Have you taken your dog out in the evening and heard the rustle of leaves? Most likely it is a skunk, opossum, or a groundhog. Let’s take a quick look at each.
The peace-loving skunk.
Unbelievably, skunks are the most non-aggressive animal you will ever come across. Yes, they have that terrible habit of releasing a really bad smell, but that is only because they are frightened. They love the nightlife but tend to be out and around in the daytime at this time of year looking for food for their young. They feed on bugs and agricultural pests as well small field mice and rats.
Fun fact: A skunk’s spray is potent enough to scare off a bear and most likely, skunks are rarely eaten with the possible exception of a large owl.
These marsupials are nocturnal and spend the nights in search of food. They spend the daylight hours in burrows. Like the skunk, they are quite peaceful but when they are afraid look out. They may growl, hiss and perhaps bite. If cornered, they actually faint and play dead. This is involuntary and can last for 40 minutes up to 4 hours. They can be moved without response. They are true food scavengers and eat almost anything from mice and bugs to road kill.
Fun fact: According to Rick Ostfeld, author of a book on Lyme disease,opossums kill more than 95% of the ticks that try to feed on them and can kill about 5000 ticks in one season!
Is that Punxsutawney Phil?
The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a member of the rodent family. Unlike their friends the skunk and opossum, Groundhogs may be aggressive and blessed with very large incisors, are prone to bite dogs when threatened.
Fun Fact: Also called the whistle-pig, the name comes from the fact that, if frightened, a groundhog will emit a high-pitched whistle as a warning to the rest the colony.
Why all the hubbub about Skunks, Opossum, and ground hogs?
These wildlife animals can cause damage to home and structures when living in attics, crawlspaces, and basements. This time of year, these animals are raising their young and looking for a safe environment to leave them while they forage for food.
At Accurate Pest Control, we are licensed by the State of New York. Our entire organization including office personnel are Certified NYS Nuisance Wildlife Control Officers. We go to great lengths to protect rescued or injured wildlife working in conjunction with wildlife rehabilitation specialists for necessary and suitable care.
Visit our Nuisance Wildlife page and learn more. We specialize in 24/7 emergency response for nuisance wildlife found inside or outside your property. All technicians are prepared to remove unwanted nuisance wildlife as well as provide recommendations for further eradication or exclusion work needed to permanently rid the structure of the nuisance.