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2018 – 2019 Predator Control Images

Alligator – Camen

Due to our service area and U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Oklahoma State and Texas State regulations pertaining to the American Alligator – we provide alligator services in Texas only. However, if in Oklahoma we determine that the problem is NOT the American Alligator, but rather the South American Camen (which is traded on the exotic pet market and considered an invasive species) we will provide service to you.



In Angelina, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, and Victoria counties (“core” counties), and on properties in other counties for which Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has issued CITES tags to the landowner, the open season for alligators is September 10 – 30. In core counties and on special properties, no person may hunt an alligator without possessing a valid CITES tag on their person.

Identification

The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, Fig. 1) is the most common of two crocodilians native to the United States and is one of 22 crocodilian species worldwide. The other native crocodilian is the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). Caimans (Caiman spp.), imported from Central and South America, are occasionally released in the United States and can survive and reproduce in Florida. The American alligator is distinguished from the American crocodile and caiman by its more rounded snout and black and yellow-white coloration. American crocodiles and caimans are olive-brown in color and have more pointed snouts. American alligators and crocodiles are similar in physical size, whereas caimans are 40% smaller.
Range

The American alligator is found in wetlands throughout the coastal plain of the southeastern United States. Viable alligator populations are found in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The northern range is limited by low winter temperatures. Alligators are rarely found south of the Rio Grande drainage. Alligators prefer fresh water but also inhabit brackish water and occasionally venture into salt water. American crocodiles are scarce and, in the United States, are only found in the warmer coastal waters of Florida, south of Tampa and Miami. Caimans rarely survive winters north of central Florida and reproduce only in southernmost Florida.
Habitat

Alligators can be found in almost any type of fresh water, but population densities are greatest in wetlands with an abundant food supply and adjacent marsh habitat for nesting. In Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina, the highest densities are found in highly productive coastal impoundments. In Florida, highest densities occur in nutrient-enriched lakes and marshes. Coastal and inland marshes maintain the highest alligator densities in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Alligators commonly inhabit urban wetlands (canals, lagoons, ponds, impoundments, and streams) throughout their range.
Food Habits

Alligators are exclusively carnivorous and prey upon whatever creatures are most available. Juvenile alligators (less than 4 feet [1.2 m]) eat crustaceans, snails, and small fish; subadults (4 to 6 feet [1.2 to 1.8 m]) eat mostly fish, crustaceans, small mammals, and birds; and adults (greater than 6 feet [1.8 m]) eat fish, mammals, turtles, birds, and other alligators. Diets are range-dependent; in Louisiana coastal marshes, adult alligators feed primarily on nutria (Myocastor coypus), whereas in Florida and northern Louisiana, rough fish and turtles comprise most of the diet. Recent studies in Florida and Louisiana indicate that cannibalism is common among alligators. Alligators readily take domestic dogs and cats. In rural areas, larger alligators take calves, foals, goats, hogs, domestic waterfowl, and occasionally, full-grown cattle and horses.
General Biology, Reproduction, and Behavior

Alligators are ectothermic — they rely on external sources of heat to maintain body temperature. They are most active at warmer temperatures and prefer 82o to 92o F (28o to 33o C). They stop feeding when ambient temperature drops below 70o F (21oC) and become dormant below 55o F (13oC).

Alligators are among the largest animals in North America. Males can attain a size of more than 14 feet (4.3 m) and 1,000 pounds (473 kg). Females can exceed 10 feet (3.1 m) and 250 pounds (116 kg). Alligators of both sexes become sexually mature when they attain a length of 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 m), but their full reproductive capacity is not realized until females and males are at least 7 feet (2.1 m) and 8 feet (2.4 m) long, respectively.

Alligators begin courtship in April throughout most of their range and breed in late May and early June. Females lay a single clutch of 30 to 50 eggs in a mound of vegetation from early June to mid-July. Nests average about 2 feet (0.6 m) in height and 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter. Nests are constructed of the predominant surrounding vegetation, which is commonly cordgrass (Spartina spp.), sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), cattail (Typha spp.), giant reed (Phragmytes spp.), other marsh grasses, peat, pine needles, and/or soil. Females tend their nests and sometimes defend them against intruders, including humans. Eggs normally take 65 days to complete incubation. In late August to early September, 9 to 10-inch (23 to 25-cm) hatchlings are liberated from the nest by the female. She may defend her hatchlings against intruders and stay with them for up to 1 year, but gradually loses her affinity for them as the next breeding season approaches.

Growth rates of alligators are variable and dependent on diet, temperature, and sex. Alligators take 7 to 10 years to reach 6 feet (1.8 m) in Louisiana, 9 to 14 years in Florida, and up to 16 years in North Carolina. When maintained on farms under ideal temperature and nutrition, alligators can reach a length of 6 feet (1.8 m) in 3 years.

Alligators are not normally aggressive toward humans, but aberrant behavior occasionally occurs. Alligators can and will attack humans and cause serious injury or death. Most attacks are characterized by a single bite and release with resulting puncture wounds. Single bites are usually made by smaller alligators (less than 8 feet [2.4 m]) and result in an immediate release, possibly because they were unsure of their intended prey. One-third of the attacks, however, involve repeated bites, major injury, and sometimes death. Serious and repeated attacks are normally made by alligators greater than 8 feet in length and are most likely the result of chase and feeding behavior. Unprovoked attacks by alligators smaller than 5 feet (1.5 m) in length are rare.

Contrary to popular belief, few attacks can be attributed to wounded or territorial alligators or females defending their nests or young. Necropsies of alligators that have attacked humans have shown that most are healthy and well-nourished. It is unlikely that alligator attacks are related to territorial defense. When defending a territory, alligators display, vocalize, and normally approach on the surface of the water where they can be more intimidating. In most serious alligator attacks, victims were unaware of the alligator prior to the attack. Female alligators frequently defend their nest and young, but there have been no confirmed reports of humans being bitten by protective females. Brooding females typically try to intimidate intruders by displaying and hissing before attacking.

Alligators quickly become conditioned to humans, especially when food is involved. Feeding-habituated alligators lose their fear of humans and can be dangerous to unsuspecting humans, especially children. Many aggressive or “fearless” alligators have to be removed each year following feeding by humans. Ponds and waterways at golf courses and high-density housing create a similar problem when alligators become accustomed to living near people.
Damage and Damage Identification

Damage by alligators is usually limited to injuries or death to humans or domestic animals. Most alligator bites occur in Florida, which has documented approximately 140 unprovoked attacks from 1972 to 1991, or about 7 per year. Since 1972, 5 deaths have been positively attributed to alligators. Historically, nonfatal attacks have also been documented in South Carolina (8), Louisiana (2), Texas (1), Georgia (1), and Alabama (1).

Alligators inflict damage with their sharp, cone-shaped teeth and powerful jaws. Bites are characterized by puncture wounds and/or torn flesh. Alligators, like other crocodilians that take large prey, prefer to seize an appendage and twist it off by spinning. Many serious injuries have involved badly damaged and broken arms on humans and legs on animals. Sometimes alligators bite or eat previously drowned persons. Coroners can usually determine whether a person drowned before or after being bitten. Stories of alligators breaking the legs of full-grown men with their tails are unfounded.

Alligators sometimes excavate extensive burrows or dens for refuges from cold temperatures, drought, and predators (other alligators and humans). Burrowing by alligators can damage dikes in impoundments.
Legal Status

The American alligator is federally classified as “threatened due to similarity of appearance” to other endangered and threatened crocodilians. This provides federal protection for alligators but allows state-approved management and control programs. Alligators can be legally taken only by individuals with proper licenses or permits. Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas have problem or nuisance alligator control programs that allow permitted hunters to kill or facilitate the removal of nuisance alligators. Other states use state wildlife officials to remove problem animals.
Damage Prevention and Control Methods
Exclusion

Alligators are most dangerous in water or at the water’s edge. They occasionally make overland forays in search of new habitat, mates, or prey. Concrete or wooden bulkheads that are a minimum of 3 feet (1 m) above the high water mark will repel alligators along waterways and lakes. Alligators have been documented to climb 5-foot (1.5-m) chain-link fences to get at dogs. Fences at least 5 feet high with 4-inch (10-cm) mesh will effectively exclude larger alligators if the top of the fence is angled outward.
Habitat Modification

Elimination of wetlands will eradicate alligators because they depend on water for cover, food, and temperature regulation. Most modifications of wetlands, however, are unlawful and would adversely affect other wildlife. Elimination of emergent vegetation can reduce alligator densities by reducing cover. Check with appropriate conservation authorities before modifying any wetlands.
Frightening

Aversive conditioning using sticks to prod “tame” alligators and rough handling of captured alligators have been attempted in several areas with limited success. Hunting pressure appears to be the most effective means of increasing alligator wariness and may be responsible for limiting the incidence of alligator attacks in Florida, despite increasing human and alligator populations. The historically low attack rate in Louisiana is attributed to a history of intense hunting.
Repellents

None are registered.
Toxicants

None are registered.
Trapping

Alligators can be readily trapped because they are attracted to baits. A baited hook is the simplest method and is used in Louisiana as a general harvest method and in Florida to remove nuisance alligators. Hooks are rigged by embedding a large fish hook (12/0 forged) in bait (nutria, fish, beef lungs, and chicken are popular) and suspended from a tree limb or pole about 2 feet (0.6 m) above the surface of the water. The bait should be set closer to the water to catch smaller alligators. To increase success, baited hooks should be set in the evening and left overnight during the primary feeding time of alligators. Once swallowed, the hook lodges in the alligator’s stomach and the alligator is retrieved with the attached rope. This method can kill or otherwise injure alligators and is not suitable for alligators that are to be translocated. Hooked alligators are most effectively killed by a shot to the brain with a small caliber (.22) rifle. Powerheads (“bangsticks”) can also be used to kill alligators, but should only be used with the barrel under water and according to manufacturer recommendations. Alligator trip-snare trap.

Trip-snare traps (Fig. 2) are more complicated and somewhat less effective than are set hooks but do not injure or kill alligators. An alligator is attracted to the bait and, because of the placement of the guide boards, is forced to enter from the end of the trap with the snare. The alligator puts its head through the self-locking snare (No. 3, 72-inch [1.84-m]; see Supplies and Materials), seizes the bait, and releases the trigger mechanism as it pulls the bait. The surgical tubing contracts and locks the snare on the alligator. These traps can be modified as floating sets. A variation of the trip-snare trap can be set on alligator trails and rigged to trip by the weight of the alligator (see Mazzotti and Brandt 1988).

Wire box traps have been used effectively to trap alligators. Heavy nets have been used with limited success to capture alligators and crocodiles at basking sites.
Translocation

Translocation of problem alligators was practiced extensively during the 1970s with limited success. Alligators, especially larger ones, tended to return to their original capture sites after being moved. These alligators not only caused problems during their return trip but frequently required subsequent capture and translocation. Translocation is not recommended unless areas with depleted alligator populations are available for release of problem animals.
Shooting

Next to baited hooks, shooting is probably the most effective means of removing alligators. Alligators can be shot during the day or at night, and should be shot in the brain case with a sufficiently powerful rifle (.243 caliber and larger) for an efficient and humane kill. Firearms, however, present public safety problems in most nuisance alligator settings. Furthermore, alligators sink almost immediately after dying and may be difficult to recover (by gaffs or snatch hooks) in areas with currents or dense submergent plants. This method may make confirmation of a kill difficult and may compromise the commercial value of the alligator. Crossbows with lines attached to barbed bolts work fairly well at short distances but should only be used to kill alligators.
Other Methods
harpoon and breakaway snares for alligator control

Detachable-head harpoons (Fig. 3a, b) with attached lines have been used effectively to harvest nuisance alligators. A harpoon assembly (Fig. 3a) is attached to a 10- to 12-foot (3- to 3.5-m) wooden pole. The harpoon is thrust at

the alligator and, after the tip penetrates the skin, withdrawn, leaving the tip embedded under the alligator’s skin (Fig. 3b). As tension is placed on the retrieval line, the off-center attachment location of the cable causes the tip to rotate into a position parallel to the skin of the alligator, providing a secure attachment to the alligator. Harpoons are less effective than firearms, but the attached line helps to ensure the recovery of the alligator.

Snatch hooks are weighted multitine hooks on fishing line that can be cast over an alligator’s back and embedded in its skin. The size of hooks and the line strength should be suited to the size of the alligator; small alligators can be caught with standard light fishing gear while large alligators require 10/0 hooks, a 100-pound test line, and a heavy-duty fishing rod. Heavy hooks with nylon line can be hand-cast for larger alligators. After the hook penetrates the alligator’s skin, the line must be kept tight to prevent the hook from falling out. Alligators frequently roll after being snagged and become entangled in the line. This entanglement permits a more effective recovery. Snatch hooks work well during the day and at night, provided that vegetation is minimal.

Handheld poles with self-locking snares (sizes No. 2 and 3; Fig. 4) can be can be used effectively to capture unwary alligators at night. For smaller (less than 6 feet [1.8 m]) alligators, snares can be affixed to a pole with a hose clamp. For adult alligators, snares should be rigged to “break away” from the pole by attaching the snare to the pole with thin (1/2-inch [1-cm] wide) duct tape (Fig. 4). The tape or clamps allow the snare to be maneuvered and are designed to release after the snare is locked. Carefully place the snare around the alligator’s neck, then jerk the pole and/or retrieval line to set the locking snare. A nylon retrieval rope should always be fastened to the snare and the rope secured to a boat or other heavy object.

For alligators less than 6 feet (1.8 m) long, commercially available catch poles (Fig. 5; see Supplies and Materials) can be used. Snake tongs (Fig. 6, see Supplies and Materials) are effective for catching alligators less than 2 feet (0.6 m) long.
Avoidance

Measures can be taken to avoid confrontations with alligators and substantially reduce the probability of attacks. Avoid swimming or participating in water activities in areas with large alligators. Avoid water activities at dusk and at night during the warmer months when alligators are most active. Alligators can quickly surge at least 5 feet (1.5 m) onto the shore to seize prey, so care should be taken when at the water’s edge. Do not feed alligators. Avoid approaching nests and capturing young (2 feet [0.6 m]) alligators.
Economics of Damage and Control

Alligators can cause injuries and death to humans, livestock, and pets. All alligator bites require medical treatment and serious bites may require hospitalization. Infections can result from alligator bites, particularly from the Aeromonas spp. bacteria.

Lawsuits that arise from findings of negligence on the part of a private owner or governmental agency responsible for an attack site can lead to significant economic liability.

In Florida, approximately 15% of the alligator complaints are due to fear of pet losses and, to a lesser extent, livestock losses. Losses of livestock other than domestic waterfowl, however, are uncommon and difficult to verify. Levees damaged by alligator burrows or dens may require repair.

Alligators are valuable for their skin and meat. An average-sized nuisance alligator typically yields 8 feet (2.4 m) of skin and 30 pounds (13.5 kg) of boneless meat with a wholesale value of $390 (at $30 per foot for skins and $5 per pound for meat). Other products such as skulls, teeth, fat, and organs can be sold, but account for less than 10% of the value of an alligator. Nuisance alligator control programs in several states use the sale of alligator skins to offset costs of removal and administration.

Florida has the most pressing nuisance alligator problem and currently harvests about 4,000 alligators per year. Nuisance alligator harvests also occur in Louisiana (600), Georgia (400), South Carolina (250), and Texas (50).
Acknowledgments

We thank the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management for all information found on this page.

Winged Problems

As we open into spring and I sat on my porch this evening drinking coffee and talking … I was abruptly reminded of several things that come with this time of year … bats, birds and bees.

Pigeons removed from a roof

Pigeons removed from a roof

We are receiving calls on spring beaver and skunk problems. But now the bats are moving, the honey bees are foraging and looking to set up new hives and colonies and the birds (Canada geese, European Starlings, Feral Pigeons and House Sparrows) are nesting and creating a lot of problems and issues.

Oklahoma residential Canada goose geese control remediation remedy removal remove

If you are having early issues with these or any other wildlife species … do wait to get on our schedule. It’s filling up fast with calls for animal issues and problems.

#oklahomawildlifecontrol #honeybees #birds #bats #geese #goose #getridof #howto

Foundation Barriers – A “MUST” for any structure

Wildlife Prevention Barriers … yes, we install them!

Another service provided by the Oklahoma Wildlife Control Limited Liability Company, which is usually not mentioned or discussed until we’re called out to remove a dead animal from under a mobile / modular / trailer home … is re-skirting and wildlife barrier installation performed to this type of residential structure, to prevent future wildlife access. There’s hardly a worse smell, than finding out an opossum, skunk or other wildlife species has gained active access under your structure … or worse yet, died under your home. When you find out this has occurred, it is usually with your nose, just prior to hosting a party or a family / friends “get together”. These animals usually gain access under the structure through faulty skirting, then they climb up into the flooring insulation, get lost, and die around the plumbing fixtures of the home while seeking water. Proper installation of a wildlife barrier, and if a “mobile” type structure, the “re-skirting” of the foundation … is an absolute “must” for these types of structures, and in our own opinion, should be a “code” regulation for the structures placement on a property.

But you say “my structure is on a slab” … and our reply is “AND!?” Yes, it happens to cement slabs as well. Especially is the footing was poured improperly, the ground is continuously “wet or soft”, and through regular “settling” of the footing and slab. These episodes cause erosion, and will end up in a “washout” or “wash hole” providing access under the slab itself. Even tough a barrier installation is not as common with “slabs” … it does happen, and when it does, the slab makes the level of installation difficulties escalate drastically.

If you need a wildlife prevention barrier installed on your structure, and you want it properly and professionally installed … look no further and contact us today.

918-367-9060 Oklahoma’s residential Canada Geese-Goose Problems & Issues

Spring is here … and so are the residential Canada geese. And in a lot of locations … just a few geese are welcomed for scenery. However … the Geese are nesting, and laying eggs … which could pose a potential problem for people just passing by.

Residential Canada geese are a large problem in Oklahoma and throughout the nation. To assist in this problem, we are authorized to removed and relocate geese, as well as addle eggs, as seen in the pictures provided below. If you have issues with Canada geese, or any other wildlife species, contact us today.

Legal Status

In the United States, migratory birds, including most waterfowl, as well as their nests and eggs, are federally protected (50 CFR 10.12) by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) (16 USC. 703-711). A complete list of all migratory birds protected by the MBTA can be found in 50 CFR 10.13. Also, all states protect most waterfowl. Exotic and feral waterfowl species including mute swans, greylag geese, muscovy ducks, and Pekin ducks are not protected by the MBTA, but may be protected by state law or local ordinance.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has enlisted us as designated agents, under ODWC’s Special Canada goose Permit (SCGP), issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Services. As agents we are authorized to conduct resident Canada goose management and control activities through egg and nest manipulation, trapping, and relocation, of Canada geese in order to contribute to human health and safety, protection of personal property, and prevention of injury to people or property. We are pre-authorized to trap and relocate and carry out egg and nest control only from within the incorporated city limits of a municipality. At this time lethal control of resident Canada geese by SCGP Agents operating under the ODWC federal permit is not permitted. Control activities under the ODWC’s federal Special Canada Goose Permit may only be conducted between March 11 and August 31. Activities involving the harassment of resident Canada geese, that do not result in the taking or possession of resident Canada geese, their parts, nest or eggs, may be conducted year around.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma … is certified under the SCGP of the US Fish & Wildlife Department, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to assist and resolve your residential Canada geese problems and concerns with services ranging from egg addling to physical removal and relocation. Contact us today for your Residential Canada Geese needs. Our professionals are standing by to assist you.


Raccoon Remediations

As we enter into the fall months prior to winter … so do the raccoons. They enter into your walls, attics, foundations and other areas. Raccoons can be a nuisance to state the least, and can be very damaging to attic and interior spaces if left unchecked. However, most raccoon damages can be covered under a home owners insurance claim, whereas other pest problems cannot. Raccoons were determined to be neither pest nor vermin a few years ago in U.S. Courts, and therefore could not be omitted in a home owner policy. Though the actual removal of the raccoons cannot be claimed, the damage repairs which are required in their absence or eviction, can be.

Raccoons don’t simply “den up” and cause no harm … they create toilets or latrines in the attics, damage wiring and insulation, tear through walls and ceilings, and torment home owners and pets alike. So you ask “why your house?” The answer is simple … the raccoon was traveling from point “A” to “B” … and your house was in the way, and it decided to stay. There are some “draws” which entice a raccoon to take up refuge in your structure … water source, food source and accessibility … however, the bottom line tends to be “your structure was there”.

We offer the most dedicated removal and damage repair services available in this, and many other instances. Our work carries a 3 year warranty in writing. This is the time of year, that the raccoons will begin looking for their winter homes, and spring birthing areas. Don’t fall victim to ongoing damages caused by raccoons, this problem will not resolve itself once they take up residency. Contact us today for more information about this, and all other wildlife related services we offer.

Moles – Gophers


Yates and Pedersen (1982) list seven North American species of moles. They are the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus), hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri), star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata), broad-footed mole (Scapanus latimanus), Townsend’s mole (Scapanus townsendii), coast mole (Scapanus orarius), and shrew mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii).

The mole discussed here is usually referred to as the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus). It is an insectivore, not a rodent, and is related to shrews and bats.

True moles may be distinguished from meadow mice (voles), shrews, or pocket gophers—with which they are often confused—by noting certain characteristics. They have a hairless, pointed snout extending nearly 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) in front of the mouth opening. The small eyes and the opening of the ear canal are concealed in the fur; there are no external ears. The forefeet are very large and broad, with palms wider than they are long. The toes are webbed to the base of the claws, which are broad and depressed. The hind feet are small and narrow, with slender, sharp claws.

Average Dimensions and Weight Males :

Average total length, 7 inches (17.6 cm)
Average length of tail, 1 1/4 inches
(3.3 cm)
Average weight, 4 ounces (115 g)
Females:
Average total length, 6 5/8 inches
(16.8 cm)
Average length of tail, 1 1/4 inches
(3.3 cm)
Average weight, 3 ounces (85 g)



Pocket gophers are fossorial (burrowing) rodents, so named because they have fur-lined pouches outside of the mouth, one on each side of the face. These pockets, which are capable of being turned inside out,are used for carrying food. Pocket gophers are powerfully built in the forequarters and have a short neck; the head is fairly small and flattened. The forepaws are large-clawed and the lips close behind their large incisors, all marvelous adaptations to their underground existence.

Gophers have small external ears and small eyes. As sight and sound are severely limited, gophers are highly dependent on the sense of touch. The vibrissae (whiskers) on their face are very sensitive to touch and assist pocket gophers while traveling about in their dark tunnels. The tail is sparsely haired and also serves as asensory mechanism guiding gophers’ backward movements. The tail is also important in thermo-regulation, acting as a radiator.

Pocket gophers are medium-sized rodents ranging from about 5 to nearly 14 inches (13 to 36 cm) long (head and body). Adult males are larger than adult females. Their fur is very fine, soft, and highly variable in color. Colors range from nearly black to pale brown to almost white. The great variability in size and color of pocket gophers is attributed to their low dispersal rate and thus limited gene flow, resulting in adaptation to local conditions.

Thirty-four species of pocket gophers, represented by five genera, occupy the western hemisphere. In the United States there are 13 species and three genera. The major features differentiating these genera are the size of their forefeet, claws, and front surfaces of their chisel-like incisors.

Woodchuck – Ground Hog – Land Beaver – Whistle Pig

So how much wood, could a Woodchuck chunk if a Woodchuck could chunk wood?

You are not really going to care if you have them on your property. Woodchuck, land beaver, whistle pigs and groundhog are all names for the same marmot … and they don’t chunk wood. They will however burrow, tunnel and destroy gardens and crops since they are herbivores.



A woodchuck is the largest “ground squirrel” in North America. The woodchuck has a compact, chunky body supported by relatively short, strong legs. Its tail is short and bristly. Its forefeet have long, curved claws that are adapted for digging ground burrows where it seeks refuge and hibernates during winter months. Woodchucks have yellowish-brown to blackish-brown fur. Like other rodents, they have chisel-like incisor teeth that are used to nip off vegetation. From tip of nose to end of tail, woodchucks are approximately 20 to 27 inches long and weigh 5 to 12 pounds. Woodchucks hibernate during the winter, beginning with the first heavy frosts. They emerge from hibernation during late February or March when mating season begins. After a 30-day gestation period, young are born in April or early May. Litters average three to four young, and by mid-June or early July the young leave their home burrows and establish their own territories, usually moving into old, abandoned dens. The average life span of woodchucks is four to five years. Primary predators include hawks, owls, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, dogs, weasels, and humans.


Habitat and Food Habits

Woodchucks dig burrows, which they use to bear and raise young and escape from predators. Dens are typically located in open fields, meadows, pastures, fence rows, and woodland edges. In suburban areas, woodchucks commonly burrow under barns, sheds, and porches. Often woodchucks will take up residence under stone walls, woodpiles, or porches, using several auxiliary dens for shelter. The burrows dug by woodchucks are 8 to 66 feet long and 2 to 5 feet deep. They normally have two or three entrances,
although there may be as many as five. The main entrance can be identified by the mound of excavated dirt and stones surrounding the entrance.

Woodchucks are herbivores and eat a wide variety of vegetation, including grasses, weed shoots, clover, alfalfa, and soybeans. They will also consume garden vegetables such as cabbage, beans, peas, and carrots and fruits such as apples, cherries and pears. Woodchucks prefer early morning and evening hours for feeding because they depend on dew and plant moisture for their water intake.


Description of Damage

Woodchucks can become a nuisance when their feeding and burrowing habits conflict with human interests. They frequently damage vegetable and flower gardens, agricultural crops, orchards, nurseries and areas around buildings. Damage to crops can be costly. In addition, mounds of dirt and holes at burrow entrances can be hazardous to farm equipment and livestock. Woodchucks
are excellent climbers. They can damage fruit trees and ornamental shrubs as they gnaw or claw woody vegetation in orchards. Similar to ground squirrels, woodchucks may strip bark at the base of trees near their burrow entrance to mark their territories.


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia



*Information on this page was received from the Woodchucks, Wildlife Damage Management Fact Sheet Series, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, N.Y. ©2001 by Cornell University. http://wildlifecontrol.info/pubs/Documents/Woodchucks/Woodchuck_factsheet.pdf

FOX – Red – Grey – Gray – Removal – Damage – Prevention – Oklahoma

Identification


The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most common of the foxes native to North America. Most depredation problems are associated with red foxes, although in some areas gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) can cause problems. Few damage complaints have been associated with the swift fox (V. velox), kit fox (V. macrotis), or Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). The red fox is dog-like in appearance, with an elongated pointed muzzle and large pointed ears that are usually erect and forward. It has moderately long legs and long, thick, soft body fur with a heavily furred, bushy tail. Typically, red foxes are colored with a light orange-red coat, black legs, lighter-colored underfur and a white-tipped tail. Silver and cross foxes are color phases of the red fox. In North America the red fox weighs about 7.7 to 15.4 pounds (3.5 to 7.0 kg), with males on average 2.2 pounds (1 kg) heavier than females. Gray foxes weigh 7 to 13 pounds (3.2 to 5.9 kg) and measure 32 to 45 inches (81 to 114 cm) from the nose to the tip of the tail. The color pattern is generally salt-and-pepper gray with buffy underfur. The sides of the neck, back of the ears, legs, and feet are rusty yellow. The tail is long and bushy with a black tip. Other species of foxes present in North America are the Arctic fox, swift fox, and kit fox. These animals are not usually associated with livestock and poultry depredation because they typically eat small rodents and lead a secretive life in remote habitats away from people, although they may cause site-specific damage problems.

Range

Red foxes occur over most of North America, north and east from southern California, Arizona, and central Texas. They are found throughout most of the United States with the exception of a few isolated areas. Gray foxes are found throughout the eastern, north central, and southwestern United States They are found throughout Mexico and most of the southwestern United States from California northward through western Oregon. Kit foxes are residents of arid habitats. They are found from extreme southern Oregon and Idaho south along the Baja Peninsula and eastward through southwestern Texas and northern Mexico. The present range of swift foxes is restricted to the central high plains. They are found in Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, New Mexico, Texas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. As its name indicates, the Arctic fox occurs in the arctic regions of North America and was introduced on a number of islands in the Aleutian chain.

Habitat

The red fox is adaptable to most habitats within its range, but usually prefers open country with moderate cover. Some of the highest fox densities reported are in the north-central interspersed with farmlands. The range of the red fox has expanded in recent years to fill habitats formerly occupied by coyotes (Canis latrans). The reduction of coyote numbers in many sagebrush/grassland areas of Montana and Wyoming has resulted in increased fox numbers. Red foxes have also demonstrated their adaptability by establishing breeding populations in many urban areas of the United States, Canada, and Europe. Gray foxes prefer more dense cover such as thickets, riparian areas, swamp land, or rocky pinyon-cedar ridges. In eastern North America, this species is closely associated with edges of deciduous forests. Gray foxes can also be found in urban areas where suitable habitat exists.

Food Habits

Foxes are opportunists, feeding mostly on rabbits, mice, bird eggs, insects, and native fruits. Foxes usually kill animals smaller than a rabbit, although fawns, pigs, kids, lambs, and poultry are sometimes taken. The foxes’ keen hearing, vision, and sense of smell aid in detecting prey. Foxes stalk even the smallest mice with skill and patience. The stalk usually ends with a sudden pounce onto the prey. Red foxes sometimes kill more than they can eat and bury food in caches for later use. All foxes feed on carrion (animal carcasses) at times.

General Biology, Reproduction, and Behavior

Foxes are crepuscular animals, being most active during the early hours of darkness and very early morning hours. They do move about during the day, however, especially when it is dark and overcast. Foxes are solitary animals except from the winter breeding season through midsummer, when mates and their young associate closely. Foxes have a wide variety of calls. They may bark, scream, howl, yap, growl, or make sounds similar to a hiccup. During winter a male will often give a yelling bark, ewo-wo-wo, that seems to be important in warning other male foxes not to intrude on its territory. Red foxes may dig their own dens or use abandoned burrows of a woodchuck or badger. The same dens may be used for several generations. Gray foxes commonly use wood piles, rocky outcrops, hollow trees, or brush piles as den sites. Foxes use their urine and feces to mark their territories. Mating in red foxes normally occurs from mid-January to early February. At higher latitudes (in the Arctic) mating occurs from late February to early March. Estrus in the vixen lasts 1 to 6 days, followed by a 51- to 53-day gestation period. Fox pups can be born from March in southern areas to May in the arctic zones. Red foxes generally produce 4 to 9 pups. Gray foxes usually have 3 to 7 pups per litter. Arctic foxes may have from 1 to 14 pups, but usually have 5 or 6. Foxes disperse from denning areas during the fall months and establish breeding areas in vacant territories, sometimes dispersing considerable distances.

Damage and Damage Identification

Foxes may cause serious problems for poultry producers. Turkeys raised in large range pens are subject to damage by foxes. Losses may be heavy in small farm flocks of chickens, ducks, and geese. Young pigs, lambs, and small pets are also killed by foxes. Damage can be difficult to detect because the prey is usually carried from the kill site to a den site, or uneaten parts are buried. Foxes usually attack the throat of young livestock, but some kill by inflicting multiple bites to the neck and back. Foxes do not have the size or strength to hold adult livestock or to crush the skull and large bones of their prey. They generally prefer the viscera and often begin feeding through an entry behind the ribs. Foxes will also scavenge carcasses, making the actual cause of death difficult to determine. Pheasants, waterfowl, other game birds, and small game mammals are also preyed upon by foxes. At times, fox predation may be a significant mortality factor for upland and wetland birds, including some endangered species. Rabies outbreaks are most prevalent among red foxes in southeastern Canada and occasionally in the eastern United States. The incidence of rabies in foxes has declined substantially since the mid-1960s for unexplained reasons. In 1990, there were only 197 reported cases of fox rabies in the United States as compared to 1,821 for raccoons
and 1,579 for skunks. Rabid foxes are a threat to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife.

Risk of Disease

While it is responsible to draw your attention to the potential hazards associated by living in close proximity to the red fox it is also important to keep the level of threat in perspective. Foxes can carry a range of parasites and diseases relevant to the health of domestic pets and people. As members of the canine family foxes are known to harbor numerous contagious diseases which can effect the health of pet dogs.

Toxocariasis This is the most common disease which foxes are likely to transmit to man. It is caused by a parasitic roundworm in the fox, toxocara canis. Microscopic toxocara eggs are present in the feces of infected animals. These eggs have thick, sticky shells which means that they can remain infective in the soil for two to four years after the feces have disappeared. The sticky shell helps eggs to adhere to fingers or clothing.

Humans can become infected with toxocara by accidentally swallowing the infective Toxocara eggs. This is why crawling babies and toddlers are most at risk; they tend to put dirty fingers and toys into their mouths. Medical records show that approximately 100 new cases of Toxocariasis are diagnosed each year. Once swallowed, Toxocara eggs release larvae into the intestine. These larvae travel through the body until they die, which may take several years.

The symptoms of this disease can be unpleasant and difficult to treat. They can include stomach upset and pain, headache, sore throat, wheezing and listlessness. In some cases, larvae reach the eyes where they can cause sight problems and in some cases blindness.

Domestic cats and dogs are prone to a form of this disease as well so cleaning up after their fouling is just as important.

* It is important to always clear up fox feces as soon as possible to deposit it in a safe and secure bin. This is so as not to allow sufficient time for any roundworm eggs to incubate.

Leptospirosis (Weil’s Disease) Foxes are also susceptible to Weil’s disease, which is a potentially life threatening condition and can be passed on to domestic pets and humans via contact with their urine.

Hydatid disease is a parasitic infestation by a tapeworm of the genus Echinococcus. It can result in the formation of cysts or parasitic tumours usually to the liver though lung, brain and bone can also be infected. It can be transmitted to humans either by directly ingesting food items or drinking water that is contaminated with stool from an infected animal or by petting or having other contact with cats and dogs that have been infected by proximity to foxes. These pets may shed the eggs in their stool, and their fur may be contaminated. They may also contaminate other objects, such as harnesses or leashes, which can also spread infection.

Sarcoptic Mange is a highly contagious skin condition which is caused by mites and results in irritation and extensive loss of hair. It can be fatal if left untreated. Foxes can pass mange on to dogs if they frequent each others’ living space. If the infected dog then sleeps on beds or furniture, everyone will begin scratching. Fortunately scabies in humans is self-limiting, that is the mite can burrow under the skin and cause itching, but cannot complete its life cycle on humans and dies within a few weeks.

Fleas and ticks are carried by most foxes, thus carrying a parasite that itself can be a carrier of serious or even fatal diseases.

Rabies – Fox are a “Rabies Vectored” wildlife species in Oklahoma, and most of the United States.

Risk to Pets

Given the opportunity foxes will kill small domestic pets such as rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and kittens. Unlike many predators foxes have the habit of killing more than they need to eat immediately. They may subsequently return for any uneaten corpses. Any small domestic animal should be securely protected with galvanized weld mesh or electrified fencing. Chicken wire is insufficient protection as it was designed to keep chickens in rather than to keep predators out.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Control®, L.L.C., is a nuisance & predatory wildlife solutions and service company, with a number of specialties. However, OWC is not an animal rescue nor a rehabilitation organization. If you have problems with domestic cats and dogs, we suggest that you contact your local animal shelter for assistance. Thank you.

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Welcome to OK Wildlife Control®, L.L.C.

A Family Owned and Operated Professional Wildlife Management Company. Removing wild animals & repairing wildlife damages for more than 25 years. We WILL NOT do ANYTHING to your property that we would not have done to our own.

Local Call (918) 367-9060

TOLL FREE 1-855-787-WILD (9453)

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Click here for a paper we provided at the 14th Annual Wildlife Damage Management Conference in Nebraska. This gives insight to Urban Coyote Problems & Solutions.





 

Why the OK Wildlife Control® L.L.C. You Ask? It’s Simple …


We are unrivaled in our Warranty & Guarantees

We provide a LABOR warranty of 5 years for the exclusion of BATS, STRUCTURAL BIRDS and HONEY BEES from structures.

We provide a LABOR warranty of 3 years for the exclusion of ALL OTHER WILDLIFE SPECIES from structures.


People value wildlife for a very broad range of reasons. Protection, enhancement, consumption, preservation and aesthetics all have their proponents. Regardless of one’s primary ideology, there tends to be general agreement that management of damage is necessary when too many of a given species creates negative economic impact, or health and safety concerns. We are most concerned about safeguarding people: ourselves, our customers, and the public. There are health and safety risks posed by the presence of nuisance or predatory wildlife, and by the techniques, means and methods used to control or exclude wildlife. For most people, “nuisance wildlife” means an animal is destructive or menacing. The animal may be damaging property such as buildings, crops, pets, livestock, gardens, or public parks. Wildlife may threaten human health or safety by spreading diseases; through direct attacks; or accidentally, because of collisions with cars, airplanes, or trains.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company is a private, Veteran & family owned business. We are not affiliated or funded by any state, local or federal government, and we do not provide services for domestic dogs and cats, nor do we shelter or adopt them out. We are called to provide services when our clients are looking for the very best company to resolve wildlife related issues, repair damages or manage populations. Regardless of your wildlife issue, either native or exotic, you can rest assured that this family owned, operated and oriented company will always hold your dearest possessions as our primary concern. Please contact us today with any questions or concerns.

Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company employees, and our wildlife subcontractors are Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator certified by the State of Oklahoma. Company Founder and Owner Reginald Murray himself, has more than 25 years of experience in the wildlife control industry. Combined with the rest of the staff, the Oklahoma Wildlife Control®, L.L.C. has more than 60 years experience to bring to each wildlife situation. There is no other company found in Oklahoma or Texas, that is better prepared to serve your wildlife or nuisance animal related needs. You can see some of our credentials here.

 

The Best Qualities of OK Wildlife Control® L.L.C.?

 

It is difficult to pinpoint a single “best part” about O.W.C., but if we have to try then here’s the attempt. The Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company … unlike some other companies in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and surrounding areas … does not use “scare tactics” and we are always honest and open. We do not have “hidden” fees, and we explain what we are doing, and why we are doing it every time we are questioned. We work hand in hand with insurance companies to achieve the maximum legal coverage that a clients insurance policy allows for covered wildlife problems, without “scamming” the insurance company and leaving the “fraudulent activity” in the “laps” of our clients. We also work had in had with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and other agencies to ensure that a “protected”, “endangered” or “threatened” species is not injured or harmed in any way. We are a “Family Oriented” professional company … and we will treat our clients in no different manner than we demand for our own family when selecting a service provider.

Honesty is just one of many reasons that Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company is called on by the Federal Government Entities, State Government Entities, Local Government Entities, Township Entities, Industrial or Commercial Properties and Private Land Owners to service their wildlife control requirements and damage repairs.

Where exactly do these services get rendered? To all of Oklahoma. These can be found by clicking here. ALL COUNTIES, ALL TOWNSHIPS, ALL PROPERTY OWNERS, TENANTS, BUSINESSES or any other entity with a nuisance or predatory wildlife problem.

What wildlife problems does the Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company take care of exactly? A listing of those can be found by following the “WILDLIFE” link, and then clicking on the species of concern to gain more information. But we have listed them below as well.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company resolves problems with Alligator, Armadillo, Badger, Bats, Bear, Beaver, Birds, Bobcat, Cougar, Coyote, Deer, Exotics, Feral Swine, Foxes, Geese, Gopher, Honey Bees, Mink, Mole, Muskrats, Opossum, Otter, Porcupine, Rabbit, Raccoon, Skunk, Snakes, Turtles, Squirrels, Ring-tails and more.

Is the Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company the best in the business? In their own words “ABSOLUTELY” … Reginald Murray, has personally trained some of the other “competitors” in Oklahoma. He is constantly called upon by service providers nation wide for his knowledge, experience and expertise. Don’t call another company to get a “student”, when you can get the INSTRUCTOR to resolve your problem personally.

We provide services for all native and exotic wildlife species, but we specialize in wildlife resolutions and client satisfaction. Don’t wait for your wildlife issue to establish and begin causing continued long term damages … call us today.

Other Wildlife Issues? – Please click the “Wildlife Info” navigation tab at the top to see a full list of the wildlife we control, and please click here for our services offered. Thank you.


 

 



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Oklahoma Wildlife Control® Limited Liability Company 1-855-787-WILD (9453)