Wild animals are accustomed to living in tough conditions. In nature, creatures need to take advantage of any food or shelter they can find. For many, occupying an abandoned den is a perfect way to save energy and gain valuable protection from the elements. Even den-like spaces, such as human attics and porches can prove irresistibly tempting to many wild critters. But is it possible for two different species to occupy the same spaces at the same time? Here’s how to tell what species are living on your property and when to call humane wildlife removal services.
When Do Animals Make Dens
Many creatures, from insects to mammals regularly alter their environment for the benefit of their offspring. Mammals are especially good at digging holes in the ground they have evolved for thousands of years to avoid much larger and more dangerous species, often using a den site as a source of survival.
Today, animals still dig dens for their own protection from predators. More frequently, however, they need protection from the elements or a good place to raise young. Juvenile animals, after all, are far more vulnerable to predators than older ones and require a safe space to grow. In most cases, dens are specifically designed to exclude other animals, even those within the same species. Large species are generally more efficient at digging holes than smaller species. This is why large animals often end up building dens that smaller ones eventually take advantage of. Many of the wildlife species in our neighbourhoods use multiple den sites, going back and forth between them to hide from the elements. This can create a higher chance of smaller mammals using these empty den sites in the meantime.
Sometimes, however, if small or large wildlife has not found or created a den site, they may find the shelter of your property appealing. Mammals can claw the walls of confined spaces to make them bigger and can use this strength to tear through man-made building materials, causing costly damage and stress for the homeowners. It isn’t unheard of, for example, for a simple mouse hole in the side of a house to grow to accommodate an entire family of raccoons.
How To Identify Which Species Have Entered Your Home
Squirrels, birds, mice, rats, raccoons, skunks, and bats are all common species to take up residence in North American Homes. While it’s generally easy to tell these species apart by looking at them, homeowners rarely have the luxury of being able to see their invaders until an infestation has grown well out of control. The next best thing is to learn the telltale signs different animals leave.
Some of the most obvious signs are vocalizations. Though squirrels are generally silent, other species can be quite vocal. Birds make a distinct chirping sound, while raccoons make chattering noises. Bats emit a quick, high-pitched squeaking that differs from slower, lower-pitched rodent communication.
Another important way to differentiate creatures in your home is by familiarizing yourself with the droppings of each species. This can take a little reading but is easy to do in the age of ubiquitous internet access. Smaller droppings usually indicate a smaller species and larger ones larger species. Birds and bats, however, tend to have very distinct scat.
Animal entryways are clear signs that critters are sharing your home. Sometimes, these areas can give you a clear picture of your situation. If you notice claw or teeth marks on the siding material, this can indicate the presence of a larger species. Mice often make tracks in insulation and siding that resemble the holes they might dig underground. While, squirrels can chew through wooden material and often bring nuts and other material to their den sights for storage, sometimes leaving behind track marks or nuts as a sign of their arrival.
The Best Wildlife Exclusionary Strategies
The best way to keep both large and small animals out of your home is to prevent them from coming in the first place. Do not attempt to remove wild animals on your own. Call a wildlife professional to ensure that your home and family are protected during the removal process. At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we believe that animals should be safely removed, giving them the best chance to return to one of their alternate den sites and thrive If you have a wildlife issue on your property, call Skedaddle today.