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5 Common Wild Animals in Southern Florida

a raccoon under branches with leaves

If you've lived in Southern Florida for any length of time, you probably have heard stories of wildlife invading homes. Perhaps you have even heard the story of black panthers prowling the woods along the St. Lucie Canal just south of Indiantown. Several people reported seeing these animals, however, it turned out to be a black bobcat. After having one of her turkeys killed by a large black "panther" a woman called the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary for help. A live trap was set, and the very next day a 20-pound black bobcat was caught.

Now, most folks don't need to worry about panthers and bobcats invading their Florida property, but there are several types of wildlife that are common to our state. Here are five of them:

1. RACCOONS

These critters are mostly active at night as they forage for food. Some of the damage that they cause include strewing garbage all over the place, building nests in residential and commercial structures, which can cause considerable damage. They may be cute, but these clever and dexterous critters are a force to be reckoned with. They will contaminate belongings and building materials with their urine and feces.

2. SQUIRRELS

If these pesky critters make their way into your attic, you could be looking at damaged insulation, gnaw marks on structures or belongings, and possibly chewed wires, which can be a potential fire hazard. They also can cause lots of noise which can be disturbing and cause lack of sleep.

3. OPOSSUMS

No, these critters don't really hang upside down by their tails. But opossum mothers do really carry their young ones around on their backs and, if threatened, they really do "play opossum." However interesting, they are not something you want taking up residence on your property. They can often be found living under sheds, in attics, or under decks.

4. FOXES

Yes, they are as cute as can be. And people are still wondering, "What does the fox say?" But these dog-like animals are also not a good idea to have hanging around. They are known to carry rabies and distemper, and to steal piglets, chickens, sheep, and even small household pets.

5. ARMADILLOS

These creatures can cause some serious damage to your yard or garden as they are amazingly good at digging things up. They have been found under porches, under foundations, and near gas and water lines, which is a potential hazard. Even if they leave the area, other animals can be drawn in to use their burrows.

What To Do If Wildlife Has Invaded Your Space:

If you are dealing with one or more wild animals on your Southern Florida property, Hoffer Pest Solutions can help. When you contact us, we will quickly send one of our professional pest control technicians to do a thorough inspection of your property. Once this is complete, humane traps will be set, and the animal or animals will be safely removed. If wildlife is getting into your home, our experts will work to eliminate and exclude these animals as well.

From armadillos to "black panthers," wildlife animals can be fascinating creatures--but they do not belong in your home or on your property.