Wildlife

Common types of wildlife

There are a variety of wildlife in Florida.  Some stay where they’re supposed to and others infest residential and commercial properties in order to find food, water, and shelter.  Common wildlife problems include raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks, snakes, and bats.  Continue reading to learn more about these animals and the problems they cause.

group of three raccoons looking for scraps

Raccoons

Masked looking bandits, raccoons are nocturnal critters that are similar in size to medium to large house cats.  They have a black “mask” of fur that surrounds their eyes, salt and pepper colored fur, and fluffy black and gray ringed tails. Raccoons also have a hunched posture because their hind legs are longer than their front ones. 

Opossum walking through a residential yard

Opossums

Also growing to about the same size as an average house cat, opossums have long pointed faces and ears that are void of hair. Opossums have a thick undercoat of fur that is peppered with long guard hairs and they are whitish-gray in color, and long, hairless tails that they use to hang upside down from trees with. Opossums are marsupial (meaning they carry their young in a pouch) and the only ones found in North America.

armadillo resting on a picnic table in florida

Armadillos

The nine-banded armadillo is the only species of armadillo to be found living in the United States.  They are very unique looking medium-sized animals. They have football-shaped bodies that are covered in thick skin, bony, scaled shells, and coarse, yellowish-white hairs. Their bodies are brown to gray in color, their noses are pointed and despite their less than agile appearance, they are actually excellent swimmers and runners.

skunk in the yard of a manatee county resident

Skunks

Setting appearance aside for a moment, skunks are easily identified by the potent smelling liquid that they spray to defend themselves. Skunks grow to be about the size of a typical housecat, the fur on their bodies is black in color and they have a distinctive white strip which starts at their head, then divides into two stripes.  The stripes travel down the length of their bodies where they meet fluffy tails.

rattle snake sunning its self in the florida sun

Snakes

Snakes are a type of reptile, they have long, thin bodies, they lack legs and their bodies are covered in scales. Snakes vary in color and color pattern depending on the exact species. Snakes are usually referred to as being non-venomous or venomous.  In Florida, we have both types of snakes. 

bat flying in the yard of a florida suburb

Bats

Flying mammals, bats are similar in appearance but do vary by species.  They have bodies that are covered in fur and wings that are covered in leathery skin.  Bats usually have small, rounded ears but some may have more pointed ones. 

Do wildlife bite?

Wildlife can and do bite.  Though it is not typical for them to seek out people to bite, they will become aggressive and/or attack if they are cornered, threatened, or sick.

Are wildlife dangerous?

Wildlife should be considered a threat to health and safety as well as to property. 

Though they’d rather avoid people, encounters may occur and could result in bites or scratches.  Unfortunately, wildlife have the potential to carry and transmit serious diseases including rabies. 

It’s not uncommon for wild animals to lurk around homes and businesses.  In fact, we often receive complaints of wild animals burrowing under foundations, infesting homes and businesses, chewing on wires and contaminating areas and possessions with their droppings and urine. 

Why do I have a wildlife problem?

Food, water, and shelter are common reasons for a wildlife infestation.  Open trash cans, compost piles, produce from gardens and unripened fruit from trees will attract wildlife.  Pet food left outside and bird feeders may also lure these pests in. 

Holes in your roof or elsewhere on the exterior of your home or business may provide easy access to wildlife looking for shelter and/or a place to raise their young.  Bats can slip through small gaps and raccoons are notorious for entering through holes. 

How do I get rid of wildlife?

If you’ve heard noises coming from the ceiling or have spotted wildlife in or around your structure, contact Keller’s Pest Control.  Our team of wildlife control experts specialize in the humane trapping and removal of wildlife.  We always relocate critters to sanctuary settings so that they can continue living- just not in your home or business.  Visit our wildlife control page or contact us by phone at (941) 845-6285 or online.

Helpful Wildlife Articles

Problems Wildlife Invaders Cause In Florida Homes

 

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