Our Blog Provides Information About Rodents and Wildlife Removal. Call Us For An Estimate.

raccoon (4)

While we should all feel blessed to be surrounded by raccoons, dogs and bats that make our fauna diversity more interesting and exciting, these animals can also be a potential source of rabies, a completely preventable disease that can turn 100 percent fatal when not treated immediately.

Compared with third world countries, nations like the United States fare better when it comes to fighting rabies. That doesn't mean, however, it no longer exists. Early this year, some bats found in Irvine Regional Park in California tested positive for the rabies virus.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that can be passed on between animals and between animals and humans through saliva. In very rare cases, rabies is spread through corneal transplant.

This means that humans can acquire the virus if they have been bitten or their open wounds or cracked skin is licked by a rabid animal. Humans can also develop rabies if they've been scratched by claws covered with saliva. It cannot be transmitted through other means like urine or blood, or by petting a rabid animal.

Once the rabies gets into the body, it attaches itself to the nerve cells, gradually destroying the nervous system. In its last performance, it attacks the brain, killing the person.

The incubation period is usually two to 12 weeks, but in some situations, clinical symptoms can occur less than two weeks up to at least a year, depending on how much virus the saliva had, the person's immunity and the location of the bite. The closer it is to the brain, the faster the symptoms can appear.

Treatment for Rabies

There have been reported cases of people who survived rabies, but almost always, people die after the signs and symptoms of rabies appear. These include:

- Prickling sensation or itching in the wound site

- Fever

- Feeling of discomfort

- Agitation or anxiety

- Disorientation and hallucination

- Headache

- Fatigue

- Changes in behavior

- Insomnia

- Difficulty drinking water

- Hypersensitivity to light

There's also no diagnostic test that can determine if the virus has already entered the body and how far along it is in destroying the brain.

However, people who have been bitten by an animal with rabies can be treated with a vaccine, which can be administered before or after the bite (the latter, called post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP, is more common). When the vaccination is performed, it can differ according to the degree of contact with suspected rabies:

These shots can be provided in hospitals, animal bite centers and vaccine clinics.

First aid can also be done prior to the vaccination. This includes washing the wound with running water and soap, then cleaning the area thoroughly. Exposure to rabies can also be prevented or significantly reduced by vaccinating pets annually.

Source: http://www.techtimes.com/

Read more…

Tips For Dealing With Wildlife

Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

Generally if you find a baby animal it is best to leave it alone. Often the animal is not orphaned, and the parent may be out getting food for the animal, or watching the baby. Never pick up baby animals and remove them from their natural environment!  To report an injured or orphaned wild animal, contact any of the FWC's 5 regional offices for a list of wildlife rehabilitators or consult one of the rehabilitators on this list.

Additional information about reporting injured manatees or sea turtles is on our website.

Nuisance Animals

Nuisance wildlife is wildlife that...

  • causes (or is about to cause) property damage,
  • presents a threat to public safety, or
  • causes an annoyance within, under or upon a building.

Human activities can attract certain wildlife species looking for an easy high-calorie meal or shelter under a convenient structure. Unfortunately this can bring them into conflict with the interests of people, and the wildlife can be considered to be a nuisance.  Most wildlife/human conflicts can be resolved by removing the attractant.  If removing the attractant is not feasible or has been tried and is not working, other measures to remove nuisance wild animals can be taken. Trapping a nuisance animal should be a matter of last resort.  Before removing an animal, please read the nuisance wildlife regulations and information.

Wildlife that cannot be taken

The taking of nuisance alligatorsdeerbearsbatsbobcats, most migratory birds, their nests or eggsturkeysbobwhite quail; or state-listed or federally listed species of special concern, threatened or endangered species is prohibited or may require additional permits.

Protected and regulated species

You can learn more about the rules regarding wild animals online.  Most regulations for wildlife are found in Ch. 68A of the Florida Administrative Code.

Nuisance Alligators

Alligators are considered a nuisance when they are more than four feet in length, and are determined to be a threat to the welfare of the public, or the public's pets, livestock, or property. Only a licensed nuisance alligator trapper may capture or remove an alligator. More information about living with alligators is available on this website.

If you need to report a nuisance alligator, call toll-free, 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

You can find more information about Nuisance Alligators online.

Nuisance Bear

If a bear is seen around your neighborhood, it is important to immediately discourage repeat visits. What you can do is determine if there are any attractants in your neighborhood that will cause the bear to return.  If you have unsecured garbage, pet food, barbecue grills, or other food items available in your yard, you should secure those items as soon as possible. A nuisance bear is one that looks for handouts, hangs around because it thinks food is available, or becomes aggressive, etc.  More information about living with bears is available on this website. If you have a nuisance bear in your neighborhood or on your property, please contact your local FWC regional office or call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Nuisance Deer

White-tailed deer will occasionally cause damage to cultivated crops.  For small gardens, this situation often can be improved by installing an inexpensive electric fence.  When it is not possible to install an electric fence or deterrent fence, and under special restrictions, deer causing damage to crops can be harassed (scared) with a gun and light at night, when authorized.  Find out more information on the Gun and Light at Night Permit.

In cases where a Gun and Light at Night Permit is not eliminating the depredation or is not feasible, and in situations where deer are causing extreme damage to a crop, contact your local FWC regional office to request a Depredating Deer permit for temporary relief.

Protected Fish and Wildlife

A FWC permit is required for take of any state listed species. Protected fish and wildlife include those species listed as endangered, threatened or species of special concern. FWC rules prohibit activities that may have a negative effect on protected fish and wildlife without a permit.  More information about living with wildlife is available on this website.

Rabid Animals

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is agency primarily responsible for rabies response, prevention, treatment and control.  If you suspect an animal of having rabies or if someone has been bitten, contact the local County Health Department.  Public health staff will investigate animal bite reports.  The DOH can request help from the Sheriff's office, Animal Control or the FWC, but their staff will make that decision. View the listing of Florida County Health Departments at www.doh.state.fl.us/chdsitelist.htm.

For more information about rabies control and prevention in Florida, visit the DOH on the Web at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html.

Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Problems

In the spring, bird species around the state start to build nests. Occasionally, this nesting behavior comes into conflict with human activities. Nuisance bird issues are not as easy to mitigate as nuisance mammal issues. Most birds are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Joint state-federal permits are issued under very limited circumstances to keep or remove native wild birds or their eggs or nests. For information on Migratory Bird and Eagle Permits, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

For more information contact the FWC's Division of Habitat & Species Conservation, Species Conservation and Planning Section. Often, nesting birds will use the nest for only a month or so before their young are ready to go. It is usually advisable to leave these birds alone until they are done with their nesting cycle.

Migratory nongame birds that cause damage to trees, crops, livestock or wildlife, or that are concentrated in such numbers that they are nuisance, may be taken with permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by calling 404-679-7070.  Blackbirds, grackles, cowbirds and American crows can be taken without permits when they are causing damage.

You can find a comprehensive list of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

Information about dealing with problem ducks or geese is available on our waterfowl website.

If you are experiencing a problem with roosting vultures, please contact USDA Wildlife Services APHIS Wildlife at 352-377-5556 or toll free at 866-487-3297 for assistance in scaring off the birds.

Dealing with Aggressive Raptors

Birds of prey, also called raptors, include hawks, eagles, falcons and owls. Each spring and summer, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) receives reports of raptors diving at people. These incidents, which are usually caused by hawks, have happened in both urban and suburban areas. Most of these events occur during the nesting season and near an active nest where there are chicks or eggs.  The raptors dive at people who come too close to the nest. The birds view those people as threats to the nest and the babies.  In many cases, the birds dive at people but don't make contact. However, there have been injuries from these birds when they do make contact. Reports show that the birds may dive at people as far as 150 feet away from their nests.  To learn how to handle this situation, read our guide to dealing with aggressive raptors.

Source: http://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/assistnuisance-wildlife/

Read more…

Interesting Facts About Nuisance Wildlife

Learn about some wild animals that could be living right in your own backyard

There are many wild animals native to the United States that people likely encounter on a near-daily basis, sometimes without even realizing it. These common backyard creatures have found ways to co-exist with humans, which unfortunately can lead them to become nuisance pests and even occasional health threats. Though these wild animals may not always be a welcome sight for homeowners, they do have some interesting characteristics!

Squirrels are fierce fighters.

Squirrel varieties can be found in every region of the United States. A group of squirrels is called a scurry. Squirrels are extremely territorial and will even fight to the death to defend their area. Mother squirrels are especially vicious when protecting their babies. Squirrels frequently enter attics and chimneys in the winter. To keep them out, seal all possible points of entry around the house, screen vents and openings to chimneys and keep tree limbs cut back six to eight feet from the roofline.

Raccoons will eat almost anything.

Raccoons are omnivores and will eat just about anything, including fish, mice, insects, stolen eggs and human trash. Raccoons also sometimes "wash" their food by rapidly dunking it in water before eating. Their adaptable eating habits have allowed them to make themselves at home in many environments, from forests and marshes to cities and the suburbs. Homeowners should be sure to store trash cans and recycling bins in sealed areas or with animal-proof lids to keep raccoons, which are frequent carriers of rabies, off their property.

Opossums are good actors.

Opossums are the only marsupials found in North America. Female opossums give birth to young as tiny as honey bees that immediately crawl into their mother's pouch where their development continues. Typically, fewer than half of opossum young survive in to adulthood. Opossums are known for "playing dead" when threatened by predators. They will fall onto their sides and lie on the ground, extend their tongues and either close their eyes or stare straight in to space. Do not approach an opossum in this state, as they have sharp teeth and in rare cases may bite if they feel threatened. Opossums have been known to create messy dens in homeowner's attics and garages.

Bats are often protected by law.

Bats are protected by law in most states, so it is important to check with animal control or wildlife services for any regulations before bat-proofing your home. The best time to bat-proof is the beginning of autumn, when bats leave for hibernation. Bats can pose serious health threats to humans if they are not removed from structures; bat droppings can harbor a fungus that causes lung disease.

Voles are small, but mighty.

Voles, also known as meadow mice or field mice, are a type of rodent that can be found in most regions of the United States. They are active year-round, and do not hibernate. Their populations tend to fluctuate and are dependent on factors such as food quality, climate and physiological stress. Voles construct many tunnels with various burrow entrances and can cause extensive damage to orchards, young trees and field crops. They're even capable of ruining lawns and golf courses with their extensive tunnel systems.

Groundhogs are true hibernators.

Groundhogs are among the few mammals that enter into true hibernation, which generally starts in late fall near the end of October and continues until late February. These rodents will gorge themselves all summer to build up their fat reserves. After the first frost, they enter their underground burrows and hibernate until spring, where they survive off of their accumulated body fat. During hibernation, the groundhog's heart rate plunges and its body temperature will not be much higher than that inside the burrow. To keep groundhogs out of crawlspaces, it is important to inspect homes for access points, such as broken vent covers or holes in the foundation. Burrowing groundhogs have been known to destroy building foundations.

If you're noticing a rodent issue please contact a Professional such as Rodent Solutions for rodent removal in your Sarasota and/or Bradenton Home and/or Office. - Call 941-704-0063

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/

Read more…

New Baltimore Police Chief Tim Wiley recently provided a few tips for deterring unwanted wildlife after a resident reported seeing a wild animal cornering a small dog in the city.

At about 6 a.m. Oct. 5, a resident on Ashley Street called 911 to report that a neighbor’s dog had been barking loudly for over an hour, which was unusual. When police arrived, officers noted that the dog at the reported residence was barking. Police made contact with the owner, who said she had a difficult time getting the dog inside because of a possible raccoon in the area.

The dog was brought inside and police cleared the scene, but one neighbor is not convinced the wild animal involved was a raccoon.

Jill Smith, who lives on Ashley Street, emailed The Voice the morning of the incident hoping to warn citizens of the possibility of coyotes in the area. She said she and her son were woken up that morning by the sounds of the neighbor’s dog “yelping” as well as her own dogs “going crazy.” Her son went outside, she said, and saw two coyotes cornering the neighbor’s dog close to her fence.

“My son Bill Shaw saw coyotes,” Smith said. “He just moved here from West Virginia so he definitely knows a coyote when he sees one. There is no way he would confuse a raccoon with two coyotes. He was sleeping on our couch in our sunroom, which has a clear view of our neighbor’s yard. He ran out and chased them away as soon as our floodlights lit them up.”

Wiley said Macomb County has not seen an increase in wild animal-related incidents during recent months, but offered a few recommendations for keeping wild animals away from residents’ homes.

“We’re not seeing any increase county-wide and we’re not seeing major issues with coyotes,” he said.

Citizens who have seen wild animals such as raccoons and coyotes, especially near their garbage receptacles, are advised to wash out their trash cans with a peppermint soap. Wiley suggested using Dr. Bronner’s organic peppermint soap and a lawn sprayer to wash away the scents animals can leave to track where they’ve been.

“When they’re on the prowl and they’re tracking, they leave a scent so they can come back to that area,” Wiley said. “So if you use this all-organic soap in areas where maybe you’ve seen a coyote or a raccoon, you’re less likely to see them.”

Residents should also make sure they are not putting feed outside for prey animals, which can also attract predatory animals, Wiley said.

“Remove whatever food – carrots, corn or whatever else is being dropped out there,” he said. “This will decrease the likelihood that you’ll see issues with (raccoons and coyotes).”

Smith said she simply wants to warn local residents to not let their dogs or small children outside without carefully watching them in case a curious wild animal decides to stop by.

“Being in the city (and) having fenced-in yards didn’t deter them at all… Our dogs won’t be going out without us and a big stick,” she said.

Wiley said the New Baltimore Police Department has a “phenomenal” working relationship with Macomb County Animal Control, and that citizens who wish to report a wild animal sighting are welcome to call either agency for assistance.

“You can certainly call us because we’ll be the quickest response to the area, but we’ll also be working with Macomb County Animal Control,” he said.

Some New Baltimore police officers have been trained by the animal control division on best practices in responding to animal complaints, and the department is also equipped with animal containment cells that were donated by Macomb County Animal Control, the chief said.

“We are now equipped with better tools and education on how to be a first responder to these situations than we have ever been in the past,” he added.

Source: http://www.voicenews.com/

Read more…