We’re so lucky that our ecosystem is full of animals who work behind the scenes to keep our homes, lawns, and gardens free of pests! One single owl, for example, can kill twelve mice per night, while a skunk will spend weeks digging up every rat’s nest in a neighborhood. Coyotes are probably the bestContinue reading “Don’t Exterminate Your Exterminators”
Tag Archives: rodents
Beaver or Groundhog?
Beavers and groundhogs get mixed up often! It’s led to a few funny interactions. Once, we showed up to save a “beaver with something wrong with its tail,” only to find that the only thing wrong with her was that she was a groundhog— not meant to have a flat tail! Another time, a callerContinue reading “Beaver or Groundhog?”
Trees Don’t Litter
If you’d ever seen how quickly our raccoon patients can devour twenty pounds of acorns or forage through six inches of fallen leaves for bugs, you’d understand exactly why there’s no need to “clean up” the gifts trees leave us in autumn! Many native animals in our area cannot survive winter without the bounty ofContinue reading “Trees Don’t Litter”
Keep Owlets Safe: Don’t Use Rodent Poison
Baby owls, called owlets, just might be the cutest and strangest-looking creatures on Earth. They look like Mother Nature collected a year’s worth of dryer lint and then got creative with googly eyes and acrylic, possibly after having a couple of drinks. As much as we humans love owlets, no one loves them as muchContinue reading “Keep Owlets Safe: Don’t Use Rodent Poison”
Rat Poison Causes Mange in Bobcats
Rodents aren’t the only ones who suffer from rodent poisoning! Predators like owls, foxes, hawks—and even pet cats and dogs— can become poisoned when they eat animals that are sick or dead from poison. For bobcats, secondary poisoning can have a strange effect. A bobcat who eats poisoned rats and mice will suffer from constantContinue reading “Rat Poison Causes Mange in Bobcats”
Chipmunks are Harmless: Don’t Hurt Them!
Pest control companies seeking your business may be quick to exaggerate— or even totally fabricate— the damage that chipmunks can cause. Please don’t be in a rush to harm these little guys! Eastern chipmunk burrows have tiny entrances only about the size of a quarter, so unless your lawn is so neat and tidy thatContinue reading “Chipmunks are Harmless: Don’t Hurt Them!”
Do Opossums Spread Typhus?
The Virginia opossum’s rat-like appearance and association with filth leads many people to associate it with disease. In the last few years, many people have been alarmed by headlines about opossums spreading murine typhus in Los Angeles, and it has reignited fears about this gentle marsupial. No mammal actually spreads murine typhus. Typhus is causedContinue reading “Do Opossums Spread Typhus?”
Hawks are Exterminators: Don’t Poison Their Food!
Native hawks are part of nature’s most powerful pest control crew! A single red-tail hawk can eat dozens of rats, mice, and other potential pests in a single week. This benefits humans by reducing the spread of disease and keeping crops and homes safe from damage. Like most predators, hawks will often target prey thatContinue reading “Hawks are Exterminators: Don’t Poison Their Food!”
Can Barn Foxes Replace Barn Cats?
As strange as it may sound, “barn foxes” might be the solution of the future to rodent control in sustainable agriculture. It’s no secret that outdoor-roaming cats wreak havoc on native wildlife in the United States. In fact, multiple studies have demonstrated that outdoor cats present the single greatest threat to wildlife in North America,Continue reading “Can Barn Foxes Replace Barn Cats?”
Why Do Fox Squirrels and Grey Foxes Have the Same Markings?
These two native species, the Eastern grey fox and the Eastern fox squirrel, have nearly identical markings. Both developed these patterns to adapt to the same environmental pressures. The light or white markings on their undersides, called countershading, help both animals camouflage when seen from the side, while he pattern of grey and red helpsContinue reading “Why Do Fox Squirrels and Grey Foxes Have the Same Markings?”