•Raccoons can be a major nuisance in and around your home and property•
Capable of tearing their way into your home or crawl space, raccoons commonly live in and around neighborhoods. Generally considered solitary, raccoons frequently engage in sex-specific social behavior and share living areas. Though usually nocturnal, raccoons will occasionally be active during the day depending on the availability of food.
Raccoons are omnivores meaning that they eat both animal and plant material. Their diet naturally consists of a variety of invertebrates (insects, worms, crayfish, etc.) and small vertebrates (mice, rats, birds, frogs, snakes, etc.) along with a wide assortment of plant material. However, in urban and suburban areas their diet will also include food products left in the trash, food left out for domesticated animals and more.
•Females typically give birth to 2-5 young, called “kits” between late winter and late spring•
She will leave her kits in their den while she forages for food returning to feed them her milk. Young raccoons will sometimes cry, a high pitched trilling sound that many people describe as similar to “birds chirping.” Once old enough to move around, the kits will begin to follow their mother from the den site to forage for food with her. Young raccoons typically stay with their mothers until the fall.
Not a particularly aggressive species, opossum are known for playing dead when threatened. Virginia Opossums are North America’s only native marsupial, meaning that female Opossums carry their young, call “joeys” in a pouch on their abdomen.
•Virginia Opossums are commonly found in and around homes and are remarkably adaptable•
The breeding season for opossums is long, starting as early as December and ending as late as October. As the joeys mature they will eventually outgrow their mothers pouch and climb onto her back; the young opossums only stay with their mothers for approximately 4 to 5 months. Virginia Opossums are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they will eat anything they can find and that looks edible, including, insects, mice, rats, snakes, pet food, garbage and rotten fruit.
•Squirrels commonly nest in the attics and walls of houses and other buildings•
There are two common squirrel species in the greater Houston Metropolitan Area, the Eastern Gray Squirrel and the Fox Squirrel. These squirrels are both crepuscular meaning they are most active early in the morning and later in the day. If they have begun nesting in your attic, you will typically only hear them scampering around shortly after dawn, before dusk and sporadically throughout the day; if you year scampering at night, you more likely have mice or rats.
•Squirrels will gnaw on everything once in an attic or wall, including elecrical wires and plumbing•
Squirrels are mostly herbivores, eating tree bark, buds, berries, seeds and a variety of nuts. Squirrels will store food for the winter in a cache. These caches can be located everywhere and squirrels create countless caches. Naturally, squirrels build nests known as a “drey” high in the trees. The tightly packed drey is made of dry leaves and twigs. Squirrels will share nests during the breeding season and also to keep warm; Squirrels will also build their nest in attics and the walls of homes.
•Rats can be some of the most destructive and damaging animals that can live in your home•
There are several different species of rats that live in the greater Houston Metropolitan Area, but the two most common to infest your home and property are the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat. These rats are both nocturnal (active at night) and prolific breeders. You will typically hear them scampering around shortly after sun down and sporadically throughout the night until dawn; if you year scampering during the day, it is more likely that you have squirrels.
The Roof Rat and Norway Rat are both non-native species and have spread across the planet along with human populations. Both species of rat are omnivores (eating both plants and animals) and will readily adapt to different food sources; however, the Roof Rat shows a preference for fruits and nuts, while the Norway Rat shows a preferences for cereals and grains.
•Rats reproduce at an extraordinary rate and can infest your home quickly•
The Roof Rat and Norway Rat are prodigious breeders and will reproduce year round; reproductive peaks are in early spring and late summer. Gestation for both species last approximately 21-23 days and litter sizes range from 7-14 young. The Norway Rat young reach sexual maturity at about 5 weeks of age, while Roof Rats take approximately 12 weeks to reach adulthood. A single Norway Rat female can easily have more than 100 young in a single year; a single Roof Rat female may produce as many as 80 young in a year.
Other Wildlife Problems We Solve: Flying Squirrels, Mice, Gophers, Moles, Armadillos, Skunks, Bats, Beaver, Nutria, Birds, and Snakes