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15
Oct
Humans’ Love-Hate Relationship with Squirrels: Where Do You Stand?
Posted by: Daniel Mackie

 

Humans’ Love-Hate Relationship with Squirrels - Where Do You Stand

 

Squirrels are either the adorable, fluffy-tailed creatures you love to pet or the greedy and incredibly crafty rodents that pillage your backyard before your own eyes. Some people are genuine in their love and admiration for squirrels’ acrobatic abilities and wits, while others – especially bird-feeders – have only turned pro-squirrel after giving up trying to defeat them at the feeder.

 

Whichever side of the barricade you’re on, there’s no denying that squirrels have a significant social, economic, and environmental impact – whether beneficial or detrimental. In this article, we’ll examine some of the ways squirrels benefit the environment, and next week we’ll discuss some of the situations when squirrels’ presence is no longer desirable – or downright detrimental to humans and the environment.

 

5 Reasons to Like Squirrels (Or At Least not Hate Them)

 

1) They are tree planters

 

5 Reasons to Like Squirrels (Or At Least not Hate Them)

 

Thanks to their food-hoarding behavior, tree squirrels help plant baby oak trees by burying healthy seeds to eat later and forgetting about them.

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10
Oct
Stop the Bullying: Ways to Make Your Backyard Unattractive to European Starlings
Posted by: Daniel Mackie

 

Ways to Make Your Backyard Unattractive to European Starlings

 

You might have seen your first European Starling sitting on a telephone wire in your backyard or perched on a branch in the city park. If you looked closely, you were probably impressed with its purple and green iridescence, cream-tipped feathers, and the white polka dots that make it look like it came straight out of a painting.

 

And it’s not even just the exquisite look what makes this bird so special. Adaptable, intelligent, and highly resourceful, the European Starling managed to get from a population of just 100 birds (when it was first introduced in America in the 1890s) to being one of the most successful birds on the continent, currently counting over 200 million in North America alone.

And yet, few people are actually fond of European Starlings. Their reputation is that of a garden pest, a crop destroyer, and a bird feeder bully; instead of “beautiful” or “clever,” most often they are described as loud, obnoxious, and utterly destructive.

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30
Sep
5 Reasons Why You Should Fear Rats More than You Already Do
Posted by: Daniel Mackie

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Fear Rats More than You Already Do

 

Only a handful of creatures inspire more dread and fear than rats. When they think of rats, most people conjure images of creepy, filthy five-pound, red-eyed creatures that lurk in the dark and feast on human flesh. And while some of the negativity and bad reputation surrounding rats is undeserved – they are, after all, one of the smartest animals on earth and an essential component in scientific research – they are purveyors of disease and one of the most horrifying house pests. Here are five good reasons to be scared of rats, if you aren’t already.

 

#1. They can turn into zombies.

 

Cat urine regularly acts as a repellent for rodents, who are naturally fearful of felines and keen to keep their distance. However, rats exposed to the urine of cats infected with toxoplasma gondii may suffer a change in their brain chemistry that paralyses brain regions governing fear and activates those regions involved in sexual attraction.

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25
Sep
The Autumn Spider Home Invasion: How Scared Should You Be?
Posted by: Daniel Mackie

 

 

The Autumn Spider Home Invasion - How Scared Should You Be

 

The fun season may be over for us, but for spiders, the party is now in full swing. As autumn comes in and weather turns cooler, homeowners throughout the country are starting to notice more and more of the creepy crawlies scuttling inside their homes as they look for a warm place to overwinter or mate. To make matters worse, entomologists have issued a warning that this year, the eight-legged nightmares have grown larger than ever, with the biggest ones reaching the size of a human palm.

 

So should we quake with fear and run out of the spindly creatures’ way or – as scary as it may sound – try to ‘live and let live’? Contrary to what you’d expect, having spiders in your house this fall may not necessarily be a bad thing. Here’s why.

 

The Bright Side of Sharing the House with Spiders

 

Spiders are universally hated.

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16
Sep
How to Keep Your Stock Pantry Pest-Free This Autumn
Posted by: Daniel Mackie

How to Keep Your Stock Pantry Pest-Free This Autumn

 

Stumbling upon bugs in your morning cereal may give you the heebie-jeebies – and ruin your appetite completely for the day – but you might have to get used to sharing your food with fruit flies, meal moths, cockroaches, ants, and other pantry pests in search of bed & breakfast for the upcoming cold season.

 

Once the summer is over, and the majority of their food sources are gone, bugs start seeking out alternative sources of food and water to survive the winter. That’s why your stock pantry, with the seemingly infinite supply of flours, cereals, macaroni, crackers, cured meats, dried fruit, nuts, becomes the no. 1 attraction in your home. Certain pantry pests need only small quantities of food and water to survive – so the initial damage may be overlooked – but before you know it, they can become so numerous that large populations may find their way into every room of your house and start climbing walls, crawling on the floor, or getting inside furniture.

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