With the summer often comes parties and playtime in the backyard, but this fun might not last if rodents and snakes have made your property their home. Bug Out wants to protect your family and guests by teaching you more about these pests and wildlife.
Rodents are attracted to garbage and waste from cereals, fruits, grains and vegetables. They also chew cardboard to make nests out of it. These pests contaminate food and surfaces with feces and urine, spreading diseases. Rodents chew on a variety of other items as well, including electric wires and insulation, which causes damage in and around homes. Be on the lookout for these common pests in Atlanta:
- Cotton Rats – Measuring 5.2 to 8.4 inches, these rodents have coarse, gray hair mixed with black. Their undersides are light in color, and their tails are bare.
- Deer Mice – Measuring 2.8 to 4 inches, these mice have big, black eyes, large ears with little fur and pointed noses. Their bodies are reddish-brown with white feet and bellies, and their tails are bicolored, covered in fine hairs and short.
- House Mice – Measuring up to 8 inches, these mice have light brown, gray or black short hair and light-colored undersides. Their ears and tails are bare, and they leave behind pointed, rod-shaped droppings.
- Norway Rats – Measuring up to 16 inches, the tails on these rats are scaly and can account for half of their length. Their ears are also scaly, and their bodies have shaggy, brown or gray fur. They leave capsule-shaped droppings behind.
- Roof Rats – Sometimes measuring more than 16 inches, these rats are similar to Norway rats, but they have black or brown smooth fur, pointed noses, and large eyes and ears.
Snakes are attracted to sources of food such as birds, frogs, lizards, rodents, toads and other snakes. They are also attracted to certain habitats such as high grass, overgrown vegetation, and piles of debris or wood. Preventing snakes often involves simply removing these food and habitat sources, as well as sealing openings that lead into your home.
In Atlanta, many residents fear snakes because some of them are venomous. There are numerous species in the area, but below are a few descriptions so that you can identify whether or not a snake poses a threat:
- Copperhead Snakes – Adult copperheads can grow 2 to 3 feet long. Their bodies are light brown, pinkish, salmon or tan. They are covered in a pattern of chestnut- or reddish-brown bands that look like saddlebags. Their heads are triangular and distinguishable from the neck.
- Coral Snakes – Typically measuring 18 to 20 inches, this slender species can grow to 3 feet. Its most distinctive characteristic is a brightly patterned body with yellow and red bands.
- Cottonmouth Snakes – Also called a water moccasin, these snakes grow 2 to 4 feet long. Their name comes from the inside of their mouths being white.
- Diamondback Rattlesnakes – This is one of the largest snakes found in North America, measuring 3 to 6 feet long. They have ivory and brown diamonds on their backs and characteristic rattles on their tails.
Don’t let rodents and snakes take over your summer. Call Bug Out for all of your pest and wildlife control needs.