Control Wildlife Damage Around the Home with Common-Sense Control Methods

Control Wildlife Damage - Bats in the attic

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Control Wildlife Damage?

What? Why? Huh?

Whether you are a home gardener, enjoy landscaping around your home, or just own your own home, there are times when certain species of wildlife can become a nuisance and cause damage to plants, and even greater economic losses. Wildlife damage can occur throughout the year, but the fall and winter months are times when food supplies and cover may become more limited for many wildlife species, causing them to find your home or landscape an attractive place to call home. Solving wildlife damage problems may seem out of your control.  But most often, you have more control over the problem than you think. It might not be easy, but if you think through the problem and put forth some effort, you can often cut your losses and maybe even eliminate them. You can control wildlife damage around your home by using easy common-sense control methods.  If you have concerns or questions about wildlife, you can ask Stellar Inspectors  about them during your next scheduled inspection. InterNACHI members, like Stellar Inspectors, are the best-trained inspectors in the industry.

Many different species of wildlife can become a nuisance and cause problems, under certain conditions. Raccoons, skunks, snakes, and rodents, such as moles, house mice, bats and tree squirrels can often cause problems. In addition, whitetail deer populations have increased in many urban environments to the point where they are becoming a nuisance by grazing on landscape plantings. Other problem wildlife can include starlings, pigeons, sparrows, or the woodpecker damaging the wood siding on your home, just to name a few.

For more information check out the species fact sheets at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Control Wildlife Damage!

Think Through the Problem

People experiencing a problem caused by critters usually want an easy, quick solution and often ask, “Is there something I can spray to get rid of this pest?” It is never quite that easy. Preventing and controlling wildlife damage requires a thought process, and often includes using integrated pest-management techniques. A successful wildlife damage program often makes use of a combination of control options, and usually begins with an accurate assessment of the damage and identification of the desired outcome. Wildlife damage management is the opposite of managing property to attract wildlife. To manage for wildlife, you must make sure that animals have sufficient food, water, and cover throughout the year. If you have unwanted animals around your home, it is a sure bet that there is food, water and cover in the area. The solution is to remove at least one of these elements.  And if you can remove two, that’s even better.

Try this sequence in thinking through controlling a wildlife damage problem:

  • Identify the wildlife species causing the problem. This is the most important step. Correctly identifying the species of wildlife causing damage may seem simple, but it can be challenging, under certain circumstances. Learn about the life history and habitat requirements for the wildlife species that may be a potential problem in your area.
  • Are there cultural techniques which you could use to modify the habitat and reduce the chances of having a wildlife damage problem? For instance, there may be certain plants which could be used in your home landscape that might not be an attractive food source for deer. Would more frequent mowing or herbicide use reduce the amount of weedy cover needed for a buildup of rodent populations?
  • Is there some way you can keep the animal causing damage from getting into the site?
  • If you can’t build them out, can you repel them from the area?  Sometimes, you can use chemical, home-made, visual or sound repellents to solve and control a problem.
  • If you can’t put up an effective barrier or repel the animals from the problem site, the last step may involve removing from the area the animals that are causing the damage. It may be necessary to trap, shoot, use gas cartridges in dens, or use poison baits to control a wildlife damage problem. Of course, when considering these alternatives for controlling most wildlife species, you should check with a wildlife conservation agent or local animal control agent to get approval. Often, these persons will also provide some assistance.
  • Remember that no entire species of wild animal is a nuisance or pest all the time. The trick is to deal only with the animal(s) causing damage, not try to eradicate the entire population.
  • A final consideration: Is it worth the effort? It takes quite a bit of time and money to solve and control a wildlife damage problem. Can you tolerate some damage or losses caused by wildlife? Remember that the aesthetic benefits derived from viewing wildlife, and the importance of managing habitats for those wildlife species you wish to attract to your property. Ask yourself if the economic loss is greater than the control cost. If it is, then it is worthwhile to develop and implement a wildlife damage control program.

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At Stellar Inspectors PLLC, our job isn’t complete until you feel comfortable and all of your questions and concerns are answered.