Birds are a beautiful part of our natural environment.
But sometimes, these beautiful creatures can become pests damaging homes and property with their droppings. Also, they can potentially spread disease and noise with their unwanted cries.
Typically, only some bird species are considered pests. But three of the world’s common pests are pigeons, house sparrows, and the European Starling.
They are also considered pests because they come from countries other than North America and have no natural predators in the United States.
Their growing population can adversely affect human health and safety if left unchecked. For example, they can transmit diseases such as toxoplasmosis, encephalitis, and Salmonella.
Moreover, if their droppings are left unattended, they can damage
buildings and vehicles, resulting in costly repairs. Also, if you breathe their droppings, you may contract diseases like histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis.
Bat removal is at an all-time high due to construction and development. Bats may be small creatures but can create a giant mess inside and outside your home.
Chipmunks are the smallest member of the squirrel family. They are omnivores and feed on seeds, nuts, insects, fruits, and bird eggs,
The adult rodent measures four to seven inches, with a tail three to five inches long. They weigh between 1 to 6 ounces.
They dwell in burrows, holes, and abandoned heaps. These small mammals use their claws to dig tunnels and hide in nooks and crevices.
They store food in their cheek pouches to collect more food. Consequently, they spend less time searching for food and are less vulnerable to predators.
They use a variety of chirps and different sounds for communication, and other sounds have different meanings. For example, the sounds of a warning against predators and a call for mating differ.
They are solitary creatures and spend time with each other only during breeding. They’re shy rodents who often wish to stay out of sight and typically live for two to three years.
These critters are a popular food source for a lot of different animals. Hence, they have a long list of potential predators. Some examples include snakes, raccoons, rats, weasels, coyotes, and owls.
This critter can become a pest and need regular removal. Pest control professionals can set up a trap to catch these animals residing in a hole in the basement, attic, or roof.
The presence of chipmunk poop in any area is a reliable indicator of this pest occupying the space. They are potential carriers of ticks and fleas and can spread diseases like rabies, leptospirosis, etc.
It is an industrious and stocky mammal with relatively short legs and elongated claws on its front feet. Males and females are similar in appearance, although men are slightly bigger.
Open woodlands, forest edges, farm pastures, grassland, pastures, fields, suburban lawns, gardens, and grassy rights of way and utility corridors provide habitat for this mammal. They are adept at thriving in human-dominated landscapes.
While they breed typically in their second year, a small percentage may regenerate in the first year. The breeding season starts when it emerges from hibernation in early March.
Groundhogs use their acute vision, keen hearing, and sense of smell to distinguish danger and escape for their safety. Their sensitivity heightens their sense of direction and navigation from a gland in their jaw.
When afraid, they emit a shrill whistle, followed by a chattering, chuck sound. They can become fierce opponents when confronted by predators such as dogs, coyotes, and foxes.
They are excellent diggers and dig both simple and complex burrow systems. Most burrow systems are 25 to 30 feet deep and 2-5 feet.
Groundhogs can cause the following four types of damage:
A highly effective method of controlling this critter is building an extensive fence of at least 3 feet.
The muskrat is found all over the United States except in the more arid regions and is common in New England and throughout Connecticut.
Their resemblance to a rat and their musk gland’s scent gave rise to their name.
They have a scaled, rat-like tail, nearly hairless, and slightly flattened on the sides. Muskrats are much smaller than beavers, measuring 18-25 in.
They commonly inhabit wetlands with abundant aquatic flora, including swamps, coastal and freshwater marshes, lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams.
They feed on aquatic plants, including cattails, sedges, water lilies, arrowheads, and duckweeds. Occasionally, they’ll eat crayfish, snails, mussels, frogs, insects, and slow-moving fish.
This critter has well-known high birth rates, having the capacity to produce up to three litters yearly, each one with 6 to 7 young. They are polygamous, and breeding occurs near the end of March through the end of July.
They are usually active year-round, and although nocturnal, they may also be active during the daytime.
They’re susceptible to cold and wind and spend more time in their dens during winter. They are highly territorial and combative toward each other, although several may share a den during winter. They usually live about one year in the wild.
Muskrats are easy prey to raccoons, foxes, minks, eagles, and owls. Humans hunt them for fur, meat, and sports, and they often hide underwater or in their lodges to protect themselves from predators.
Muskrats are a nuisance since they cause damage to gardens or crops by feeding within them or burrowing into the ground above them.
Armadillos are common in grasslands, forests, wetlands, and semi-desert areas of America. These regions provide plenty of sandy or loose soil environments where they can dig and excavate.
Their ability to adapt to wildly different habitats affords them a high degree of biological adaptability.
These tiny herbivores (their bodies are barely more significant than a tennis ball) have pointed snouts, short legs, a long tail, sharp claws, and big ears. Their most exciting feature, the scaly outer shell, provides a shield resembling armor holding most of the head, body, and legs.
Its diet consists of arthropods, ants, insects, termites, fruits, and plants. They can also consume nesting birds and their eggs occasionally.
They are competent hunters using their sharp claws to dig large tunnels in the ground. These tunnels serve as homes, are comfortable, and protect the critters from predators.
The animal’s social habits are pretty flexible, depending on the situation. Most of the time, this pest thrives in solitary and is mainly a nocturnal animal.
They can spend up to 16 hours per day asleep, usually in burrows. They rarely share their burrow with others; however, they can share them with snakes, tortoises, and rats.
They are vulnerable to attacks by predators, including jaguars, coyotes, bobcats, wolves, bears, large hawks, and other birds of prey. The shaggy fur covering is crucial to their defense. If it fails, it attacks with its claws or tries to play lifeless.
Some species reproduce year-round, while others reproduce only at certain times of the year. Male armadillos rely on their superior sense of smell to locate a female for mating.
This animal has a lean, wolf-like appearance with small, floppy ears, a large, pointed head, and yellow eyes. It has a thick, luxurious coat, shorter under hair, and longer outer hair.
They usually measure 37 inches long from the head to the tail and 16 inches along the body and weigh between 50 to 75 pounds.
They are omnivorous, with a diet consisting of rabbits, squirrels, mice, and occasionally larger mammals such as deer. They can also eat birds, snakes, insects, and sometimes crops and vegetables.
These animals partake in the essential ecological function of keeping countless animals in check.
To communicate, it uses different vocalizations, motions, and scents. It is considered one of North America’s most vocal mammals. These vocalizations help the animal to signal alarm, welcome, or refer to its presence to the rest of the pack.
These critters are highly creative and clever. Unlike dogs, they probably do not possess the capacity to follow human instructions. They are nocturnal hunters that sleep during the day and emerge at night, most active in the late evening and early morning.
The American coyote’s breeding season typically runs through January and March. Both genders pair with each other for a year or more, though not always for their life.
They reach full sexual maturity and trained size in just one year. The average coyote can live for ten years in the wild and 18 or 20 years in captivity.
Beavers are gigantic living rodents in North America. The adult weighs approximately 40 pounds, including the tail, and measures more than 3 feet in length. They have webbed hind feet, sharp teeth, and a broad, relatively flat tail that can be 15 inches long and 6 inches wide.
These rodents are also active on the water, swimming and diving for hours daily. They are primarily known for constructing dams for defense against predators.
Their long tail has both land and waterside usage. In water, when threatened by an attacker, it makes a loud noise with its tail. This noise warns members of its colony that danger is near and may serve to deter predators.
When on land, the tail acts as a prop for this critter when sitting or standing upright. And as a balance and support, it walks on its hind legs and carries building materials with its mouth, front legs, and paws.
Bears, bobcats, coyotes, cougars, dogs, and wolves kill them while foraging on land or migrating across the water.
Also, the harsh winter weather conditions, starvation, rising water levels, and falling trees can kill them. However, the giant predator remains humans that trap this pest for their furs.
These critters are nocturnal but are sometimes active during the day. They do not appear to sleep, but they are sluggish in winter, spending most of their time in the lodge or den.
A mated pair of beavers can live peacefully together for many years, sometimes for life.
Flying squirrels are common rodents in most parts of the country, but as they are nocturnal, they are rarely seen.
Northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) and Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) are the only two natives of America. Both are gray-brown, but the northern species has gray belly fur at the base, while the southern one’s belly fur is all white.
Their sizes are also different. The southern squirrels are smaller, measuring 8 to 10 inches in length, while the Northern species measure 10 to 12 inches long. They are nocturnal, and people rarely see them.
They are appropriately called gliding squirrels because they are incapable of the true-powered flight of a bird. These little rodents are great at escaping predators due to their gliding abilities.
However, hawks, snakes, owls, and some climbing mammals efficiently manage to catch them.
They have a patagium membrane between their front and rear legs, allowing them to fly between trees. The slight leg movement controls the direction, while the tail serves as a brake to end its journey. This rodent can cover more than 150 feet in one glide.
They can eat various foods, including nuts, fungi, seeds, insects, and fruits. These agile animals are considered among the most carnivorous squirrels because they typically augment their diets with birds, eggs, carrion, etc.
The northern species mates once yearly, but the southern flying one mate twice.
This critter may live up to 10 years in natural surroundings, but its life span reduces to almost half in captivity.
Roof rats, also called ship rats or black rats, are found worldwide. They measure 6 to 20 inches (16 to 50 cm).
When combining their head and body length, their tails are considerably longer than the head and body, measuring 7 to 10 inches (19 to 25 cm).
They typically weigh 5 to 9 ounces (150 to 250 g), but the weight can increase to 12 ounces (340 g).
Roof rats inhabit the top levels of homes, attics, and rafters and are common in heaps of debris or wood bundles. Since they prefer covered areas, fruit trees, dense vegetation, and shrubbery are prone to damage by them.
They damage materials by gnawing through them and contaminating stored food, causing food poisoning. They potentially serve as vectors of various diseases, such as typhus, rickettsia, rat-bite fever, trichinosis, and salmonellosis.
Roof rats are and hunt in groups of up to ten. They return to the same food source, following the same route between their nest and meal.
They typically dart around like cats when they feel threatened but are active when looking for food or shelter. Roof rats behave aggressively only when threatened, just like other animals. And as a self-defense mechanism, they bite or chase.
The common signs of roof rat infestation are droppings scattered around the property, tarnished electrical wires, and noise. You can prevent these rodents from invading your property by sealing the cracks and holes.
Also, remember to trim the shrubs and trees, keep the food hidden, and your garbage tightly covered. But if the infestation is severe, it’s crucial to call professional pest control; they’ll inspect your property and can suggest appropriate treatment.
The Norway rat belongs to a diverse contrasting group of brown rats. Despite their name, this species is native to northern China. They were initially commonly found in forests but became domesticated as companion species with humans.
Brown rats (Rodents) are the most significant members of their rodent family. They reach an average length of 16.4 inches (40 cm), with a tail that is a little shorter than their entire body.
They generally weigh 0.5 to just under 1 pound (200 to 500 grams), and males are usually larger than females.
Their medium-length, dense fur covers their bodies, except for the nose, ears, and tail, which are entirely bald. Their natural colors range from gray to brown, often with lighter hues on the underside.
They use different means of communication, like vocalizing and visual signals.
Brown rats are hunters and can eat a wide range of foods, and this characteristic has helped it spread worldwide. One study on the rat’s bowel content found over 4,000 items in their stomach.
They are polygynous, meaning females and males usually have more than one mate. Females become sexually mature at roughly four months and males at three months.
Breeding is not seasonal, though it’s more common in warmer months. Litters average eight pups, and it generally takes two weeks for offspring to open their eyes, and they nurse for three or four weeks.
Brown rats are nocturnal and are primarily active at dusk and during the night. They live up to four years in human care but only for about lifespans are around two years in wild habitats.