Wildlife Identification & Prevention Guide

What is wildlife?

Wildlife will take full advantage of the food, water, and shelter that we and our properties unknowingly provide for them. Due to urban development, we have pushed wild animals out of their habitats and into ours. Wildlife living in and around our properties will cause major stress and problems for home and business owners.

an armadillo on a lawn in front of a home in austin texas

Listed below are four of the most common species of wildlife living throughout the Greater Austin, Texas area:

Armadillos
Armadillos have football-shaped bodies covered in thick skin and a bony, scaled shell. Their bodies are brown or gray with coarse, yellowish-white hairs, and they have pointed noses and paws with five large claws. These animals curl into tight balls to defend themselves against predators.

Opossums
Opossums have long, narrow faces and their bodies are covered in a whitish-gray fur and sprinkled with long guard hairs. Opossums also have hairless, prehensile (gripping) tails. These animals are the only species of marsupials found living in the United States.

Skunks
Skunks have black bodies and a distinctive white stripe that starts at their heads, divides into two stripes, and travels to their tails. These mammals are best known for the foul odor they spray from glands found at the base of their tails.

Squirrels
Squirrels are covered in fur that can come in a variety of colors: brown, gray, or red; their bellies are usually lighter in color than the rest of their bodies. These rodents typically have long, bushy tails.

Is wildlife dangerous?

Wildlife is more than just a nuisance. Once they have identified your yard as a place they want to nest and forage for food, they can be challenging to remove. Wildlife tends to be very destructive for reasons such as:

  • Burrowing under foundations, sheds, and garages, causing potential structural damage

  • Causing structural damage inside by chewing on or digging through drywall, insulation, pipes, and wires

  • Digging through, feeding on, and damaging gardens, lawns, and trees

Wildlife are those animals that have not been domesticated and therefore are very unpredictable. When threatened or cornered, they will defend themselves by biting or scratching, leading to potential injury to you, your kids, or pets. Additionally, wildlife carry and spread many dangerous diseases through their saliva, urine, and feces. They also host dangerous parasites such as fleas and ticks

Why do I have a wildlife problem?

Due to the merging of our habitats, wildlife can become a problem in almost any property at any time. Wildlife often forage for food inside our compost bins, trash cans, gardens, and lawns. Once foraging for food on your property, they will most likely create a nest in the yard, under an outbuilding, under your deck, or even inside your home or business.

Where will I find wildlife?

Opossums and raccoons prefer to live near rivers, streams, and other water sources. They nest in hollow trees, under large piles of brush, inside outbuildings like garages or barns under decks, or in the abandoned burrows of other animals. Once inside, opossums and raccoons usually choose an attic or chimney to nest.

Armadillos and skunks don't typically nest inside. Outdoors, armadillos live in open areas like golf courses, lawns, parks, and fields. They create burrows in thick shrubs, in rock piles, and around trees. Additionally, armadillos will tunnel and burrow under foundations and driveways. Skunks are most prevalent in fields, pastures, and open spaces next to wooded areas. They usually nest in hollow logs or the abandoned burrows of other animals. Skunks will often nest near your property under decks, sheds, or foundations.

How do I get rid of wildlife?

At Roberts Termite & Pest Control, we have been providing high-quality pest control here in Austin, TX for over 55 years. Our technicians use environmentally friendly products and advanced techniques to get rid of wildlife and other common pests. Through quality customer service and flexible scheduling, we work with you to meet your unique pest control needs. Learn more about our wildlife control services or schedule a free consultation by reaching out to Roberts Pest Control today!

How can I prevent wildlife in the future?

In addition to our professional wildlife control services, the following prevention tips will help you to prevent problems with wildlife in your home or business:

  • Fix leaky outdoor fixtures, maintain gutters and downspouts, and store containers that collect water upside down to reduce moisture.

  • Keep wild animals out of your home by repairing any loose window screens and installing chimney caps.

  • Trim tree branches away from the exterior of your property.

  • Keep tight-fitting lids on trashcans and compost bins.

  • Place a fence around gardens beds.

  • Pick up uneaten pet food between feedings.

  • Remove bird and animal feeders from your property.

  • Cut back overgrown vegetation, and place mesh wire fencing around the bottom of decks and sheds.

  • Fix holes, cracks or openings along the roofline, at roof intersections, and in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Make your yard less attractive to wild animals by removing fallen trees, rock piles, woodpiles, and other debris from your property that they can nest in.

 

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