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Texas Drought Bringing Critters Closer To Homes

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Robbie Owens Robbie Owens
Robbie grew up in northeast Texas, in a tiny town where her fami...
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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.

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