There's a reason Cookeville (in addition to Monterey, Sparta, and Crossville) was named one of the fastest-growing micropolitan areas. Nestled on the Upper Cumberland Plateau, the world's longest hardwood forested plateau
is home to numerous plants and animals. Once a remote and rugged wilderness, the idyllic landscape continues to attract people and wildlife.
Like people, animals fundamentally need three things- food, shelter, water. Animals are resourceful. As people continually push into wildlife habitats, wildlife will find resources for food, shelter, and water in your home.
Raccoons in Cookeville have learned to look to people as food suppliers. These pests may tip over garbage cans and spread trash around the yard as they search for a meal. They also invade homes to find shelter, denning inside chimneys or forcing their way into attics.
Along with bats, foxes, and skunks in the UC, raccoons are common rabies carriers. This disease spreads rapidly among the animals and can pose a real health concern to people and pets. Residents are also at risk for roundworm parasites from raccoon waste if the pests live nearby.
Colder than average temperatures drive squirrels into houses
in Cookeville, though the rodents may move indoors year-round.
These pests often give birth to their young in attics
and then proceed to cause destruction. Even one squirrel can create a fire hazard by gnawing on electrical wires. They also rip up the insulation in walls
and bring parasites indoors.
Of the 16 species of bats
, the most common is the little brown bat. These pests frequently enter buildings during warm summers in Cookeville.
Bats in abandoned structures can be beneficial because they feed on mosquitoes and other insects. However, if they roost in an occupied home, the pests become a concern. Bat droppings
often carry the fungus responsible for histoplasmosis, a life-threatening respiratory illness.
Skunks typically invade Nashville 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.
Skunk mating season starts in February. Males wander in search for females in heat.Males typically spray during fights over females. A minor skunk problem can quickly magnify during breeding season.