Sure, they’re adorable. But raccoons are also a big problem for Florida homeowners and businesses. The experts at All Florida Pest Control are the answer.

Bandit-masked raccoons are a familiar sight just about everywhere, because they will eat just about anything. These ubiquitous mammals are found in forests, marshes, prairies, and even in cities. They are adaptable and use their dexterous front paws and long fingers to find and feast on a wide variety of fare.

In the natural world, raccoons snare a lot of their meals in the water. These nocturnal foragers use lightning-quick paws to grab crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. On land, they pluck mice and insects from their hiding places and raid nests for tasty eggs.

However, raccoons are also just as happy feasting on what’s in your trash cans and garden. They’re smart and will even open garbage cans to dine on the contents. That adds up to a messy problem for homeowners and businesses. Additionally, raccoons are happy denning just about anywhere that feels safe, including attics and crawlspaces, where they become a noisy nightmare for homeowners.

Female raccoons have one to seven cubs in early summer. The young raccoons often spend the first two months or so of their lives in the den. Later, mother and children move to the ground when the cubs begin to explore on their own.

Raccoons in the northern parts of their range gorge themselves in spring and summer to store up body fat. They then spend much of the winter asleep in a den. There are six other species of raccoons, in addition to the familiar northern (North American) raccoon. Most other species live on tropical islands.

Don’t Play Possum with Possums. Call All Florida Pest Control. Opossums, commonly called Possums, are sneaky pests and love to scavenge garbage cans, dumpsters and anything else that might hide a meal.

There are more than 60 different species of opossum. The most notable is the Virginia opossum or common opossum—the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the United States and Canada.

A female opossum gives birth to helpless young as tiny as honeybees. Babies immediately crawl into the mother's pouch, where they continue to develop. As they get larger, they will go in and out of the pouch and sometimes ride on the mother's back as she hunts for food. Opossums may give birth to as many as 20 babies in a litter, but fewer than half of them survive. Some never even make it as far as the pouch.

Opossums are scavengers, and they often visit human homes or settlements to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and other containers. They are attracted to carrion and can often be spotted near roadkill. Opossums also eat grass, nuts, and fruit. They will hunt mice, birds, insects, worms, snakes, and even chickens.

These animals are most famous for "playing possum." When threatened opossums sometimes flop onto their sides and lie on the ground with their eyes closed or staring fixedly into space. They extend their tongues and generally appear to be dead. This ploy may put a predator off its guard and allow the opossum an opportunity to make its escape.

Opossums are excellent tree climbers and spend much of their time aloft. They are aided in this by sharp claws, which dig into bark, and by a long prehensile (gripping) tail that can be used as an extra limb. Opossums nest in tree holes or in dens made by other animals.

These animals are widespread and are sometimes hunted as food, particularly in the southern United States.

 



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