More than 5.5 million people live in the Detroit metropolitan area, which includes the surrounding suburbs of Westland, Rochester Hills, Grosse Pointe, Dearborn, and Southfield.
Detroit borders three lakes where wildlife can live: Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Huron. The Detroit River runs alongside the city and connects all of these lakes. Water is the perfect environment for critters such as birds, raccoons, muskrats, and beavers.
Detroit's freezing, snowy, and windy winters make life closer to human civilization much more appealing to wild animals during these hard months. Detroit's downtown area has many streets and alleyways full of entertainment and thriving businesses where these animals can gain entry, with plentiful access to warmth, food, and water.
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Raccoons in their natural habitat are excellent climbers and use the cover of trees to protect themselves from predators. But that also makes attics and chimneys an ideal substitute when the weather turns cold, and the availability of trees is low. Although these creatures are quite cute, they are also quite destructive.
Raccoons are strong and will tear a hole in the roof to gain entry. Once inside, they tear insulation and gnaw on wood and wires. Because of their size, if a raccoon was in your attic, you would definitely hear them banging around. Raccoons can become fierce when confronted, especially if there are kits. It is important to call a wildlife control specialist like Critter Control to remove them.
Rats and mice need water to survive. Detroit's access to the Great Lakes makes it a natural habitat for them. Residents and business owners will find them coming inside in the fall and winter as the weather turns colder. Unfortunately, rats are responsible for the spread of many diseases, mostly caused by them contaminating food with their urine or feces. This is especially dangerous in homes with children or in restaurants and hotels where cleanliness and diligence are a necessity.
All rodents have large front teeth that continue to grow throughout their lives. To keep these teeth at a manageable level, they will gnaw on wood and wires in your home, creating a risk for electrical fires. They also reproduce all year round, so several mice or rats in your basement can quickly become a large infestation.
Rats and mice can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces, including gaps in doors and windows as well as the space around your gas pipes.
Rats and mice are nocturnal creatures and you will most likely hear them in your walls or above your head at night. Should you see one during the day, it is most likely because you, unfortunately, have a large population of them.
Squirrels in attics are a common animal nuisance problem in Detroit. Nine squirrels live in Michigan. One species that has been growing in the region is the black squirrel. While these black squirrels can be found in many places around the country, they are most prevalent in Michigan.
Squirrels are rodents, and while they can be entertaining when scurrying about outside, they are no fun to find in your attic or crawl space, where they have been known to make a mess and cause electrical fires. As rodents, their teeth continue to grow, and gnawing is the only way they have to keep them at a manageable length.
They are also carriers of parasites such as ticks, mange mites, fleas, and internal parasites. And their feces and urine can transmit leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and tularemia.
Unlike rats and mice, squirrels are most active in the daytime. If you hear scurrying above your head in the mornings, you most likely are listening to squirrels.
Michigan is home to nine bat species, but the ones that like to roost in Detroit homes and businesses are the little brown bat and the big brown bat. All Michigan bats like to eat a variety of insects, including moths, flies, mosquitos, and beetles. Under normal conditions, they can eat 600 to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects per hour! But, while they are great at ridding our yards of unwanted insects, they are not welcome guests when roosting in an attic, chimney, or behind shutters.
Despite their benefits, the guano from bats is a potential danger for diseases such as Histoplasma fungus. Bats are a protected species in Michigan, and it is illegal to capture or kill them.
Bats give birth each spring to a single pup. Pups remain helpless through the spring and summer and are weaned by fall. It is at this time that bats can be removed from an attic without harming the young.
Nocturnal by nature, skunks can cause plenty of damage when burrowing for food and shelter. Although it is legal to kill a nuisance skunk on your property, please leave removal to a trained specialist. Not only is their spray foul-smelling and hard to remove, but skunks in the Detroit area also have been known to carry rabies