While many types of wild animals don’t cause much of a disturbance for humans, there are a few others that are notoriously invasive. Coyotes, raccoons, skunks, woodpeckers and sometimes squirrels can prove unwelcome guests in and around your home. We’ll focus on two of the most common pests among wildlife in Ohio.
The coyote is a member of the dog family. It’s not too big but larger than a fox, usually 30-40 pounds. It has a long slender snout and a bushy tail. Although not native to Ohio, coyotes are now found in all counties in the state. They mostly hunt rodents and rabbits but sometimes even deer, livestock and small dogs.
As coyote populations have increased, so too have their reported conflicts with humans. During mating season (from mid winter into spring) coyotes will become increasingly territorial and also in need of energy, making their appetite for livestock greater than usual. Thus, this part of the year yields the most conflicts with humans.
Preventing coyotes is usually as simple as implanting fencing that is at least five feet high. There are various benefits to using net-wire fencing as well as electric fencing. Trained guard dogs can be effective prevention as can scare tactics like strobe lights and alarms.
Raccoons are usually about two feet long and about 15 pounds but they can be as long as three feet and as heavy as 30 pounds. It’s easy to identify raccoons by their black faces, gray bodies and black and gray ringed tails.
Raccoons are able to make their dens in a variety of places from hollow trees to barns or buildings. For the most part raccoons are problematic when they get in the trash or destroy property but they have been known to attack when threatened and can carry disease.
Prevention of raccoons around your home comes down to exclusion, much like the coyote. Electric fencing around crops is very effective. Don’t leave food or water outside and make sure garbage cans are tightly covered. Seal only holes into your home so that you don’t invite raccoons to make a den inside.
Contact Action Pest for a free home inspection.