Given Alabama’s biodiverse ecosystem, each season brings different critters. So, it’s important for the Auburn, Opelika, and Lake Martin area residents to understand what kind of animal control is necessary during these different months.
Here are some of the animals to look out for during each season of the year:
The summer months are some of the most active months for critters due to the ideal temperature and humidity. This is especially true for insects whose internal temperature fluctuates with the climate.
These months are perfect for mating because of the overall movement and activity. These active pests lead to overall higher animal activity because they serve as a food source for larger critters.
Some of the most notable Alabama critters that feed on summer insects are snakes. Out of Alabama’s 43 snake species, only 6 are venomous.
Snakes are essential parts of the Alabama ecosystem. However, many homeowners do not want venomous species in and around their homes.
Here are some tips to help you distinguish between venomous and nonvenomous snakes in Alabama:
Five of the six venomous snakes in Alabama belong to the pit viper group. They are recognized by this name because they have pits on both sides of their face, between the eye and nostril. Pit vipers also tend to have thin necks and heavy bodies, with verticle pupils. When in doubt, it is always safer to call a professional animal control and removal service in order to prevent injury.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake: The eastern diamondback rattlesnake can grow to attain a length of roughly 8 feet. These large, heavy body snakes feed on critters like mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, and occasionally birds. Due to their size, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes tend to spend most of their time on the ground, particularly in the dry pine flatwoods and longleaf pine. Some distinct characteristics to identify them are their broad, triangular-shaped head, paired with their black/brownish gray scales that form a diamond pattern down its back. They also have a black band over their eyes bordered by two white stripes, and the diamonds are outlined in black and filled with tan or yellow scales.
Timber rattlesnake: The timber rattlesnake is a large and heavy snake that is capable of growing over 7 feet in length. They are commonly found in sparsely settled, forested areas. The timber rattlesnake feeds on a variety of small critters/rodents and, infrequently, on ground-dwelling birds. Timber rattlesnakes have a heavy, light yellow, gray, or greenish-white body with a rust-colored strip along the length of their back and a black tail is tipped with rattles. They also have yellow eyes with elliptical or cat-like pupils
Pygmy rattlesnake: It is a small snake with a maximum length of 30 inches. Pygmy rattlesnakes are most commonly sighted in the late summer, commonly found in lowland pine flatwoods, prairies, around lakes and ponds, and along the borders of many freshwater marshes and cypress swamps. It is a small and colorful snake, with the body color being gray or tan with an orangish-brown mid-dorsal stripe.
Copperhead: The copperhead is a medium-sized snake, with color patterns that are highly variable, but the basic color is tan to brown with darker crossbands. They can be found above the coastal plain, the copperhead prefers forested areas with rocky bluffs and ravines.
Cottonmouth: A medium to a large-sized aquatic snake, capable of a length of up to 5 feet. Adult cottonmouths vary in color, ranging from a solid dark gray to tan with brown bands. They live in the waters all across Alabama and feed on critters such as snails, fish, frogs, baby alligators, lizards, turtles, snakes, bird eggs, small mammals, and carrion.
Coral Snake: The coral snake is the only snake on this list that does not belong to the viper family. It is a small snake with a maximum size of about 3 feet and is mostly found in the lower coastal plain and spends time underground in looser soils. The top of the head and nose are black and the typical body markings are complete bands of alternating red and black, separated by narrow yellow rings. A helpful tip to remember the order of colors is “Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, friend of Jack.”
Spring is a time of awakening, and critter activity exponentially grows during these warming and nesting months. For both large and small insects, critters and animals; this is a very active season.
Some common spring pests that act as food sources for larger animals include spiders, termites, wasps, and ants. During the spring, vigilance in keeping these smaller pests away will pay dividends in your animal control efforts as things begin to warm.
Fall is the preparation time for animals of all sizes to stock up on food and prepare for the winter. While some critters such as racoons and skunks stay active throughout the year in Alabama, many other small critters like squirrels and mice stock up food to hide and prepare for the cold weather. In order to keep these critters from stopping by your property in search of food, be sure to keep all food sealed up tight and out of sight!
Animal activity in Alabama is generally more at bay during winter. Since the temperature has dropped significantly, many larger critters take this time to hide in their den and await springtime to reemerge.
As temperatures decrease many Alabama critters will be searching for a warm home in which to winter.
Be sure to keep doors and windows closed tightly in order to prevent these animals from infesting your living space.
All of these tips can help you practice proactive animal control in your Auburn/Opelika, AL home. However, at times, preventative measures like these are not enough to completely deter critters from crawling into your home. When this is the case, call Pesty Critters. Our animal control experts are ready to solve your animal problem effectively and humanely.