Mild Winter and Nuisance Animals

Skunk (2)            I recently had an enlightening conversation with the pest control technician who was sent out to my home to help me battle the explosion of insects that are attacking my neighborhood this summer.  He said their company is extremely busy this season, due to the fact that Utah experienced a relatively mild winter during the 2013 to 2014 season.  While skiers and snowboarders lamented, and all of us worried about future water levels, we admittedly enjoyed the fact that we experienced fairly beautiful weather.  But, that has meant an increase in critters like Miller moths, earwigs, carpenter ants, slugs, snails, crickets and grasshoppers.  Frustrated homeowners are keeping these pest control companies busy this year!

A relatively mild winter gave rise to an increase in the insect population.  And, now we are seeing an increase in the bird population.  Utah just approved its first crow hunt because the crow population has tripled over the last twelve years.  New rules now allow Utah homeowners to kill nuisance birds if other efforts of getting rid of them are unsuccessful.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports an 8% increase in the duck population in 2014.   My neighbors have remarked how surprised they are to see more robins and pigeons than we’ve ever seen in this area before.

So, let’s follow the logic.  More prey means more predators.  With a growing bird population, we’re likely to see a growing population of raccoons, snakes, skunks and other animals that feast on both insects and birds.  A growing population of nuisance animals means they will expand their territories.  With such a feast of prey, nuisance animals may not need to root around in garbage cans or steal food from domestic animals, but we are likely to see an increase in animal dens under homes, raccoons nesting in attics or chimneys, and skunk dens under porches or stairs.

The damage these animals can do to property ranges from offensive smells to house fires and everything in between.  Raccoons easily tear through roofing or siding materials.  The smell of skunk spray is notoriously hard to get rid of, and can cost homeowners thousands of dollars to replace items that have been sprayed.  Animals in and around your home, such as raccoons and skunks, are a noise nuisance, cause offensive odors, threaten domestic animals, cause costly property damage, and can harm you and yours.

Let’s follow the logic just a little bit further.  Mild winter equals bigger insect population, which feeds a larger nuisance animal (predator) population.  And, those nuisance animals are in turn preyed upon by a larger tick and mite population.  When raccoons nest in your home or skunks move onto your property, they bring with them the insects and diseases hiding in their fur, on their skin and in their feces, which in turn infest your home or property.

I know, this all seems a little doom and gloom.  It’s just nature.  But, there is help.  Allstate Animal Control is a national network of nuisance animal control technicians.  These people know what they’re doing, they know these animals and the particular places they like to hide.  They are experienced at humanely removing nuisance animals out of your home or other buildings, off your property, and can clean the area and repair the damages the animals caused.

Get proactive and protect your home and property against these nuisance animals before they cause property damage and health issues.

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