There are three types of squirrels found in Texas. All three are classified as tree squirrels. The three types of tree squirrels inhabiting Texas are the fox squirrel, the gray squirrel, and the flying squirrel. Tree squirrels are interesting and even cute, that is, until they become pests.
Fox squirrels are the most common of the tree squirrels and can be found in east and central Texas. Gray squirrels are found mainly in the eastern part of Texas. Flying squirrels are the least common, are nocturnal, and are typically found in east Texas.
Squirrels have a pretty broad diet and feed on a variety of different things such as nuts, fruits, berries, seeds, insects, and bark. They typically nest in tree cavities, old woodpecker holes, and attics. If all of these places are unavailable, they will construct leafy nests in the branches of trees.
Squirrels become pest when they start damaging personal property. From eating food from your garden to nesting in attics. During colder months, squirrels may even eat the bark of off trees. If squirrels are nesting in your attic, Exclusion work and/or live trapping might be right for you.
Possums are unique in that they are they only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in North America. They have a very diverse habitat and can be found anywhere from woodlands to open fields, though they are most commonly found around streams and other wetland areas. In residential areas they can be found seeking in chimneys, attics, and garages, as well as under houses. Possums are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the day.
They eat a wide variety of different foods and are considered omnivores. Their primary source of food comes from animal matter such as birds, frogs, snakes, small rodents, earthworms, and insects, but they will also eat things such as fruits, berries, and vegetables. They will also eat bird seed, pet food, and tree nuts when in residential areas.
Though possums are considered fur bearers, they can be considered a pest when found near the home. This is because they can cause damage while looking for a place to nest in attics, garages, etc. They can also transmit several different diseases. Live trapping is the most effective control solution for possums.
Raccoons are important fur bearers and are common throughout much of the United States. In the wild, they can be found around rivers, streams, lakes, and marshes. The are animals of opportunity and will eat whatever is available such as birds, mice, snakes, fruits, berries, acorns, insects, fish, mollusks, etc. They also eat on corn and other cultivated farm crops.
Raccoons are smart and can easily adapt to living close to people. They are quite common in residential or urban areas, but since they do most of their foraging at night, they go virtually undetected. In urban areas, raccoons can live almost anywhere that offers protection. They are most commonly found under houses and woodpiles, and in attics and chimneys.
Since raccoons are omnivorous, there is plenty of food available to them in urban areas, from pet food, to fruits from trees, and vegetables in gardens. Raccoons can be considered pests in urban areas because they can cause a lot of damage. They can kill young animals such as lambs and small goats. They can cause damage to chimneys and attics in search for a nesting area. The can also dig up yard and gardens in search for food.
Live trapping is the most effective way to remove and control raccoons, and cage traps are the best live trap for urban areas.