We now offer full service Mosquito Control service. (No hormful chemicals used)
Dixie Trapper maintains a Mallard Control Permit
We can remove eggs, nests, and birds in accordance with our permit.
Duck services are taken on a case by case basis.
Because of its climate, Florida is home to many different species of wildlife. At some point, most Floridians will come across some of the most popular neighborhood "critters," including iguanas, raccoons and opossums. The following information will help you discover more about these fascinating animals and learn some of the best ways to keep your home and property "critter free."
Keep in mind that in Florida, all wildlife is protected by anti-cruelty laws. Inhumane treatment. Yet, the presence of wildlife in residential areas can be a nuisance to residents. There are appropriate ways to manage “nuisance wildlife.”
With the exception of sick or injured wildlife, these issues are typically handled by residents themselves, or by professional, private wildlife trappers.
Preventing Nuisance Wildlife
As residents of South Florida’s incredible natural habitat, we must learn to live with the wildlife around us, including iguanas, raccoons and opossums. Because humans are gradually encroaching on many natural animal habitats, displaced wildlife often has nowhere else to go, so they venture into residential habitats.
You can share a little fruit with an opossum or raccoon that is eating fruit off the tree in your yard. There may not be much other food available because of the development going on around you. You may cut open a few pieces of the fruit and lay it on the ground for the animal, as this sometimes prevents it from biting holes into the hanging fruit.
There are other steps you can take to wildlife-proof your home.
Seal all routes of animal entry. Screen open windows and cover chimney tops or other openings where smaller animals can get through with mesh or screening.
· If you live in a trailer, seal the open space from the bottom of the trailer to the ground with wire cloth, cement block, or wood lattice.
· Use artificial owls, hawks, or snakes to discourage small birds and squirrels from going into your fruit trees.
· Sprinkle cayenne pepper around gardens and ornamental plants to keep wildlife from digging them up.
· Secure garbage cans by running a rope or chain over the lid and tying down each handle. Prevent toppled trash cans by placing the cans in some type of anchored rack, or tie them to the fence.
· Take all cat and/or dog food inside before dark every night so as not to encourage an opossum or raccoon to stay in the area for a free handout.
· Leave a bucket containing a hose that is turned on very slowly in the yard to discourage a raccoon from using your pool as a toilet. This "running stream" effect is usually much more attractive to the animal and may save you from having to clean the pool too often.
· Submerge a wire mesh horizontally around the circumference of your pond, stretching the mesh and leaving the inside free, to deter a raccoon from raiding the fish. The fish will have the center of the pond open and the raccoon can't reach over the wire. Because the wire is unstable, raccoons tend not to stand on it.
· Wrap metal guards, 18 inches or wider, around trees five or six feet above the ground, to deprive raccoons of access to roof tops and other buildings.
· Lock all pet doors at night to keep raccoons out of the kitchen or garage.
· Spray fox scent to deter raccoons away from your property.
Iguanas – Florida’s Green Lizard
Iguanas can cause damage by eating valuable landscape plants, shrubs, and trees, as well as orchids and many other flowers. They can also dig burrows next to seawalls and foundations, increasing the chance of erosion and eventual collapse. The droppings of iguanas along decks and docks and sometimes in swimming pools are also a frequent complaint. I’ve not found many of these in Polk County, and the ones I have found belonged to a nearby neighbor. It is important to be a responsible pet owner.
Raccoons are found in all types of habitats. Although they generally prefer wetland regions, over the past decade raccoons have become more comfortable living near human communities and do not fear people as most wildlife do. In fact, they can be pretty bold.
They are especially active at night, looking for food. The raccoon is a seasonal eater that prefers fish, crayfish, and small mammals in the spring. The remainder of the year, it feeds on acorns, seeds, fruits, vegetables, insects, and other invertebrates.
No matter where you live in Florida, there are opossum. The adult opossum is the size of a cat and is light gray to black in color. It has a pink nose, feet, and rat-like tail with black ears and a pointed snout. Opossum’s are not rodents.
This non-aggressive animal has survived since the time of the dinosaurs and can adjust to living just about anywhere. As long as it can find the necessities of life, (water, food, and a den) it will be happy. The most common den sites are under wood piles, decks, and mobile homes. Although the opossum has the most teeth of any land mammal, it does not chew wood.
Opossums are rarely seen together, and except during breeding season or when a female is with her babies, the opossum is a solitary animal. It fights only if attacked, surprised, or cornered, but prefers to run away or “play possum,” which is an involuntary reaction to danger. An opossum will hiss or growl and show its sharp teeth when frightened.
The opossum is very beneficial as a rodent and carrion eater. Besides eating all types of dead animals, it eats a variety of food including over-ripe fruit, grapes, and berries; insects such as cockroaches, crickets, beetles, slugs, snails, etc.; mice, rats, and roof rats; snakes; lizards; and eggs. It also cleans up uneaten food which would normally attract rats. An opossum will eat side by side with a cat out of a dish of cat food that is left outside, and it will consider the cat food a gourmet meal.
It is not necessary to relocate an opossum that you see in your yard. The opossum is not dangerous to you or your pets, if left alone. While any warm blooded mammal can carry rabies, it is highly unlikely that an opossum will. An opossum does, however, carry fleas, as do all wild animals and some domestic animals.
An opossum may get into garbage cans, eat your pet's food, or eat cultivated fruits and vegetables. It may enter a home through ripped screens or vents and duct systems. To alleviate these problems, follow guidelines for Preventing Nuisance Wildlife.
If you come across an opossum in your attic or garage, try to find out how it got in, eliminate its access point, clean and disinfect the area.
0nce strictly a western species, now occurs throughout the eastern United States. They are most numerous in northern Florida, but their numbers appear to be increasing state- wide. The eventual occupation of the entire state is likely.
In addition to their natural range expansion, coyotes have been illegally trucked in from western states and released. Documented releases of coyotes have occurred in Gadsden, Liberty, Columbia and Polk counties. In Polk County, coyotes were released by a local fox hunter who believed he was stocking a depleted fox population with animals sold to him as "black fox." Coyotes are extremely adaptable; just about any type of forest or farmland is suitable habitat. Most of Florida, with the possible exception of the densely populated cities and the expansive saw grass marshes of the Everglades, is suitable coyote habitat.
One of the best defenses for Coyote's is a good well maintained fence.
Coyote service is available, however expensive. It is hard work and long hours and a vast arsinal of equipment is involved.
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