Phoenix was orgnially settled near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers as an agricultural community, but it has grown into the sixth largest city in the United States. Most of Arizona is a rugged, desert landscape. Most of the population in the Phoenix-metro area live within the urban core. That urban core has sprawled. The Valley of the Sun has an extremely low density compared to similar sized metropolitian areas.
Because of the desert climate and georgraphy, Phoenix has unique wildlife such as the desert cottontail rabbit, the antelope ground squirrel, the jackrabbit, ringtail, and twenty-eight species of bats. Situation near two rivers, the Salt River Valley
provides habitats for a variety of wildlife.
Where there are people, there will be food and water. And with nearly three hundred sunny days, animals are active year round. In addition to Arizona's unique desert wildlife, nusiance wildlife
in Phoenix includes bats, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, birds, rats, and mice.
Raccoons will travel a few miles each night in search of food. Although raccoons are commonly found near bodies of water, these nocturnal omnivores still make their way to Phoenix suburbs and rural areas in search of food. They’re drawn to trash cans as well as pet food left outdoors; in rural areas, they’re drawn to fruit trees and cornfields
Raccoons enjoy building nests in your attic. In the process, they scratch flooring, shred insulation, rip drywall, and destroy sentimental items. They may also clog vents and ducts with materials, creating fire hazards.
There are three species of squirrels in the Sonoran desert
-- the Harris antelope squirrel, the round-tailed ground squirrel, and the rock squirrel. Not surprisingly all squirrels in Phoenix are all ground dwellers, but the rock squirrel and round-tailed squirrel can climb. Generally, squirrels enter your home in search of food and shelter.
can damage garden plants and equipment. Burrows can undermine the structural integrity of buildings and damage root systems of trees and shrubbery. They are also known vectors for diseases and parasites.
Effective management of ground squirrels depends on the time of year. Because most ground squirrels hibernate, squirrel control during the winter is ineffective. Baiting and trapping work well during the summer and fall when ground squirrels forage.
The Norway rat, brown rat, roof rat, and the house mouse cause the most problems for Valley homeowners. Like raccoons, rats and mice do much of their work at night or when the home is quiet. Rats and mice cost homeowners a lot of money in contaminated food. They also create fire hazards by building nests under stoves or in vents.
are among the adaptable mammals and can inhabit almost any environment. Rats and mice are typical pest animals in a home. Proximity to water and buildings with plenty of entry holes allow the pests to travel freely and breed rapidly. In homes, a mouse or rat may contaminate food with waste, spread disease, and destroy property.
To effectively get rid of rats you need to control the population. Female rats can have six litters in one year (mice can have up to 35 babies in one year). The wildlife technician will determine the best type of trap, placement of trap, and the best bait to use.
Arizona is home to 28 bat species, but the little brown and free-tailed bats are the most prevalent in Phoenix.Unlike other parts of the country, bats will migrate to Arizona during the winter.
Bats will enter attics to roost in large groups. Bats pose little direct threat to people but their guano or feces can be dangerous. It contains uric acid, enough to stain and erode woods and metals. Guano also has a foul odor and can grow mold spores that, if inhaled, may cause respiratory issues in humans. An example is Histoplasmosis.
All bats have a special status in Arizona, either endangered or threatened. Diseases like the white-nosed syndrome are impacting bat populations everywhere. Their status prevents you from removing them during the maternity period(May to September).
Once out of your home, you must clean areas where there was bat guano. It’s critical to apply ectoparasitic and sanitization treatments.
Skunks typically invade Maricopa County yards in search for food and a safe place to burrow. Sheds, porches, and foundations make ideal burrowing locations which can lead to structural damage. To avoid a skunk’s spray, rely on professional handling and skunk trapping. Removing food supplies is one of the most effective ways to prevent a skunk from entering your property.
mating season starts in February. Males typically spray during fights over females. A minor skunk problem can quickly magnify during breeding season.
Bobcats tend to give birth between April and early June
to litters of two to three kittens.Kittens stay with their mother between seven to twelve months.
Females and yearlings tend to have a smaller and more exclusive range than fulll grown bobcats.
In 2022, homeowners
in Goodyear, Ahwatukee, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale had bobcats and kittens in their attics. Bobcats can find a small gap on your roof and create a bigger one. The construction on the outskirts of Phoenix might be driving the critters closer to urban centers.
During the summer, wildlife tend to approach residential areas. Usually they are search for water. Bobcats are no exception. As bobcats move into residential areas, coyotes can follow.
After we trap the bobcats, we relocate them to a wildlife area. If we find juveniles without a mother, we work with local wildlife rehabilitation