Squirrels, Bats, And Raccoons! Oh No!

6:28 PM, Aug 14, 2011   |    comments
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You Might Be Surprised At What's Living In Your House...

As human habitat increases, wildlife habitat decreases, and man and animal come into contact with increasing regularity. While wildlife watching is a popular pastime, most would agree that the experience is best enjoyed in the wild, not inside one's house!

Joel Thomas is an SPCA Wildlife Biologist. "The definition of a nuisance problem, a nuisance animal, is any animal that by it's presence is causing damage or annoyance. So it's usually one of the two, or both!"

Some of the worst offenders in Western New York are cavity dwelling mammals such as squirrels, raccoons and bats. Finding a way in to a home is not too difficult for these opportunistic animals, they need very little room to sneak in.

Thomas tells 2 The Outdoors, "All it needs is room enough to get it's head in, and it's in. So if you're walking around the house, and you see a hole, and you say to yourself, that hole's not big enough for anything to get in, that's the first hole I want you to fix!"

Jack Juran is owner of Jack's Nuisance Wildlife Removal.  "It's amazing, some of the things I've seen. I've witnessed bats coming out from around a corner in vinyl siding, I've witnessed them coming out of a j-channel around a window, soffit panels. I've witnessed them squeeze in between the fascia and the soffit panels."

Once an animal gets in to a home, trying to remove them can be both frustrating and expensive. Methods of dealing with animal invaders vary widely, from trapping to poison, but these do not always get permanent results. Sometimes just some simple repairs around the property can go far to alleviate the problem.

Thomas says."We have a repair we won't do, or don't know about, we have a structure that can be exploited, we have a fence they can get through, over, under, or we're feeding animals outside. These are things that we do, and we cause the problem."

Juran continues. "Any kind of drip edges, like I said, soffits, soffit panels, flashing around chimneys, chimneys themselves."

Trapping is a popular method of removal, and can be done humanely, releasing the captive animal back into the wild. While it can be effective, it is frequently a short term solution.

"At the very least, most of the time, you'll never be able to remove enough animals, and the environment will keep giving you animals!" says Thomas, "If you have rabbits, you have good rabbit habitat! Let's talk about your rabbit habitat, and making it less attractive." These collisions between man and beast are not going away soon, and while there may be a lot of quick fixes to an animal nuisance problem, education is the key to solving anything permanently.

Thomas concludes, "We're living closer and closer to wildlife all the time, so it would behoove us to learn how they live their lives, and what it has to do with us, why they're there, and then we can really start fixing things."

Joel Thomas has written a book "Creature Comforts," which deals with nuisance wildlife and how to humanely solve the problem. It's available at Amazon.com, or you can order it directly at www.creaturecomfortsbook.com.

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