The National Pest Management Association’s Bug Barometer Forecasts

Today, the National Pest Management Association released its Bug Barometer, a forecast indicating what Americans can expect from pest populations this spring and summer… read more

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Profile of the Groundhog

Depending on where you live, you might not see many groundhogs aside from the one in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania who seems to appear each February 2nd. However, this animal—marmot monax, in binominal terms—is actually common throughout lowland areas of North America, in particular the northeastern United States and Canada.

Physical Characteristics

A typical full-grown groundhog, sometimes called a woodchuck, weighs between four and nine pounds and measures between 16 and 26 inches in length, nose to tail. In areas rich in alfalfa and with few natural predators, groundhogs can grow approximately six inches more in length, but also weigh up to 31 pounds! A groundhog’s coat is comprised of two layers: a gray undercoat, plus a longer outer coat of guard hairs which gives the animal the appearance of being flecked with frost.

Typical Behaviors

Most groundhogs live about three years in the wild, but can survive up to six years on average. They will mature into multi-talented creatures, capable of climbing trees, swimming, and burrowing underground. The groundhog is known to stand alert, motionless, watching for predators. They use a high-pitched whistling noise (earning the common moniker “whistle-pig”) to alert the colony if danger is spotted.

Groundhogs are primarily herbivorous, subsisting on wild grass and berries. They can be aggressive toward people as a matter of self-defense, and are inclined to feast on human-grown gardens and crops. The groundhog also hibernates during the winter, one of few species to enter into true hibernation, usually in a specific burrow for this very purpose. To learn more about humane animal removal in Raleigh, please visit this website.

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Storm Shelter

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A full-grown opossum huddled down between stray items in the basement of a residence, taking shelter from the storm outside. Opossums are nocturnal creatures, and will generally seek out darker areas for security.

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Feeling Cozy?

3This adult tree squirrel might look to be stuck, but don’t worry—it seems to have found a comfortable spot inside of an old blackened stump. Squirrels rely on trees for nutrition, including bark, nuts, and even sap.

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Side Effects of a Mouse Bite

While the risk of a mouse infestation can increase dramatically in a cluttered or unkempt area, having a picture perfect home or business does not automatically mean there is no chance of mice finding their way in.

Uninvited mice arenot quite the cute and cuddly creatures you may remember befriending Cinderella. And, unfortunately, having a mouse on the premises can result in more than unsanitary droppings and gnawed baseboards; there is also a chance of being bitten.

An array of side effects can be experienced following a mouse bite. The first that comes to mind for many is the possibility of rabies. While that is not likely to be an issue, you should check with authorities at the local health department to verify that rodents in your particular region are not known to be common carriers of the disease.

Tetanus is another possible –albeit unlikely — outcome, assuming your tetanus boosters have been kept up to date. However, if you are not current in this area, you may choose to call your doctor to schedule an immediate tetanus shot.

Infection in or around the wound is the most likely side effect faced after a mouse bite. As soon as a bite occurs, clean out the bite site with a mild cleanser, rinsed with lightly running water, which can also assist in removing dirt and debris. If you have hydrogen peroxide accessible, moisten a cloth or cotton ball and gently touch it to the area. Add antibiotic ointment to the wound before covering it entirely with a large bandage or gauze wrap. Keep the affected body part elevated, if possible, and allow it to stay at rest during the early stages of healing. Keep the area dry and clean, changing the bandage often and adding fresh ointment each time.

If the wound site begins swelling or worsening in pain, an infection or other issue may be occurring. Keep an eye out for increased redness as well as tenderness or draining pus. Red streaks emanating from the wound can suggest lymphangitis. Take note of any swollen lymph nodes occurring in the vicinity or an elevated fever. If any of these symptoms occur, you should immediately contact your health care practitioner.

Being bitten by a rodent is nothing to ignore as it can quickly escalate into a larger health problem. To learn more about protection from mouse bite, please visit this website.

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National Pest Management Month

The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), NPMA’s consumer and media outreach arm, created National Pest Management Month (April), Termite Awareness Week… read more

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The Mother Lode

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An adult opossum has found for itself a bounty of berries on a crisp, snowy morning. Although they are primarily nocturnal animals, opossums will go out in search of food whenever the need arises.

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