Your backyard is an ecosystem, however not all of the animals which reside in or near it have the manners you’d like them to. There are many different animals that can be a nuisance. Here are some of the most common backyard pests that you’re likely to encounter.
Don’t let their size or adorable looks fool you chipmunks can be a major pain. They live in burrows and may end up tunneling under your home causing structural damage. Their digging can wreak havoc on your garden where they will also devour young plants, bulbs, and the fruit you’ve waited so long to ripen.
These are easily one of the most common of all backyard pests, especially in suburban areas. As anyone who has a bird feeder knows squirrels are not only extremely determined when it comes to getting your bird seed but these rodents are capable of very acrobatic feats. If they get into your home or attic their chewing can cause serious damage as well.
While they are small, mice reproduce very quickly. In fact one female can have up to ten litters per year with each litter having as many as fourteen young. Mice generally eat plants and nest in plant matter.
However they will eat just about anything and once they get into your home and can be incredibly hard to get rid of completely. Once inside the home they not only chew which causes damage but their droppings can also transmit disease.
Larger and more destructive than mice are rats. They also reproduce very quickly and can spread diseases in a variety of ways to both humans and pets. They eat just about everything and will chew through wires, wood, food containers, plastic garbage bins, insulation, and pipes. While some types prefer to burrow others like to nest in trees.
Shrews are many time confused for mice. However, they are smaller and have a distinct pointed snout. These little carnivores have sharp teeth and will gnaw on roots and trees. Just like other rodents their waste can cause disease and they have no problem taking up residence in the home if they have a chance.
One of the most destructive backyard pests are gophers. That’s because not only do they eat sixty percent of their body weight in vegetation every day but they also create elaborate underground burrow systems. They often damage water and electric lines by gnawing on them and are destructive to lawns, gardens, roots, and crops.
Unlike many on this list these backyard animal pests don’t actually eat your plants. They create tunnels as they travel through your yard searching for underground insects and worms to eat. However those tunnels can destroy lawns and allow rodents to get access to roots and crops.
You may also know these critters as woodchucks. They create underground burrows and that means holes in your lawn. Often they will burrow under outdoor structures like a gazebo, porch, garage, and even houses which is never good for their foundations. Groundhogs also love to eat fruits, vegetables, and flowers which can spell disaster for your garden very quickly.
Most people don’t realize these strange looking pests are actually the only marsupial found in North America. Opossums are well-known for raiding trash cans in search of food but will also take advantage of free fruits and vegetables when they can. While they typically prefer to reside in hollow trees they won’t hesitate to burrow under your deck or other structures.
Skunks are famous for being able to spray you with a foul-smelling liquid secreted from their anal glands when they feel threatened. But they will also dig up your lawn searching for worms and grubs. They may get into your trash cans and do like to eat eggs and young chicks which can be a big problem if you have a chicken coop.
The most notorious of all trash can raiders; raccoons are omnivores and will eat just about anything. They also can be a huge nuisance if you own a pond with ornamental fish because they will most likely treat it as their personal buffet. (Placing an alligator decoy in the water can often solve this problem quickly.)
They love fruits of many types and will dig up your lawn searching for grubs and insects. Bird feeders usually are targets as well. Raccoons normally like to take up residence in trees but often end up getting into attics especially during the colder months.
When speaking of backyard pests animals like rabbits don’t always come to mind because they are considered to be cute. Yet, that cuteness can wear off quite quickly once they start eating your flowers, vegetables, seedlings, and grass. Unlike with other pests many homeowners decide not to remove rabbits and instead set up ways to protect their plants from them.
You don’t have to live in the country to end up with deer in your yard. They often venture into suburbia looking for delicious fruits, vegetables, stems, grasses, and leaves. Many people enjoy having them visit their yards. Others choose to plant specific types of trees and plants that they don’t like or will protect them from being eaten with fencing.
There are many different types of snakes and some of course can be venomous so it is extremely important to know what type of snakes you have in your yard. Most species are attracted to areas with rodents and can control their numbers for you. But they can get into areas that aren’t sealed properly such as under your house, deck, garage, etc. If they are a venomous species you should contact a professional pest removal service.
There are a wide variety of predatory bird species which are considered to be backyard pests. Hawks, falcons, and eagles, can easily grab chickens and their young along with smaller size pets. Birds like egrets and herons can be a big problem for anyone who has an outdoor fish pond since they will find it easy to catch fish in an area where they can’t escape.
While there are many other animals that do cause problems in the backyard the ones listed here are usually the culprits. But of course where you live will be a big factor in what species make up your local wildlife.
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