Tag: Do It Yourself

The Proper Way to Help A Turtle Across the Road

A common act of charity on Michigan roads is the occasional stop to help a turtle cross the street so it doesn’t become a road pancake. This is easy enough when the turtle is a small painted box  turtle, but it can get a little sketchy when it is a very large, mature snapping turtle. Snapping turtles are noted for not only their size but their ornery temperament; if you’ve ever had a turtle hiss at you, it was probably a snapper. Their powerful jaws can easily break—and in some cases completely sever—a human finger. They can be very aggressive if they feel cornered. Snappers are not to be trifled with by those unfamiliar with how to deal with them. But even so, we can’t just stand by and allow our belligerent reptilian friends to get smooshed by traffic. Snappers have extremely long life span—most snappers you see crossing the…

The Proper Way to Help A Turtle Across the Road
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Identifying a Honey Bee

“Help! I’ve got honey bees in my house!” As summer approaches, we start to get a lot more calls for “bees.” I put “bees” in quotation marks because often “bee” is a catch-all phrase people will use to refer to any and all stinging insects. Yellow jackets, carpenter bees, honey bees, bald faced hornets, mud dauber wasps and everything in between are called “bees.” People will often call and say they think they have a honey bee infestation. Honey bees are of particular concern, for two reasons. First, removing honey bees from a home can be a major hassle. Besides removing the hive, the bees will often have constructed massive honey combs in walls or ceilings that can only be removed at great expense. Second, honey bee populations in the United States are going into steep decline due to a phenomenon known as “colony collapse disorder.” Because of this, Creature…

Identifying a Honey Bee
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Small Game Regulations: Check Before You Trap!

When it comes to the control of nuisance wildlife, sometimes you can get so focused on solving the problem that you can forget about the legal details of wildlife removal. The July, 2016 edition of Michigan Outdoor News “Cuffs and Collars” section reported a man was dealing with an abundance of nuisance fox squirrels. Exasperated, the man purchased some live traps and began trapping the squirrels. Over several months, he trapped and killed 40 squirrels on his property. Eventually, some neighbor made a complaint to the DNR about the man’s trapping activities. A Conservation Officer was dispatched to investigate. The CO discovered the squirrel trap and a squirrel carcass. The homeowner admitted he had been trapping the squirrels and thought it was not an issue, but what the man did not realize was that fox squirrels are classified as small game in Michigan. The trapping of fox squirrels – even…

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12 Tips to Deter Insect Activity

Deterring insect activity is significantly more challenging than animal prevention, simply because insects can get into openings so small that it is not realistic to seal them all; in many cases they are not even discernible to the naked eye. With insects, exclusion is not entirely possible; rather, you are looking at reducing conditions conducive to insect problems. In this article, we will look at some ways to deter insect activity. 1. Reduce Use of Mulch Around Your Foundation Mulch is any layer of organic material applied to the surface of the soil. Its purpose is to improve the fertility of the soil by adding nutrients and conserving moisture. Because mulch conserves moisture, mulch beds make attractive nesting sites for insects, especially earwigs, but also centipedes, roly-poly bugs, and spiders. When people mulch gardens that abut the foundation of their home, it is inevitable that the insects nesting in the…

Deter Insects
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DIY Skunk Trapping

Skunks are some of the most obnoxious of all nuisance wildlife to have to deal with. Besides being notoriously smelly and ruining the day of many over curious dogs, skunks also destroy lawns by their persistent grubbing. Faced with a prowling skunk, many homeowners decide to try trapping the animal themselves. This article will give you some practical do-it-yourself advice to help you be prepared before you start trapping. Learn more about the behavior and biology of skunks! 1. Identifying the Skunk Den Your chances of trapping a skunk increase dramatically if you can identify the den. Skunks can range a mile or so when feeding at night, so its important to try to determine whether the skunk actually lives in your yard or is just roaming through from somewhere else. Skunks are not picky about dens. Woodpiles, hollow logs, under decks, in brush, or the empty dens of other animals…

DIY Skunk trap
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Michigan Mute Swan Management

Perhaps you have been on a canoe or jet-ski and been caught off guard by an aggressive swan hissing and chasing you? Or maybe you live on a lake or pond and have noticed swans driving out ducks and other waterfowl? If so, you have encountered the mute swan, a common nuisance bird in Michigan. In this article we will examine the characteristics of the mute swan, highlight some of the problems they pose, and offer guidance on removal. Characteristics of the Mute Swan The mute swan is a non-native invasive waterfowl. They are white, similar to trumpeter swans and tundra swans (both native to Michigan), but are identifiable by black knob on the top of their bill. Another easy way to identify a mute swan is by their orange bill (Michigan’s native swans all have black bills). They are extremely aggressive; besides driving out native waterfowl with their hostile behavior,…

Mute Swan
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Mold Remediation

An unwanted animal infestation in your wall or attic can bring a lot of headaches. Besides the removal of the animal itself, homeowners often have to contend with cleaning up after the mess the animal made. Raccoons, squirrels, mice, and especially bats can destroy insulation and wreak havoc in your attic. How Animal Problems Become Mold Problems Prolonged animal residence and damage in your attic can lead to ventilation problems. Ridge vents, soffits and other points of ventilation can become clogged or destroyed by the animals, leading to an accumulation of moisture. If this situation goes on too long and is untreated, mold can develop in these moistened areas. Animal activity can also compress insulation. Insulation that has been severely compressed loses its R-value (the capacity of the insulation to resist heat flow). This means that in the winter heat will simply pass through the insulation, causing the rapid melting of…

Crappy Roof
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Common Flea

Fleas and Flea Treatments

A flea infestation can be a real occasion of misery for your household. Besides causing serious irritation to your pets, they can spread into carpet and other upholstered areas and may begin feeding on the resident humans for their blood feasts. Historically, fleas have also been transmitters of major diseases, most notably the Black Plague in the late Middle Ages. This article will explore the biology of the flea and provide recommendations for flea treatments for your home, yard and pets. Understanding Flea Biology The most common species of flea in the United States is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. However, the United States is home to many types of flea, over 325 species, as a matter of fact. Adult fleas typically are about 1/8 inch long, oval, and reddish-brown. They are wingless, and their bodies are very thin, so thin that they can move freely through fur or feathers of…

Common Flea
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Prevention: Stopping Wildlife Problems Before They Start

The best way to deal with a wildlife problem is to prevent one from happening in the first place. While there is no way to create a home that is 100% impervious to animals and insects, there are several things you can do to ensure that you do not unintentionally create conditions conducive to a wildlife problem. In this article, we will discuss different strategies for nuisance wildlife prevention around the home. Preventative Maintenance There are various ways animals get into the home. Mice come in through gaps around the foundation; bats can enter an attic through soffits, ridge vents, and behind siding that is not firmly attached. Squirrels and raccoons are ingenious in the ways they can get in. The good news is that animal entry points are big enough that they can usually be sealed without too much difficulty. In many cases, this is simply a routine maintenance…

ridge vent detail
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What is a Rat Wall?

Who doesn’t love a summer barbecue with friends out on the deck or patio? As it turns out, humans aren’t the only creatures who like to hang around the deck! Decks, patios, sheds and other external structures provide ideal locations for animal dens. Animals such as groundhogs, skunks, opossums and raccoons like to burrow beneath these structures because the structures provide them with a secure overhead support for their dens. The challenge with decks It is easy enough to trap and remove a raccoon or groundhog living beneath a deck, but how do you stop other animals from returning? This is a particularly challenging problem, since each animal leaves behind a pheromone scent. The scent remains even after an animal is removed; this pheromone scent will attract other animals. This means that a deck or patio that has once had an animal living under it is more prone to future…

Rat Wall
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