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Scorpions are fairly common throughout the state. While they seldom sting, their presence around the home is objectionable to many people. Scorpion stings are usually no more poisonous than those of bees or wasps.
Many areas considered to be in the "country" just a few years ago are now more urban. Because of this transition in land use, raccoons and other animals once called wildlife may now be considered backyard pests.
Opossums are found throughout much of the United States and north into parts of Canada. Although these animals are interesting and beneficial in the wild, they can become a nuisance when seeking food or shelter in our homes or other buildings.
House mice are one of the most troublesome and economically important pests in the United States. They consume food meant for human beings, pets and other animals; contaminate areas with their feces and urine; cause considerable damage to structures and property; and spread numerous diseases.
Rabbits can do considerable damage to the landscape. For the most effective control, a variety of methods should be tried, including habitat modification, fencing, trapping, chemical repellents and the use of rabbit-resistant perennials.
Copperheads are venomous snakes and members of the pit viper family. Pit vipers have a heat-sensing organ located between the eye and the nostril. This organ is useful in locating food by detecting the body heat of prey species. Copperheads are not generally aggressive and rarely injure people. They are secretive but valuable members of the wildlife community. Copperheads range throughout most of Georgia and occupy a variety of habitats.
Bats are very beneficial creatures that feed on a wide variety of insects, including mosquitoes. Nonetheless, we as homeowners do not want them to establish residence in our attics or the walls of our homes.
Scientists classify armadillos with anteaters and sloths. They have poorly developed teeth and limited mobility. In fact, armadillos have small, peg-like teeth that are useful for grinding their food but of little value for capturing prey. No other mammal in Georgia has bony skin plates or a “shell,” which makes the armadillo easy to identify. Just like a turtle, the shell is called a carapace.
Lovebugs are small black flies with red thoraxes. They are members of the family Bibionidae. Several species of this family are native to the southeast, but lovebugs, Plecia nearctica, are relatively recent invaders from the west.
The Eastern Chipmunk is one of the smaller members of the squirrel family, measuring 8 to 10 inches long. Chipmunks are primarily ground dwellers, but they do climb trees and shrubs for food and protection when necessary. They may be identified by the three dark dorsal stripes on the otherwise reddish-brown coat and by its habit of running with its tail sticking straight up in the air.