Summer is pretty great. Barbeques, swimming, sunsets, and fireworks: what's not to love? Oh, that's right, mosquitoes. These annoying creatures love the warm summer weather as much – if not more – than you do. Not only are mosquitoes obnoxious, but they can also be downright dangerous. Most conventional mosquito repellents are filled with toxic chemicals which can harm small children and pets. Fortunately, you can create your own … [Read more...]
Squirrel Repellent Recipe
Are you seeking a homemade squirrel repellent to fend off squirrels from your bird feeders, garden plants, or yard? There are several commercial repellents available, and you can even mix up a safe and effective repellent at home. But you may want to try some other effective options first. While this article offers a squirrel repellent “recipe,” your best bet for a positive outcome is to address the root of the conflict. Read on for some helpful … [Read more...]
Skunks and Their Natural History
Shy and gentle may not be the qualities that come to mind when you think of skunks. More likely, you’re thinking about their noxious musk spray, or maybe wondering how to trap a skunk. But there’s much more to know about skunks than this. Common, yet seldom seen, these small mammals are versatile and important members of the ecosystems in which they live—yes, even in your own community. Skunk Appearance Five of the nine skunk species are found … [Read more...]
What is a Vole?
You are not alone if you’re not entirely sure what to say if someone were to ask you, “What is a vole?” In fact, so confusing are the world’s many similar small creatures and the erroneously overlapping names applied to them that the situation almost defies untangling… meadow voles, meadow mice, field mice, pine mice… what gives? Maybe Shakespeare was fine with the idea that one could call a rose by any other name and know that it would smell as … [Read more...]
Want to Know More About Foxes?
Foxes of three species—red, gray, and kit—find food, shelter, and even places to den and raise their young among us in towns and cities. Which species you are most likely to have in your neighborhood depends upon your location and surrounding habitat. Red foxes are the most adaptable and widespread. For the most part, foxes live compatibly with us and maybe just under our noses, adjusting their active times to minimize overlap with ours. Any … [Read more...]
Top Things to Know About Groundhog Removal
“You ain’t nothin’ but a ground hog!” If one of these prodigious foragers and burrow diggers has done some sort of misdeed in your yard, that’s what you may be thinking as you contemplate how to achieve your sudden all-consuming goal: groundhog removal. Groundhogs are not likely to quibble with you over your harsh “nothin’ but” comment, because they’re pretty humble, laid back animals. But some people do prefer to call them woodchucks. Woodchuck, … [Read more...]
Yard and Garden Conflicts with Wild Rabbits
As it turns out, wild rabbits want the same things in a garden that you do… flowers and veggies! After all the work involved in planting and tending to your garden and landscaping, it can be disheartening to find your precious flowers and vegetables nibbled away by wild rabbits. But conflicts with wild rabbits are not all one-sided. Raking and mowing often disrupts their nests. Cats who are allowed to free-roam catch and kill baby rabbits. When … [Read more...]
Dog Quilled by a Porcupine?
Surely one of the most pitiful sights in the world is that of a dog who has made the unfortunate mistake of tangling with a porcupine. Repeat porcupine encounters suggest that many dogs simply don’t understand what they’re getting into with a porcupine until it’s too late. As your dog’s best friend, follow these safety tips if you live in an area with porcupines, as well as these instructions for what to do if your dog does have an unfortunate … [Read more...]
Armadillo Natural History
To the Aztecs, they were ayotochtl, or the turtle-rabbit. To pumas and jaguars, they were an elusive meal. And to the Spanish, they were the “little armored one.” When South and North America were united by the Isthmus of Panama 15 million years ago, armadillos began their long march northwards, becoming one of only four mammals to survive the trek. With the recent, drastic decline in natural predators, in the past 150 years they have … [Read more...]
Armadillos in Your Yard
Armadillos are amazing animals, although you may wish they were a tad less amazing when it comes to their digging abilities. If you have an armadillo hanging out in your yard, you may be only noticing the less helpful aspects of their presence. But these nocturnal omnivores do some good stuff too - like scarfing up gobs of worms, grubs, and insects and aerating your soil, which will help your plants grow better. It’s also true, though, that in … [Read more...]
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