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Wildlife Removal Advice - How to track wild animals

How to track wild animals

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You can track wild animals in a wide variety of ways, and there are a number of reasons why tracking them is a good idea. If you know that you live in an area rife with wildlife, you will want to protect your home in the best way that you can. By keeping tabs on the various animals that could potentially upset your land, you can make sure they don't pose a problem for you. If you already have a wild animal encroaching on your property, or even your home, tracking it will help you in a great number of ways. You will know the best places to set traps, if traps are necessary. In situations where traps won't work, oneway exclusion devices and dealing methods can be combined, but this only works when the one-way exclusion devices are used in the right places. Tracking can help you to find these ‘right’ places.

If you suspect you have a wild animal control issue, but you haven't actually spotted the creature itself, tracking the animal can help you to work out what the animal actually is. You can often identify the creature by the little snippets of evidence it leaves behind.

The evidence is what helps you to track these animals, and you'll generally find there is an abundance of it once you start looking.

Paw Prints

These will help you to identify the animal, as well as the areas it visits the most. You can use paw prints to work out how the animal is getting into your home. Moist soil, for example, will have paw print indentations, and you may also notice the muddy substance smears over other surfaces, such as the siding of your home. Follow the tracks - the paw prints - and you'll soon work out what's going on. They'll lead right into your home, or around your home, and you will find the entry points, latrines, and perhaps even the nest itself, if you follow the prints closely enough.

At some point, you may find that these paw prints dissipate, and in hot weather, aside from dust, you may not even spot these paw prints at all. This is when you will need to keep your eyes open for other signs that the animal has been hanging around.

Burrows, Dens & Digging

A number of wild animals dig, and you can use the digging action much like you can use the paw prints - the signs and disturbed soil or earth will help you to figure the animal out. The humble woodchuck, for example, generally invades home in the Midwest and also along the East Coast, and you’ll know these critters are around because of the burrowing and damage they leave behind. If you have shrubs around your garden, the bark of the stumps of these shrubs will often show signs of nibbling or chewing, yet another signs that the woodchuck has been hanging around. Once you start to spot one sign, the rest will become glaringly obvious, and it is often these signs outside your home - in your garden - that contain the most information.

The gopher is another animal that live sin an underground burrow, and you’ll commonly find these holes in loose material, something like sandy soil types. They’ll eat the plants that grows around them, and they’ll also use them for protection too, not just to be undetected from you, but also from other animals, particularly predators.

A number of animals dig, but the type of digging action will usually give away the culprit. Raccoons are quite messy when they dig, and lazy too. They’ll only have a scoop around in the top sections of the soil to get to the grubs below. Any digging they do will be messy, because they don’t need to live down there. The animals that dig to create homes or themselves tend to be much tidier about things.

Waste Material

Where there are animals there will be waste material, and by that, we mean droppings and urine. These tell-tale marks will generally give you all the information you need to know about the creature leaving it behind.

Rats and mice leave smaller droppings, mice leaving smaller droppings than rats. In fact, feces left behind by mice is often overlooked. The more poop there is, the more of an infestation you have, and you’ll also find the poop is more concentrated in the areas they run around the most. They drop and run, quite literally, which is quite the opposite to the raccoon.

Raccoons leave their waste matter in latrine-style spaces. These spaces essentially work as toilet areas, and you will find that they don't leave urine and feces wherever they run, unlike the mouse or rat.

The bigger the poop, the bigger the animal usually, and the raccoon can leave droppings that look very similar to a domesticated dog or cat, making it harder to diagnose the culprit.

Fur or Feathers

Just as we leave hairs and other body matter around as we go about our normal day, animals will too. If you have a hole that is commonly use by rats or mice to enter your home, for example, the area around that hole will be discolored. This is caused by the fur of the animal repeatedly wiping up against it, leaving some of the debris, fur and also body oil behind.

Animals fight too, and this will often leave signs behind, such as fur or feathers that have been ripped out, and these things can also get caught on wood as the animals climb about, and more surfaces. If a raccoon has been able to break into your home by way of the damaged siding, you will often find claw marks, as well as fur and grease marks.

Wild animals leave little signs of their existence behind them wherever they go, and by looking at these signs a little more closely, and taking notice of them, you can not only work out what kind of animal you have in your home or land, but also how to go about getting rid of them in the best way possible.

If you aren't sure what animal you're up against, give us a call today. We can show you all the little signs that you may have missed, and educating homeowners on how to protect their home from wild animals is what we do best.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
animals in the attic
noises in the attic

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