What is wildlife?
Technically, wildlife is any animal that lives in the wild. Of course, wildlife has a narrower definition in the pest control world than that. Animals that fall into the category of "pest wildlife" typically are larger wild mammals like raccoons, skunks, and more. Bats also fall into this category, though most bats are small mammals.
Raccoons are a member of the Procyon genus, a family of nocturnal mammals with bushy, ringed tails. You'll recognize raccoons by their distinct burglar's mask. Raccoons have solid gray bodies with black rings around their tails and black markings around their eyes.
Skunks are part of the family Mephitidae. These mammals are typically black, with large white stripes running the length of their backs. If you don't recognize them by their looks, you'll recognize them by their stench. Skunks spray a horridly foul liquid from their anal glands to defend themselves from threats.
Bats are the world's only flying mammals. They're part of the order Chiroptera, and their forelimbs have evolved into wings, so many bat species look similar to furry, flying mice. Though a few go for fruits, most bat species eat insects, and a small minority of bats even eat blood!
Are wildlife dangerous?
Yes, wildlife can be dangerous. Most pest wildlife in Ogden species like raccoons, skunks, and bats spread rabies through their saliva. Rabies has a 100% death rate once you start experiencing symptoms, so if you're bitten by pest wildlife, you're almost certainly going to need rabies shots, which are often painful and expensive.
Wildlife can also do extensive property damage and threaten your health in other ways. For example, bat guano is full of spores that can spread dangerous infections as well as corrode your home's roofing and structural materials. That means an attic full of bats can reduce your indoor air quality and lead to structural damage at the same time.
Skunk spray is another issue you have to worry about with wildlife infestations. While skunk spray doesn't often cause severe health issues, it can make you and your pets stink to high heaven for a long time.
Why do I have wildlife problems?
Wildlife is often attracted to your home because resources, shelter, or both are readily available. For instance, if you leave outdoor garbage cans sitting around uncovered, skunks and raccoons will take that as an invitation to use your trash as a buffet. Pet food will also attract skunks and raccoons if you leave them sitting out, and they may use pools and birdbaths for water. If you have a flying insect infestation like moths or mosquitoes, these will attract bats – as will easy access to your attic or garage spaces.
Where will I find wildlife?
You might find wildlife pests in many possible spots depending on the species. Raccoons and skunks might take up residence inside crawl spaces with easy access, garages, and workshops that don't see a lot of use, or even a disused doghouse!
Bats like to roost during the day in places that are easy to fly in and out of – like an attic with a sufficiently large, uncovered vent or an uncapped chimney.
How do I get rid of wildlife?
You should never try to get rid of wildlife pests on your own. Wild animals can be aggressive when it comes to self-defense, and you can wind up with bites that require rabies shots or leave you with other infections. It's better to call people who know what they're doing to remove wildlife on your Ogden property – like the experts here at Mountain West Pest Control. Reach out to us today to learn more about our wildlife control solutions in Ogden.
How do I prevent wildlife in the future?
Wildlife prevention doesn't have to be a hassle. In fact, many of the things you're already doing to protect yourself from other pests can work for wildlife:
- Cover holes and other damaged areas that bats or other animals could use to enter your home.
- Keep outdoor trash cans covered with tight lids at all times.
- Never leave pet foods sitting out. Feed pets and put bowls away.
- Get rid of potential water sources if you can. These can include birdbaths, kiddie pools, and the like.
- Fence vegetable gardens or fruit trees.