What are wildlife?
Wildlife are animals that are not domesticated. Unlike our dogs, cats, and guinea pigs, wild animals are perfectly capable of living independently without people feeding them or providing them with shelter. However, many different wild animals now live close to people as our habitats have merged. Being near people has allowed some wild animals to discover that our properties provide them with a lot of their essential needs, and they adapted to living in our yards and sometimes our homes.
Some of the more common types of wildlife we regularly see on our New Jersey properties include squirrels, groundhogs, and raccoons:
- Squirrels are rodents and have long bushy tails and ears that sit up off their heads. Squirrels come in a variety of colors like gray, red, tan, or brown.
- Groundhogs are members of the squirrel family. These animals have compact, chunky bodies covered in brownish-gray fur with a short tail and front feet with long, curved claws for digging burrows.
- Raccoons are best known for the dark black “mask” of fur that covers their eyes. The raccoon has a stocky body covered in dense, salt and pepper-colored fur, and the tail has rings of gray and black fur.
Are wildlife dangerous?
While wild animals are cute to look at from a distance when they decided to invade our yards and homes, they can be destructive to our property and create health concerns.
In their excrement, urine, and saliva, wild animals carry and transmit different bacteria and human pathogens that can make us ill. In New Jersey, raccoons are known carriers of rabies. Living in their fur are parasites like fleas and ticks, which also spread serious diseases, including Lyme disease.
Wildlife can be very damaging to your property. They don’t understand that you have spent the last three weekends carefully building your garden, they just see dinner! Wild animals will dig through and tear up gardens, lawns, trash cans, and bird feeders.
Raccoons and squirrels often find their way into our homes to nest. To make it easier to enter and leave your house, they often make their own entrances and exits, damaging siding, windows, vents, and roof shingles in the process.
Why do I have a wildlife problem?
Wild animals can be a problem anywhere there is a suitable habitat and food nearby. Raccoons, groundhogs, and squirrels are most problematic in suburban or rural areas where there are lots of trees, wooded areas, or fields near homes and businesses. The closer your property is to a wild animal’s natural habitat, the more likely they will find their way onto your property.
This is not to say if you live in the city, you won’t have problems with wild animals. Raccoons and squirrels living in urban areas taking advantage of the plentiful food and shelter that is available.
Where will I find wildlife?
Groundhogs burrow in fields and pastures, along fences, in roadside ditches, and near building foundations or the base of trees. They tend to leave mounds of soil around the dig site. Groundhogs go through a true hibernation from late October through February. During the other months of the year, it is common to see these herbivores feeding on vegetation in our yards.
Tree squirrels are very common in New Jersey and prefer to live in wooded areas, yards, parks, or anywhere else with trees for them to climb and nest in. Squirrels regularly find their way into our homes, garages, and sheds to nest and escape harsh weather. Chimneys, wall voids, boxes, and sometimes under the hoods of cars and lawnmowers provide squirrels with indoor nesting spots.
Raccoons make their dens in the ground, under decks or sheds, woodpiles, and hollow trees. Raccoons that have moved into a home or other structure create their nesting spots in chimneys, attics, and crawl spaces.
How do I get rid of wildlife?
Wild animals are difficult to keep off of our properties. They have learned that we can provide them with their basic needs and want to live close to us. The best way to protect your yard and home from wildlife is to partner with a professional.
At Alliance Pest Services, we can provide the fast action and effective solutions necessary to remove wild animals quickly and efficiently. We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution to wildlife problems, and we want to work with you to find the perfect solution for your property! If you live in Monmouth County, NJ, and would like to learn more about our wildlife control solutions, give us a call today!
How can I prevent wildlife in the future?
- Place wire mesh or another material around decks, sheds, porches, and other structures to prevent animals from burrowing underneath.
- Trim back tree branches from the exterior of your structure.
- Pick up uneaten pet food and remove bird feeders from your property.
- Make sure outdoor garbage cans and compost bins have locking lids.
- Store trash containers and compost bins a distance away from your structure.
- Remove woodpiles, rock piles, brush piles, and other harborage sites from your property.
- Keep shrubbery and other landscaping well-maintained. Overgrow vegetation provides hiding spots for wild animals.
- Fix holes along the roofline, at roof intersections, and any other large opening that leads into your home or business.
- Repair any torn or loose window screens.
- Install chimney caps and place covers over vents leading into your structure.