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Texas Drought Bringing Critters Closer To Homes

LUCAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As if the Texas heat wave and drought have not been miserable enough, wildlife experts have said that homeowners should prepare themselves for a bump in critters. With their habitats being destroyed in the drought, animals are coming closer and closer to homes in search of food and water.

Ray Wieringa and his wife have put a lot of work and money into their flower beds, and the couple wants their home to look nice. But a very hungry armadillo keeps wreaking havoc on the lawn. “My wife comes out here and curses and cries every morning when she sees the damage,” Wieringa said.

When all of that cursing and crying proved pointless, the Wieringa family called an expert to help catch the critter. “I’m going to put a trap on that hole right there, and see if we can catch our friend,” Matt Evans with A Wildlife Pro explained to the family.

“They do a lot of surface damage, and they’re relentless in that pursuit,” Evans continued to explain. “They come, they trash it, they’re gone for a couple of days. They come back and they trash it again, after you’ve fixed everything. So, it really is a big nuisance.”

With their usual habitats – like creek beds – now bone dry, it is no surprise that animals of all types are now on the move. “They’re looking for food,” said Evans. “And that goes with armadillos, bobcats, snakes, rabbits, racoons, possums, rats, squirrels… the whole ball of wax. They are all encroaching for food and/or shelter.”

And you can possibly predict what animals you might see soon by looking at which ones you are seeing now. For example, snakes follow their food source. If you are now having a problem with rats and rabbits, snakes will not be far behind. “The common venomous snake in the area – the most common is your copperhead – tends to curl up in and around shrubs. So, keep your hands out of there,” Evans warned homeowners. “If you can’t see inside your shrub, don’t stick your hand in it.”

Unless you know how to handle these critters, it is best to just keep clear and leave them alone until an expert can arrive.

More from Robbie Owens
  • darrell

    there is a thing called the “triangle of life” it consists of the three things all creatures need. food, water, shelter. anytime any creature, including pests, loses one of these within their habitat they will seek it out someplace else. your watered lawn, airconditioned home, even your dogs food left outside at night attract pests. as do outside lights, which attract bugs, which attract spiders and scorpions and other predatory creatures like small snakes. if you remove any of these three points of the pyramid they will go away.
    this also applies to that pesky brother-in-law, who will come over, camp for a few days or longer and eat all your food and drink all of your beer.
    stop buying beer and he will leave.

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  • Pete

    Human animals destroyed so much of the critters’ habitats, it’s hardly fair to say the critters are now “encroaching” on humans, is it?

  • Troll Slayer

    Cursing and crying over her flower beds every day? Boo hoo. There are more important problems than this lady’s gardening woes. She would be better off leaving the flower beds empty until the drought is over. Not only would she discourage the unwanted pests, but the water she is using to maintain them could be put to better use.

  • Sausy Bisky

    That explains why my wife came home.

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