dillos cause problems by digging. They are nocturnal animals, and they burrow under the ground to sleep during the day. They forage at night, and dig up worms and grubs. Adults average 12-16 pounds, and while they can live up to 15 years, many are victims of automobile deaths. Reproduction is interesting - they copulate missionary style, they mate in summer but delay fertilization until November, and in March, after a 120 day gestation, give birth to four identical quadruplets. Another interesting fact is that Armadillos can carry the human form of leprosy.
GROUNDHOG (WOODCHUCK): (Marmota monax) Groundhogs also cause problems by digging. They dig larger burrows and more complex labrynths than the simple hole of the armadillo. Groundhogs are rodents, and adults average 8-10 pounds. They give birth in spring to 3-6 young. They can live up to six years in the wild. They are primarily herbivorous, eating a wide variety of plants. They grow fat during the summer, lethargic by autumn, and in winter, they hibernate. They are excellent at predicting the arrival of spring.
ROOF RAT: (Rattus rattus) and Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) The Roof Rat is also known as the Black Rat, the Ship Rat, the House Rat, and the Fruit Rat. This is one of the two major nuisance rat species in the world. The Norway Rat is also called the Brown Rat. The Roof Rat is the smaller of the two. Adults usually weigh 6-10 oz. with a body of 8 inches and a tail of 8 inches. The Norways are heaver, ranging from 10-16 oz, with a 9 inch body. Neither lives very long, rarely more than a year in the wild, with a 95% first year mortality rate. They can breed year-round, and produce litters of up to ten young up to five times per year. Both are omnivores, and will eat a wide variety of foods, but prefer grains. The Roof Rats tend to live in warmer areas, and the Norways in colder climates. Roof Rats spend much of their time living above ground, whereas the Norways live at ground level.
EASTERN MOLE: (Scalopus aquaticus) Several species of moles inhabit North America and are considered a pest species, but the Eastern Mole is one of the most common. All moles are subterranian - they live under ground - and dig a network of tunnels and chambers. They create surface tunnels and dirt mounds under the chamber areas. The Eastern Mole is small, weighing only about 3 oz. and is about 6 inches long. They live for about 2-3 years. They breed in January, and after a 45 day pregnancy, give birth to 2-4 young. Most moles are territorial, so there might just be one in your yard. They primarily eat earthworms, and also other underground larvae and insects.
PIGEON: (Columba livia) Often referred to as feral pigeons. These birds are very common in urban areas, and a common city pest. They roost on architecture, such as the ledges of buildings, beams, store signs, and other such areas. They create a mess with their nesting material and feathers, but most of all, with their droppings, which are unsanitary, unsightly, and which may pose a health hazard. Pigeons average about 12 inches from head to tail, and weigh about a pound. They tend to live for 3-5 years in the wild. They nest at any time of the year, and mate for life. The young hatch 19 days after the eggs are laid. Pigeons eat a variety of foods, but prefer seeds.
BATS: North America is home to many species of bats, but these are the three most common nuisance (colonizing) species in the US: First is the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) which is common in most of the US, especially the more northward states. These bats are small, with a wingspan of 8 inches, and a weight of less than half an ounce. The females form large maternity colonies, often in buildings such as attics or barns. Young are born in June, and can fly by August. They can live up to 30 years apparently, though average lifespan in the wild may be about 7 years. They hibernate in the winter. The Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) is also common in the northern areas. It has a wingspan up to 13 inches, and can live up to 19 years in the wild. They mate in October, before winter hibernation, and after a delayed fertilization and a 60 day gestation, give birth to one or two baby bats in early June. The Mexican Free-Tail Bat Tadarida brasiliensis is common in the south. It has a wingspan of about 8 inches, a weight of half an ounce, and can live up to 16 years. These bats will form huge colonies, up to several million members in some cases. They mate in the fall, but delay fertilization, and one pup is born in early June, and can fly about eight weeks later. All of these bats often roost in man-made buildings, and love the attics of homes. None of these animals are actually blind, but they do use echolocation in order to aid in navigation on the wing. They are all insectivorous, catching insects on the wing.
SNAKES: There's too many snake species to catalogue here. The important thing to know is that most snakes are non-venomous, and pretty much none of them are aggressive. That is, no snake will slither up to you and attack you. Most will run, and some will stand their ground, but if you leave the snake alone, it'll leave you alone. That's how it works for most animals. Some facts common to all snakes - they have no eyelids. They smell with their tongues, by flicking the forked tongue out and tasting the air with the Jacobsen's organ. They are carnivorous. Some give birth to live young, but most lay eggs. One myth about snakes is that if a snake has a triangular head, it is poisonous (venomous). This is not true - most snakes have triangular heads.
I also have information on several other animals. Click any below animal for more info:
Stray Dog Removal - Pigeon Removal - Canada Goose Removal - Starling Removal - Muscovy Duck - Woodpecker Removal - Chipmunk Removal - Deer Removal - Flying Squirrel Removal - Gopher Removal - Feral Hog Removal - Muskrat Removal - Otter Removal - Porcupine Removal - Rabbit Removal - Vole Removal - Weasel Removal - Alligator Removal - Iguana Removal
How to get squirrels out of the attic
How to get raccoons out of the attic
How to get rid of raccoons in the attic
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Animals in a tile roof
- photos of raccoon poop
- photos of possum poop
- photos of rat poop
- photos of squirrel poop
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