Problems With Wildlife In Your Backyard

Regardless of what part of the country you live in, odds are from time to time, wildlife will venture into your backyard. All kinds of wild creatures crawl under, through, or over fences. Lizards, tree frogs, toads, and mice are common. You may even happen upon one of their more unsettling predators, such as a snake.


While confronting a large snake in your backyard may be alarming, their presence is rare. However, critters like raccoons, skunks, possums (or opossums), groundhogs, and squirrels will stick around if the living and eating are good.


Often, these animals pose no real threat.  Some, like skunks and possums, can be beneficial in eating other harmful rodents and insects. However, after making a home, they can become pests wreaking havoc on your property and posing health risks to you, your family, and your pets. 


Squirrels and groundhogs are active during the day.  Raccoons, skunks, and possums normally roam at night and will trespass foraging for food. Raccoons can be menacing deviants, knocking over trash cans, invading open garages, and absconding with pet food. Skunks often alert you to their presence with their distinct odor.  Groundhogs eat fruit from fruit trees and ornamental plants.  Both skunks and groundhogs dig holes for burrowing. 


Oddly, it is the possum that can be the least harmful to your garden. It will eat grubs, mice, snakes, rats, and other garden insect pests without causing destruction. They rarely carry disease and are non-aggressive unless cornered. 


Backyard vigilance is important in preventing some of these pesky rodents from damaging your yard. Raccoons and skunks will tear up gardens and sod, searching for grubs. They can even damage foundations and structures. These animals make their homes under decks and in sheds; and can spread fleas and carry parasites, like roundworms, and diseases, such as rabies and leptospirosis. 


Squirrels, mice, possums, and raccoons have broken into attics. Once there, they multiply by spawning young. Raccoons, mice, and squirrels chew electrical wiring and wood and rip up ducts. All leave excrement, potentially containing parasites. 


Skunks can cause health risks to curious canines if sprayed in the face. Their spray can burn a dog’s snout, cause temporary blindness, and in rare occurrences, cause anemia.


You should keep areas clean of potential food sources, check hidden places regularly, and read up on animals native to your area. The best thing you can do once one of these intruders causes problems is to contact a wildlife removal service trained in removing these animals safely.