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Humanely Trapping and Relocating Snapping Turtles

The presence of an aggressive snapping turtle can put a damper on the enjoyment of your lawn or pond. Despite their slowness on land, the snapping turtle is remarkable for its longevity, superior hunting skills, powerful jaws, and persistence in traveling long distances in search of food or nesting sites. It sometimes happens that in this search for food, it puts the snapping turtle in conflict with humans as they invade residential areas, making them a nuisance. Whether on land or in water, the wildlife technicians at Creature Control have the experience to trap and relocate unwanted snapping turtles.

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Characteristics of Snapping Turtles

Common habitats of the snapping turtle are shallow ponds and lakes, streams, and estuaries. Unless they are sunning themselves on logs or rocks, snappers will usually lay on the bottom of the lake or pond, covering themselves with mud and exposing only their head. From this position, they will hunt by aquatic ambush, waiting until prey move by and then lunging out quickly with their flexible necks and powerful jaws. Snapping turtles are omnivores, feeding on both plant and animal matter. They are essential aquatic scavengers that play an important role in freshwater marine ecosystems. Snapping turtles are also active hunters and will prey on anything they can swallow, including invertebrates, fish, frogs, snakes, unwary birds, small mammals, and even other turtles.

One reason why snappers can be so aggressive is that, unlike other turtles, they are too big to hide inside their own shell. Their powerful bite, sharp claws, and belligerent attitude compensate for this deficiency. The unique characteristics that distinguish them from other turtles are its shell with pronounced ridges, their yellowish belly, black eyes with a spotted pattern resembling a cross, and their skin is covered with tubercles and scales which can vary in color. Like other turtles, snappers have an extremely long lifespan, usually about 30 years in the wild.

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Threats of Snapping Turtles

In their hunt for food and places to nest, it often happens that snapping turtles will invade residential ponds, including both small garden ponds as well as larger ponds stocked with game fish. In these game ponds, the snapper can deplete the fish population rapidly. Snapping turtles occasionally pose a danger to domesticated pets as well. Because snappers are extremely slow when moving on land, cats and dogs can get overly curious and inquisitive. If they get too close and the turtle feels threatened, it may strike; cats have had their legs broken and dogs have had their eyes put out in this way.

The biggest threat posed to humans by snapping turtles is from their potential to bite and scratch during human-turtle interactions. Snappers are usually not aggressive if encountered in the water, but they tend to become belligerent when confronted on land and will hiss when it feels threatened. Under no circumstances should you attempt to pick up a snapping turtle; they have an extremely flexible neck capable of reaching around and biting the hands of the person holding them, even if they are being held by the shell. Snappers can reach their heads to their hind legs to bite. Their jaws are extraordinarily powerful and capable of completely severing a human finger. In addition to the danger posed by their bite, the claws of the snapping turtle are quite sharp and can lacerate the flesh of a person attempting to handle them.

Removing Snapping Turtles

Creature Control has the experience of removing unwanted snapping turtles, whether on land or in water. Our wildlife technicians use special, humane turtle traps to ensnare snappers, after which they are relocated to wetlands away from human habitation. If you are dealing with a snapping turtle on your property, call Creature Control today to learn more about removal options.

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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.