Control Of Small Mammals And Birds

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Title:
Control Of Small Mammals And Birds
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Fact sheet
Creator:
Schaefer, Joseph
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
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Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
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Published
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"December 1992"
General Note:
"RF-AA086"

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
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University of Florida
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All rights reserved by the submitter.
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IR00004399:00001


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ControlofSmallMammalsandBirds1 TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanEqualOpportunity/AffirmativeActionEmployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,ornationalorigin. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/JohnT.Woeste,DeanJosephSchaefer2Throughextensivehabitatalteration,clearingof fieldsandplantingofcrops,buildingofstructures, andsoon,manhasproducedsituationsthatareoften conducivetoexploitationbywildlife.Damagecontrol measuresseektolimittheamountofdamageandnot toeliminatethespeciesresponsible.Manandother animalsareintegralpartsofecosystems.Control measurespracticedbymanhaveeffectsonallother partsofanecosystem,includingmanhimself.The effectsofcontrolpracticesontheecosystemshould beconsideredversustheeffectsofusingnocontrol practice. Habitatmodificationalsocanbeusedasacontrol practicethroughreductionoreliminationofphysical characteristicsthatattractwildlife.Foodandshelter aremajorlimitingfactors.Reducefoodforwildlifeby notfeedingpetsoutdoors,securinggarbagecans, protectingpoultryandlivestockinproperenclosures, fencinggardens,etc..Shelterforwildlifemaybe limitedbypreventingaccesstostructuresand practicing'clean'agriculture. Sometimesitisbettertoacceptsmalllossesthan toattemptcontrolmeasures.Planforsomelossesto rabbitsorraccoonsinagardenbyplantingsomeextra crops.Predatoryanimalspreyingongamespecies suchasdeergenerallyweedoutweakermembers, thusmaintainingahealthierherd.Manypredatory animalsareusefulcontrolsagainstcrop-attacking animalsandshouldbeconsideredasanaturalpartof somecontrolprograms. Ifitbecomesnecessarytousepoisonsascontrol measures,pleaserememberthatmostaretoxicto otheranimalsandhumansaswell.Poisonedtarget animalsshouldbedisposedofimmediatelytoprevent secondarypoisoningofpredatorsorscavengers.Most poisonsareregisteredforspecificspeciesandonlyin certainsituations.Keeppoisonsawayfromchildren andpets,andalwaysreadthedirectionsonthe productlabelbeforeapplication.Alsoincaseswhere controlmayinvolvefirearms,besureyoucheckwith localauthoritiesaboutshootingandhunting regulationsinyourarea.ENVIRONMENTALCONTROLAllanimalandbirdproblemsoccurbecausewe havecreatedinvitinglivingconditionsforthesepests. Lushfieldcropsofferamuchgreaterfoodsupply thanisavailableonwildlands. Sometimesitispossibletolessentheamountof animalandbirddamagebylocatinghighdamage cropsawayfromadjacentwildlands,toplant"buffer zones:ofdesirableanimalorbirdcropsbetweenthe wildlandsandthecropstobeprotected. Themostdramaticexamplesofenvironmental effectsarethosewhichoftendeveloprightatthe farmheadquarters.Farmbuildingsandlivestockpens canbecompletelyfreeofrats,butiftheyare managedinasloppy,wastefulmannerforan extendedtime,ratswillcomefromsomeplaceand accepttheinvitationofbountifulboardandroom.By thesametoken,ifarat-infestedfarmsteadiscleaned upandmanagedinaneatandcarefulmanner,therat populationwillimmediatelybegintolessen.Heavyrat populationsarepositiveindicatorsofsloppywasteful housekeepingonthefarmstead. 1.ThisdocumentwaspublishedDecember1992asRF-AA086,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService.Formoreinformation,contactyour countyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. 2.UrbanWildlifeSpecialist,CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida,Gainesville.

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ControlofSmallMammalsandBirds Page2RABIESDATARabiesisavirusdiseasethataffectsallwarmbloodedmammals.Thedog,cat,raccoonandskunk areallcommoncarriers.Thediseaseisalwaysfatal. Rabiescanonlybetransmittedduringthefinal stagesofthedisease(10to15days).Thevirusis carriedinthesalivaandistransmittedfrombitesor fromhandlinganimalsthoughttobechoking,etc. Thehighestdangerandtheshortestsafetimein whichtobeginanti-rabiesshots,followsdeepbites whichareclosetothehead.Indogs,incubationafter exposureisknowntohavebeenlongerthanone year,andtheshortesttimesare21-30days. Thefirstvisiblesymptomsofrabiesusually includesuchthingsas:drasticchangesin temperamentanddisposition;changesinthesoundof thevoice;highnervousstate;tendencytowander; lackofappetiteandlossofweight. Animalssuspectedofrabiesshouldnotbekilled unlessnecessary,buttheyshouldbeconfinedfor observation.Unlessthediseaserunsitsfullcourse(or nearlyso),itisnearlyimpossibletomakelaboratory diagnosis. Reportallsuspectedbitesandotherexposuresto adoctorandtotheStateBoardofHealth Representatives.ANIMALIDENTIFICATIONANDCONTROL HouseMouseDescription: Upto5inches;longhairlesstail,same colortopandbottom;footprintsupto3/4inch. RangeandHabits: Rangeincludesentirestate.Lives insmallareas,asdeskdrawersoronecorner.May occasionallyreachhighnumberinoutdoors. ControlMeasures: Entranceintobuildingscanbe reducedbyblockingallholesofdiameterequaltoor greaterthanthediameterofapencil.Glueboards, snaptraps.NorwayRatDescription: Upto15inches;tailsamelengthas body;darkbrowncolor;3/4to11/2inchfootprint. RangeandHabits: Entirestate,especiallyinland. Excellentclimber;usuallylivesaboveground. ControlMeasures: Closingoffholeslargerthan1/4 inchintobuildings.Glueboardsand/orsnaptraps.TreeSquirrelDescription: Upto18inches;excellenttreeclimber; bushytail;grayishcolor.Footprints2-3inches. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Livesclosetotrees andshrubs.Eatsnutsandfruits,occasionallystrips bark. ControlMeasures: Closingoffopeningsintoattics wheretheymaynest.Naphthalenewilloccasionally discouragenestingsquirrelsinattic.Problem individualsmaybeeliminatedbyshooting(where firearmsarelegal).PocketGopherDescription: 9-12inches;mediumlongtailishairless; furlinedcheekpouches;strongstockbody;tancolor. RangeandHabits: Mostofstateindrysandyareas; nosurfacetunnels;earthmoundsof2gallonsor more. ControlMeasures: Speciallydesignedtrapssetdown ingophertunnels.PoisoningisillegalinFlorida.MoleDescription: 4-6inches;shorttailandpointednose. Veryshortpadded-likefrontfeet;eyesandearsnot visible. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Livesunderground. Sometimesmakessmalllumpymounds;mostlymakes tunnelsjustundersurfaceofground.Feedson worms,grubsandotherinsects. ControlMeasures: Harpoontrapssetintunnels.BatsDescription: Smallmammalswithwings.Theonly trulyflyingmammals.Mostbatshaveamembrane connectingthehindlegs.Eyesaresmallandbeady.

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ControlofSmallMammalsandBirds Page3 RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Eatinsects.Solitary specieshanginfoliageatnight,othershangin hollowtreesoratticofbuildings. ControlMeasures: Closingoffholesintobuildings wherebatsmayroost.Thisshouldbedoneatnight afterthebatshavegoneouttoforageandoutsidethe breedingseason.Naphthalenesometimesworksto repelbatsfromattics.BeaverDescription: 35-40in.includingtail.Weights30-60 lbs.Richbrownfur.Tailnaked,scalyandshapedlike apaddle.Hugefrontteeth.Withitstail,itoftenslaps thewater'ssurfacewhilediving,makingaloudreport. RangeandHabits: NorthFlorida.Maybuilddamsof sticksandmudacrossastream,orbuildlargeconical houseofsimilarmaterialattheedgeofalake. Occasionallyfloodspondsorfield.Eatswillow, mapleandothertrees. ControlMeasures: Themostconsistentmethodof controlistrapping.Shootingisalsoeffective.But lethalmeasuresshouldbeavoidedifpossible. Corrugatedplastictubingmaybeusedtocontrol waterlevelsandminimizethedamageinareas floodedbybeavers.SeeKennethJ.Roblee(1983)in FirstEasternWildlifeDamageControlConference.RaccoonDescription: Sizeofsmalldog;Blackfacemarks, colorringsontail;grissledgraycolor;tracks2-3 incheswithlongtoes. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Woodedareasand aroundwater.Eatsfish,clams,frogs,corn,melons, peanuts.Commonrabiescarrier. ControlMeasures: Capturealiveinboxtrapsand translocatetoanotherlocationatleast15milesaway. Relocationisdiscouragedbecauseofthepotentialfor diseasetransmission.Fenceswithunderground extensions(topreventburrowing)maybebuilt aroundpoultryyards.Shootingmayeliminate problemindividuals.SkunkDescription: Housecatsize;blackandwhite markings;bushytail.Tracks11/2inches,dainty.Bad smell. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Rootsforinsectsand literallyupendssomeareas.Huntsmiceandeggs aroundfarmbuildings.Commonrabiescarrier. ControlMeasures: Capturealiveinboxtrapand relocateatleast10milesaway.Fence,with undergroundextension,surroundinggardenorpoultry yardwillkeepoutskunks.FoxDescription: Smalldogsize;tantograyishcolor; bushytail.Tracks1-2inchesanddainty. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Drywoodedareas. Eatsrodents,insects,birds,fruits,melons,poultry, andyounglivestock.Commonrabiescarrier. ControlMeasures: Capturealivewithboxtraps,and relocateatleast25milesaway.Leg-holdtraps; shooting;fencingaroundpoultryyards;hunting w/dogs.BlackBearDescription: Nearlyblackcoat.Largeinsize;height atshoulder3-31/2feet;length41/2to61/2ft. Adultsweighseveralhundredpounds. RangeandHabits: MuchofNorthernFloridaand partsofsouthernFla.Forestsandswamps.Diet consistsmostlyofvegetation,includingtwigs,bark, leaves,nuts,roots,variousfruits,corn,berries.Tears apartrottinglogstogetgrubs,beetles,ants.Smallto mediumsizevertebratesofteneaten.Ripsopenbee treestoeatthehoney,honeycomb,bees,larvae. ControlMeasures: Properlyconstructedelectricfence aroundapiaryshouldkeepthemout.Livetrapping andrelocatingbyFla.GameandFreshWaterFish Commissioniffencingfails.

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ControlofSmallMammalsandBirds Page4RabbitDescription: Longears,longhindlegs,shortcottony tail. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Feedsonvegetation. Themarshrabbitfeedsonbulbsandrhizomesas well.Maydodamagetogardens.Mayalsogirdle treesbychewingonthebark. ControlMeasures: Livetrapandrelocateatleast5 miles.Shooting.Fencingaroundgardens.Wiremesh cylindersaroundbasesoftrees.White-tailedDeerDescription: Hoofedmammalwithantlersthatare shedeachyear.Asitflees,thelargewhitetailmaybe seenwavingbackandforth.Usuallymuchlargerthan dog. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Abrowser.Feedson twigs,fungi,acorns,grassandherbs.Candodamage toyoungorchardsandvegetablecrops.Inhabits forests,swampsandjuxtaposedopenareas. ControlMeasures: Fencingaroundcropsororchards. Introducinghuntingonunhuntedpopulationscan helpreducepressureoncropsandorchards.ArmadillosDescription: Sizeoflargehousecat.Hornyshelland scalytail.Darkbrowncolor;tracks11/2to2inches withprominenttoes. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Mosteatincoastand centralinlandareas.Woodlandsandbushareas wheresoilissuitablefordigging.Digsmanyholes. Digsnumeroussmallholeswhileforaging.Feedson insectsandothersmallinvertebrates. ControlMeasures: Livetrapandtransport.Searchat nightwithflashlightandcapturealivewithanet.BobcatDescription: Headandbody25-30in;bodywt.15-35 lbs.Shortwithdarkspots.Eartufts. RangeandHabits: Mostlynocturnal.Feedsonsmall mammalsandbirds,alsocarrionfoodifnottainted. ControlMeasures: Livetrapandrelocateover25 milesaway.Blackbirds(RedwingsandCowbirds)Description: 6-8inches;black;ofteninlargeflocks. RangeandHabits: Redwingoccursthroughoutthe state.CowbirdsinNorthernhalfofstateduring winterandNorthernonethirdduringspringand summer.Digsandpullssprouts.Pecksvegetablesand fruits.Eatsstandinggrain. ControlMeasures: Anti-birdnettingoverindividual fruittrees.Scaringdevicessuchasrecordedalarm anddistresscalls,12gaugeexplodingshells (Secondaryexplosionsproducedoverfield);Gas exploders.Avariedcombinationofthescaring devicesshouldbeemployed.CrowsDescription: 16-20inches;black,raspyvoice. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Digsandpulls sproutsandeatsripeandharvestedcorn. ControlMeasures: Scaringdevicessuchasrecorded alarmanddistresscalls,12gaugeexplodingshells,gas exploders.Itisimportanttointegrateseveralscaring devicestobesuccessful.StarlingsDescription: 4-7inches;stubbytail;blackandwhite speckles;yellowbeak. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Sometimeswith blackbirds.Oftenfliestocityroofsinlargenumbers anddefacesbuildings,etc.withdroppings.Insect eater. ControlMeasures: Integrationofscaringdevicessuch asrecordedalarmcalls,12gaugeexplodingshell (withsecondaryexplosion),gasexploders.Exclusion fromairplanehangersandotherstructureswith plasticornylonnetting.Installingslantedboardsor sheetmetalonledgestorenderthemlessappropriate fornesting.Installingsharpuprightspines.(Will (1983)intheSecondEasternWildlifeDamage ControlConference).

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ControlofSmallMammalsandBirds Page5HouseSparrowDescription: 3-4inches.Malehasblackbibandwhite cheeks.Femalehasunstreakeddingybreast,streaked back. RangeandHabits: Entirestate.Eatssmallgrains. Foulsgrainsandfeeds;foulsbuildingsandcityparks. Carriesbirdmites. ControlMeasures: Plasticornylonnettingtokeep outofairplanehangars,screeningorwiremeshover holesinbuildings. Table1. TypesofDamageandAnimalResponsible TypeofDamage and/orLocation IndicatorsandSigns Animal RatsInside Building Feedsackscut;11/2inchholes;droppings1/4to1/2inch; footprintsover1/2inch;largegnawedholes;ground burrowsoratticruns;nightactivity NorwayorRoofRat Feedsackscut;holes1inchorless;droppings1/4inchor less;footprintslessthan1/2inch,bulkynestsoffine material;mustyodor. HouseMice DenseGrass and/orWeeds Oftendampish;dimrunways;holes11/2inchesifpresent; vines,fruits,stemsgnawedorclippedatgroundlevelto5 inchesabove;youngtreesgirdledaboveground. CottonRat SparseCover orBareFields Smallmoundsoropenholesonbareground ,1-21/2 inchsize;footprints1/2inch;freshlydugseedorsprouts withholesnearby. DeerMouse Family (Watermelonmouse) SeedDigging andSprout Pulling Mousefootprintsandtailmarks;seeddugbefore sprouting;dugnotpulled WatermelonMouse Birdtracks;onlywhensproutsvisible;pullandbreak sproutfromtop Blackbird,Grackle Extensivediggingbylargeanimal;2-3inchtrack Coon,Skunk,'Dillo Rooting Extensiverooting;ground"upended"ratherthanjust scratched Skunk,Armadillo Nuts,Fruits, StemsofTrees Clipped Seedlingclippedorgirdledfromgroundlevelto5inches above CottonRats Topofseedlingclippedmorethan5inchesaboveground; twigsclipped,fruitsandnutsoflargetreesdamaged CottontailDeer,Tree Squirrels MoundsofSoil WithoutOpen Holes Mounds4-5inchesormorehighand12inchesacross;no visibleconnectingtunnel.Oftenlineofmoundsindicates directionofdeepburrow PocketGopher Salamander Mounds1-2incheshighand3-6inchesacross,lumpy appearance;raisedridgeofearthindicating close-to-surfacetunnelconnectingmound Moles

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ControlofSmallMammalsandBirds Page6 TypeofDamage and/orLocation IndicatorsandSigns Animal PoultryKills Smalldog-liketracks;birdsgenerallycarriedaway;enter neargroundlevel. Fox Long-toedtracks;numerousfeathers;sometimesmultiple kills;mayclimb Raccoon Tracksandsignscarce;mayenteroverhighfences; sometimesmultiplekills Bobcat Manyfeathers;smallerbirdsgenerally;headsbitten Skunks Fewornofeathersandheadseaten,sometimesbypulling throughmeshwire Owls,Raccoon HouseandBarn AtticActive onlyatnight Noratsigninsidebuildings,norunwaymarks,nognawed partitions FlyingSquirrels Ratsignsinsidebuildings;gnawedpartitionsandrunway marks;ratfeedingsignsatgarbagecans RoofRatsMETHODSOFMAMMALDAMAGECONTROLHouseMouse: lethaltrap,glueboards NorwayRat: lethaltrap,exclusionandprotective guards,glueboards RoofRat: lethaltrap,exclusionandprotective guards,glueboards TreeSquirrels: exclusionandprotectiveguards, repellents,shooting PocketGophers: lethaltrap Moles: lethaltrap Bats: exclusionandprotectiveguards,repellents Beavers: livetrap,lethaltrap,habitatmodification, shooting Raccoons: livetrap,exclusionandprotectiveguards, shooting,sentrydoginyard Skunks: livetrap,exclusionandprotectiveguards, shooting,sentrydoginyard Foxes: livetrap,exclusionandprotectiveguards, shooting,sentrydoginyard BlackBear: livetrap,exclusionandprotectiveguards Rabbits: livetrap,exclusionandprotectiveguards, shooting Deer: exclusionandprotectiveguards Armadillos: livetrap,shooting(huntatnightwith flashlight-shoot,ornet) Bobcat: livetrapMETHODSOFBIRDDAMAGECONTROLBlackbirds: exclusionandprotectiveguards,scaring devices Crows: exclusionandprotectiveguards,scaring devices HouseSparrow: exclusionandprotectivedevices Starlings: exclusionandprotectiveguards,habitat modification,scaringdevices Pigeons: exclusionandprotectiveguards,habitat modification,repellents

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ControlofSmallMammalsandBirds Page7REFERENCES--ANIMALDAMAGE CONTROLFloridaPestControlAssociationandCooperative ExtensionService.1973. RodentsandGeneral HouseholdPests.FloridaPestControlWorkshops, Vol.5,1972-73.83pp. Frishmann,A.M.1974. TheRodentControl Handbook.A.M.Frishmann,Publisher, Farmingdale,N.Y.164pp. Goodwin,T.M.1982. NuisanceWildlife.Fla.Wildlife Magazine(2).Spp. Marion,W.R.1980. AlarmedAboutArmadillos? Fla. CooperativeExtensionServ.FactSheetFRC-17. 4pp. -----------------.1985. ControllingMoles .Fla. CooperativeExtensionServ.FactSheetFRC-34. 2pp. -----------------.1984. ControllingPocketGophers .Fla. CooperativeExtensionServ.FactSheetFRC-35. 2pp -----------------,andR.L.Thompson.1985. WoodpeckerDamageControlfortheFlorida Homeowner.Fla.CooperativeExtensionServ. FactSheetWRS-3.2pp. UnitedStatesDepartmentoftheInterior,Fishand WildlifeService.1956. TheRopeFirecracker .FWS WildlifeLeaflet365.8pp. -----------------.1964. ManufacturersorImportersof RodenticidesandAccessories .FWSWildlife Leaflet465.4pp. -----------------.1967. ControllingVagrantPigeons.FWS WildlifeLeaflet413.4pp. -----------------.1967. ProtectingCornFromBlackbirds FWSWildlifeLeaflet476.8pp. -----------------.1968. CharacteristicsofCommon Rodenticides.FWSWildlifeLeaflet337.4pp. -----------------.1971. ManufacturersofAnimalTraps FWSWildlifeLeaflet263.2pp. -----------------.1972. BirdControlDevices---Sourcesof Supply.FWSRegionIVWildlifeLeaflet6.4pp.