Local Franchisee: Michelle Souza
Common Wildlife Issues in Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL, residents must contend with numerous wildlife pests throughout the year, one of the most common being snakes. Florida is home to nearly 50 species of the pest, six of which are venomous, including the cottonmouth, or water moccasin. Though white-tail deer were once nearly eradicated from the state, populations now number in the hundreds of thousands. The wildlife pests feed on numerous crops and ornamental plants and can also carry Lyme disease-causing ticks. Finally, wild hogs are omnivorous pests that feed by rooting in the ground with their snouts. Large populations of feral pigs cause extensive damage to the soil and trample planted crops. Gray squirrels can also be a nuisance.
Raccoons in Jacksonville, FL, find food and shelter in both urban areas and residential neighborhoods. Since raccoons are scavengers with versatile appetites, they can eat a number of different items found in Jacksonville yards and trash bins. Scratching sounds heard during the night may indicate infestations, while messy lawns the following morning are another sign that the pests are present. Sometimes raccoon populations move into attics and crawlspaces, under decks, or behind walls to nest and breed. When frightened or rabid, they may attack people and pets.
Bats in Jacksonville
Brazilian free-tailed bats and northern yellow bats have adapted well to the rapid urbanization of Jacksonville, FL. These species can be found living in overpasses, culverts, attics, and walls. In homes, their musky odor and scratching noises quickly become a nuisance. The humidity in Florida is ideal both for young bats and the fungus Histoplasma, which grows in bat droppings and makes humans ill. Since the flying pests roost in colonies and create huge piles of waste, bats in Jacksonville attics and chimneys can be dangerous. Their ability to transmit rabies is also a serious threat to homeowners and pets.
Squirrels in Jacksonville
The year-round pleasant weather in Jacksonville, FL, creates an enticing environment for a wide variety of wildlife. This includes pesky and curious squirrels, which can sometimes take up residence in the attic or behind walls. Homeowners with a squirrel infestation will hear scurrying noises and the sounds of scratching. Squirrels in Jacksonville can also carry diseases like tularemia, which can cause flu-like symptoms in humans. Even when confined to yards, the pests make a nuisance of themselves by emptying bird feeders, harassing other wildlife, and leaving droppings behind.
Trapping and Removal
As squirrels are considered game in many states, trapping the pests may require the procurement of a special permit. Furthermore, though squirrels are not known to be particularly aggressive, it is always safer to contact a trained professional rather than attempt to handle wild animals without the proper knowledge or assistance. The wildlife specialists at Critter Control are skilled at identifying the different species of squirrels and handling squirrel removal properly and humanely. Our job is to protect people, property and wildlife and in doing so, we don’t exterminate squirrels, but instead we humanely exclude or remove them from your property.
With warm weather and miles of beach, Jacksonville, FL, is the perfect place for people and pests alike. Skunk infestations are common in the region, as they have adapted to living in urban areas. Though typically nocturnal, these animals may wander during the day in search of food. Due to skunks' proximity to homes, residents may hear scratching noises and other sounds when the pests rummage through garbage. Healthy skunks rarely defend themselves with their teeth or claws, preferring to rely on glands that release a foul stench up to 15 feet away. In addition to stinking up yards, skunks in Jacksonville have also been known to transmit rabies.
Jacksonville, FL, is home to 45 of the state's 46 snake species. Many of these unwanted pests and their prey thrive in northern Florida's warm climate and mix of wetland and woodland habitats. Though many snakes are harmless, there are six venomous varieties that occupy yards in this urban area. The most common venomous snakes in Jacksonville are pygmy rattlesnakes, while the most aggressive are eastern diamondbacks. In addition to scaring people, these pests can deliver potentially fatal bites, which require immediate medical attention. Jacksonville residents should always take precautions around snakes to avoid provoking an attack.
Due to its warm weather and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville, FL, is a haven for birds. Although many residents enjoy their presence in the backyard, birds produce unsightly droppings that stain roofs, patios, and driveways. Some species poop as many as eight times per hour, contaminating water supplies and dirtying sidewalks and fields. When a bird nests in a wall void or attic, loud scratching, chirping, and flapping noises can keep residents up all night. Birds in Jacksonville pose additional risks to the city, as vultures, gulls, and doves that collide with planes may endanger passengers.
A city on the St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL, attracts opossums with its coastal location and pleasant weather. These opportunistic eaters are attracted to leftover meal scraps in trash cans and outdoor pet food. While foraging at night, an opossum may distress homeowners by making noise and messes in the yard. The pests are also agile climbers, sometimes moving into homes through chimneys or damaged roofing. Sounds coming from the crawl space, garage, or attic, such as scratching or the pitter-pat of feet, may indicate an infestation. In addition to their irritating behavior, opossums in Jacksonville are known to carry ticks, fleas, and lice, as well as diseases like leptospirosis and tularemia.
Most rodents live outdoors, but house mice sometimes move into homes in Jacksonville, FL, and infest attics or cabinets. Although mice need little food and water to survive, kitchens are ideal living quarters, as pantries provide the pests with plenty of options. Aside from contaminating stored goods and countertops, mice in Jacksonville also leave disease-infected droppings and urine. Their waste is especially problematic when it carries hantavirus, which causes serious health issues in humans. Mouse problems can be detected by listening for scratching noises in the walls or noticing gnaw marks on woodwork and wires.
As a thriving seaport, Jacksonville, FL, is invariably home to plenty of rodents. Black rats, also called roof rats, are excellent climbers that enter homes through gaps in the roofline. They can be heard scurrying and scratching in ceilings and attics during the nighttime hours, when they are most active. Norway rats in Jacksonville are larger and are usually found around foundations, digging in rubbish and burrowing underneath buildings. Both types of rats regularly infest homes, passing along disease and contaminating stored food with their feces and urine.