Many of NORTH TEXAS wild animals have learned to adapt and even thrive in our homes. For example some wildlife have found that attics make great places to live. Other animals find refuge under homes or porches. Invariably, these animals cause damage. Rodents, like squirrels and rats, love to chew on electrical wires once in an attic, and this causes a serious fire hazard. Raccoons can cause serious contamination in an attic with their droppings and parasites
Raccoons are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of living in human dwellings. The most common complaints include the following:
For these reasons, many people wish to have this nuisance animal trapped and removed.
Squirrel Info: Squirrels are members of the rodent family. The most frequently dealt with nuisance squirrel is the Eastern Gray Squirrel. They measure around 16-18 inches from nose to tail and weigh approximately one pound. Gray squirrels are active year-round and arboreal, meaning that they live primarily in trees. They feed on a great variety of foods, such as nuts, seeds, fungi, fruits, and of course the seed in your bird feeder. They store nuts and acorns in holes in the ground. Gray squirrels breed throughout the year, but there are two distinct peaks, in the winter and summer. After about six weeks, two to four young are born, and raised in a nest for about three months.
Skunks are easy to recognize with their bold black and white coloring. While most animals prefer camouflage, a skunk's distinctive coloration serves as a warning of its potent attack. Using special glands below the tail, skunks can spray their powerful scent up to 15 feet. This scent burns an attacker's eyes, and causes temporary blindness. Of course, the stench is too much for most animals to bear, and serves as a strong warning against future attacks. Adult skunks grow to about 22-30 inches and 8-12 pounds.
Opossums are a common nuisance species because they are opportunistic, and will take advantage of human homes, sheds, decks, etc in order to live and steal food. They are marsupials, and the young grow in a pouch in spring. I commonly find them in the attics of homes, and they are also a common dead animal extraction target. They are interesting: they have the most teeth of any mammal (50), a prehensile tail, opposable thumbs, the male has a bifurcated penis, they can eat almost anything, and they have incredible immune systems
These are common nuisance species in the southern states, where they cause problems with their tendency to burrow large holes into the ground. They also dig up yards and landscaping as they search for worms and grubs. They are a unique animal - they can carry leprosy, they always give birth to four identical quadruplets, and they of course have a hard, bony shell. They tend to grow to adult size of about 12 pounds in the first year, then live for a long time.
The two common rats species in North America are the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat. Roof Rats are smaller, with adults usually weighing 6-10 oz. with a body of 8 inches and a tail of 8 inches. Roof Rats tend to live in warmer areas and inhabit areas above ground, such as in trees. The Norway Rats weigh from 10-16 oz, with a 9 inch body and a shorter tail. Norways live in cooler climates and live at ground level. Neither specie lives very long, rarely more than a year in the wild. They can breed year-round, and produce litters of up to ten young up to five times per year. Both will eat a wide variety of foods, and are considered pests for many reasons, such as their tendency to spread disease.
North America is home to many snake species, about 130. Most are harmless. There's 20 venomous species of snake, most of them rattlesnakes. The exceptions are the aquatic snakes, such as the Copperhead and the Cottonmouth, and the Coral Snakes (the red-yellow-black ones). If you are unsure of the specie of snake, just leave it alone! In fact, leave all snakes alone. They get a bad rap. If one gets in your house or pool or something, a wildlife specialist can come and remove it, but otherwise, it's probably not bad to have around.
The three most common nuisance (colonizing) species in the US are the Little Brown Bat, the Big Brown Bat, and the Mexican Free-Tail Bat. The former two are common in the more northern states, and the free-tail in the southern states. These bats usually cause a problem when they establish large maternity colonies inside buildings. There, they leave behind their droppings, often in great bulk.