Wild Animals in Atlanta, Georgia

Wild Animals in Atlanta, Georgia

City Wildlife in Atlanta

Many people are surprised by the size and scope of the population of wild animals that call Atlanta home. However, with ever-increasing suburban sprawl and easy access to food and shelter, it’s no wonder that critters are trying to move into our yards, homes, and outbuildings.

Raccoons

Although raccoons look cute and cuddly, these nocturnal masked bandits are not to be trusted, especially if they think you are threatening their babies. Their intelligence and appetite make them more difficult to remove than other critters. Your trash can and pet food are an all-you-can-eat buffet, and there are many spots on your property that can function as the ideal hang-out spot. Other problems raccoons cause are:

  • Damage to your home from urination, defecation, nest building, chewed electrical wires, and more.
  • Transmission of diseases and parasites, such as roundworm, mange, distemper, fleas, and mites.
  • Possibility of rabies infection if humans or unvaccinated pets are bitten by an infected raccoon.

Once they are removed by a qualified and licensed wildlife removal specialist, care must be taken to repair any damage caused, in addition to performing the necessary exclusion work to prevent them from returning.

Squirrels

There are 2 types of squirrels that take up residence in Atlanta attics – the gray squirrel and the flying squirrel. You can tell the difference based on the sounds you hear. The gray squirrel is diurnal, so it is active during the day, while the flying squirrel gets down to business at night. As members of the rodent family, they are also excessive chewers, damaging soffits, fascia boards, and electrical wiring. A qualified wildlife removal service will not only trap and relocate squirrels at least 10 miles away, but they will also identify and seal all potential entry points to prevent the next batch of unwanted boarders.

Snakes

Even though Georgia is home to 46 species of snakes, only 6 of them are venomous. The snakes to keep an eye out for are:

  • Cottonmouths
  • Copperheads
  • Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes
  • Timber rattlesnakes
  • Pygmy rattlesnakes
  • Coral snakes

Because snakes are reptiles and depend on the outside environment to warm themselves, they hibernate during the winter and are typically more active when it’s warmer out, especially in the late afternoons and evenings during the warmer months.

Bats

Bats are neither a bird nor a reptile. Despite their looks and gift of flight, they are mammals. These nocturnal fliers are very beneficial creatures, in that they can assist with pollination, disperse seeds, and eat large quantities of mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. Like other animals, bats primarily take up residence where there is abundant access to food and shelter. The 2 species most commonly found in and around Atlanta homes are the Little Brown Myotis and the Big Brown Bat.

Despite all their benefits, you don’t want bats living in your home. Bat droppings, otherwise known as guano, can be very dangerous. In addition to its ammonia-like odor, guano carries a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum, with spores that can travel throughout your home, causing the lung infection histoplasmosis. In addition to spreading disease, bats can also damage your home by chewing on walls, insulation, and wiring. Because bats can enter using an opening as small as ⅜” and they are creatures of habit, bat-proofing is difficult. It is illegal to use pesticides or harm bats in any way, making professional bat removal essential.

Foxes

Both the red fox and the gray fox are commonly seen in Atlanta. Foxes primarily prey on small animals, including rabbits, woodchucks, and other rodents. Inside the city and suburbs chickens, ducks, cats, and very small dogs may also be hunted. You can protect your small pets by keeping them indoors and only allowing them outside while supervised, especially at night when foxes are more likely to be active.

Types of Georgia Wildlife

Georgia as a whole is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Whether it be mammals, birds, reptiles, prey, or predators, each creature has a part in the diverse ecosystem that exists. In addition to the animals that you can commonly see in Atlanta, once you leave the city limits you can find:

  • Beavers
  • White-tailed deer
  • Mink
  • Mountain lions
  • Eagles
  • Falcons
  • Hawks
  • Owls
  • Lizards
  • Turtles
  • Frogs
  • Newts
  • And many more!

Endangered Species in Georgia

Georgia’s endangered animals are mostly creatures of the sea or other waterways, including the North Atlantic right whale, the loggerhead sea turtle, and the shortnose sturgeon. Loss of habitat has also put the reticulated flatwoods salamander, the red-cockaded woodpecker, the gray bat, and others on the protected list. In addition, all bats are protected from harm on either the state or federal level.

Atlanta Wildlife Solutions

Regardless of the type of wildlife that has taken up residence in your home or property, removal is best left to experts, because critters can exhibit unpredictable behavior when confronted by humans. When you contact us at TruNorth Pest Control, our fully trained wildlife technicians in Atlanta will safely and humanely trap your unwelcome guests in accordance with Georgia law, perform necessary repairs and exclusion work, and restore peace to your household.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Wild Animals Get Rabies?

In most cases, rabies is transmitted when an infected creature bites another animal. Saliva carrying the deadly virus then enters the victim’s body through the bite wound. Although there have been cases of infection by saliva entering through scratches or other breaks in the skin, this is rare. In the Atlanta area, the wild animals most likely to be carriers of rabies are raccoons, skunks, and foxes. Although opossums may act like they are infected, it is believed to be a scare tactic used to defend themselves from predators.

When Do You Call Animal Control?

Getting assistance from government animal control services for wildlife issues is not a given. Animal control specializes in domestic animal problems, such as dogs and cats that have entered your yard. Wildlife rescues are more prone to help with injured wildlife and orphaned babies. The Georgia Wildlife Commission may respond to issues involving public health threats, such as rabies or other diseases, but typically deal with wild animals that pest control companies don’t have the resources or training to handle, including bears or cougars. However, if critters have invaded your home, wildlife control companies such as TruNorth are your best option to professionally remove them, remediate the damage done, and prevent them from returning.

Where Do Raccoons Live During The Day?

Raccoons can easily adapt to the lifestyle offered in the city. They use any available space to make a den, and often have more than one within the scavenging area they call “home.” This includes abandoned vehicles, chimneys, attics, crawl spaces, below homes or stairs, and underneath woodpiles. The best way to prevent them from taking up residence is to make sure there are no openings that they can get their head through, as that is all the space they need to enter.

Where Do Bats Live In The City?

In addition to trees, city structures give bats many places to live. Colonies are commonly found in attics since access is often through openings in roofs, eaves, gables, chimneys, and vents. They also find shelter under bridges and in abandoned buildings. If you want to attract them to your yard, you can erect a bat house to give these beneficial creatures a habitat that will not cause issues in your home.

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