Identifying The Animal/s Invading Your Yard At Night Can Be Done Easily By Examining The Tracks They Leave Behind
Many Pennsylvania residents have experienced wildlife nuisance issues on their property. Wild animals that have become used to living within human habitats are often the most frequent culprits behind wildlife induced property damage. These animals include raccoons, squirrels and opossums, just to name a few. Most wildlife issues on residential properties involve nocturnal scavenging animals digging through garbage bins, often leaving behind a serious mess. In other cases, wild animals may damage lawn grass, gardens, and occasionally structures. Identifying the type of animal responsible for nuisance issues and/or property damage may seem difficult, especially since many animals that are used to human habitats strike properties at night when homeowners are asleep. However, examining animal footprints often suffices to identify the type of animal causing issues on residential properties.
Raccoons are mostly active on residential properties at night, and their footprints closely resemble a human handprint. Raccoon footprints can be identified by looking for five toes that all point forward in a parallel manner. Keeping an eye out for parallel toe-prints will help to discern raccoon tracks from the widely spaced toe-prints made by opossums. Much like deer, raccoons leave behind a diagonal track pattern, and their back feet can be differentiated from their front feet by making a note of the longer heel imprint made by their back feet. A raccoon’s prints are around 2 to 3 inches in length, while their back feet are usually 3 to 4 inches. Like raccoons, opossums are largely nocturnal creatures, but opossums are willing to eat just about anything, while raccoons have a more limited taste. Opossum tracks resemble raccoon tracks, with the exception of the opossum’s noticeable rear thumb. Their front feet are around 2 inches, and their back feet are around 3 inches. Hunters have been identifying animal tracks for thousands of years with accuracy, and beginners can usually learn this skill quite rapidly, but a bit of a learning curve is to be expected.
Have you ever found wild animal tracks in your yard?
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