Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Strategies for Coping with Pesky Yard Critters; You Can Live and Let Live, but If You Choose to Fight Back, Follow Some Rules

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Strategies for Coping with Pesky Yard Critters; You Can Live and Let Live, but If You Choose to Fight Back, Follow Some Rules

Article excerpt

Byline: BRANDY HILBOLDT ALLPORT

So, you are tired of raccoons and possums eating from the bird feeder and fed up with armadillos making a mess of your yard as they burrow for bugs. And those moles . . . curses!

The human vs. animal struggle seems like an endless cycle. What is the answer? Here's one approach: Vaccinate your pets. Instruct everyone to give the animals a wide berth, and call it a day.

"Wildlife is a part of our neighborhoods, and we should try to live with it," said David Flagler, division chief for Jacksonville Animal Care and Control.

Flagler's "let's all get along" approach does not mean folks have to let creatures take over. Raccoons and possums return to homes where they have easy access to garbage cans and other sources of food. He encourages people to use common sense to stymie the critters' annoying behavior. "We are the dominant species," he said.

His tips are:

-- Feed Pupster and Kitty inside.

-- Put bungee cords on trash receptacles.

-- Make your home hard to access. Place a screen on the chimney. Repair or cover holes in screens, windows and the foundations of buildings.

If you're in a deadlocked battle royal with four-legged foes, you can trap a raccoon or a possum. Be sure to get the correct kind of device. Leg-hold and quick-kill traps are illegal, according to a pamphlet published by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

If you do trap a raccoon or possum, Florida law states that it is illegal to transport the animals. If you catch one in a trap, call a pest control company that specializes in "animal extraction." Staffers at these businesses have the proper permits to transport the critters. It's best to leave the moving to the experienced experts. Remember that raccoons and possums can carry rabies. In rare instances, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission can grant a permit to transport pesky animals. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.