The Types of Damage Raccoons, Groundhogs and Squirrels Can Do To Your Property

squirrelSpring will be here sooner than you think and before you know it gardening season will be upon us! One of the greatest pleasures of having a beautiful lawn and garden is waking up to the vibrant hues of flowers, fruits and vegetables; however, this may not always be the case if your plants become victim to raccoon, groundhog and squirrel damage.

Gardening is one of the many popular activities that we enjoy doing in our spare time and although it is often very time consuming, the end results are always worth it and easy on the eyes. Be that as it may, animals are attracted to vibrant colours and have reportedly been responsible for garden damage.  Cases involving raccoons, groundhogs and squirrels have recently been on the rise and if you are an avid gardener, continue reading on for the types of damage that these animals can do to your garden.

Raccoon Damage

Although raccoons are known for their forward behaviour and the messes they create, raccoons typically do not cause extensive damage to the landscape itself.  They occasionally seek for food – earthworms, under loose ground soil by lightly to frantically digging through the surface but this is generally a short-term problem as raccoon claws may seldomly damage the sod. However, there have been a few cases where large chunks of ground were torn and strewn apart.

The type of lawn damage that raccoons are often held responsible for is the scattering of garbage straight from our trash bins; this is often a result of the raccoons scavenging for their food. Therefore, to reduce the likelihood of this type of garden damage, it is important to secure trash bins shut and place them in your garage to keep them away from outsiders.

In addition to landscape damage, raccoons also pose another problem – parasites. Raccoon feces is known to contain numerous parasites including the eggs of roundworms. In addition to parasites, raccoon feces is contaminated by bacteria-causing diseases. This is problematic as home pets are susceptible to picking up the various critters and diseases and bringing them straight into your own very home.

Groundhog Damage

Similar to raccoons, groundhogs may damage your garden and lawn the same way. These furry friends take shelter in underground burrows with large piles of dirt located at the entrances. This can be problematic to your lawn as the holes can be deep, hard to cover up and are often located close to fresh garden crops that serve as their very own salad bar. In addition to these burrows, groundhogs create a series of connecting tunnels and chambers underground as well which may damage your property in the long run.

Groundhogs are herbivorous creatures, meaning they only feed on fruits and vegetables. When considering home gardens, groundhogs take a liking to a few crops including carrots, beans and peas. In addition to these vegetables, they also feed on various fruits such as apples and pears.  In order to protect these your lawn and garbage from groundhog damage, the easiest solution is to build a fence surrounding your yard -chicken-wire fencing will do the job just fine.

Squirrel Damage

There are a number of ways that squirrels can damage your lawn; they may munch on your flowers and garden plants and possibly chew on wooden decks and patio furniture. If you’re growing nuts, fruits, berries or tomatoes then your garden may be victim to squirrel damage; don’t worry, your plants can easily be protected by simply netting and fencing them.

Once a squirrel get’s a hold of their food, chances are that they’ll want to hide and store it away for a better time to munch. As a result of this, squirrel’s may also lightly damage your lawn by digging tiny holes to bury their food. This can easily be solved as lawn will fix itself over time.

When looking into patio furniture and wooden decks, squirrels often leave scratch and bite marks. With this being said, outdoor patio coating products and capsaicin-based repellants can be purchased to reduce the degree of damage.

Other Wildlife

Similar to raccoons and their infectious feces, other animals such as skunks may bring you harm.  For instance, leptospirosis -a bacterial disease, can be transmitted through skunk scat; this condition can lead to kidney damage, meningitis and in some serious cases -death.  

Just like groundhogs, gophers and moles can also cause quite the fuss with their underground tunnels as well.  These tunnels may damage underground irrigation systems, shift the ground around any installations such as swimming pool liners, and can ultimately bring long-term damage to your lawn.  

Common Strategies to Keep Animals Away From Your Lawn

Before planning out a strategy to keep animal pests away from you lawn and garden, the most important step is to first identify the animal you are trying to isolate. This is to ensure that the strategy you choose is the most efficient and effective.

Believe it or not, one of the most price-friendly methods out there is actually one of the easiest as well. In order keep your property pest free, you can simply make your lawn less attractive to wildlife by eliminating the features that attract them in the first place. In terms of shelter, cutting down nesting areas like tall patches of grass and barricading off crawl spaces under your patio and deck can leave unwanted pests shelterless and on the move elsewhere.

Accessible food is also one of the key factors that may be attracting animals to your garden, therefore restricting their access to food will drive these pests away. Simply covering up compost piles, fencing off crops and cleaning up leftover pet foods like bird seeds will do the job.

Moreover, methods involving numerous over-the-counter products ranging between traps, and repellents can be purchased to help eliminate unwanted pests.

Why it is Better to Hire a Professional Company

Handling a wild animal on your own is sometimes lengthy, easier said than done and may even be life-threatening. That’s why our team at SOS Wildlife Control is here to help! With the help of a professional company, your safety and the animals’ safety is ensured with the service of our experienced, qualified and trained team members. Animals are treated with care through a number of humane practices and methods including one way doors – doors that are specially designed to allow animals to exit a given region and not re-enter. When in doubt, hiring a professional wildlife company when dealing with a wild animal provides the adequate tools and skills needed to keep you and the animals safe. With the quick push of a button, the team at SOS Wildlife Control is only a call away. Contact us at (647) 994-9453 for our 24/7 emergency services that cater to wildlife near you!

Call SOS Wildlife 1.800.981.0330 for Pest and Wildlife Removal!