Wells Branch is Under Construction and the CRITTERS are BACK!

Expect an increase in all kinds of wild creatures (possums, raccoons, snakes, rats, coyotes) this summer as we have several new construction projects underway in and around Wells Branch.  The best form of control for any of these animals is an integrated plan that removes access to shelter, food and water.  If you have a rat or mouse problem, then the use of rodenticides or traps may be necessary as well.  Every resident in Wells Branch can take steps to minimize appeal to these animals.  Rodent control is particularly effective when all our neighbors participate.

  • Do NOT leave food outside for your pets.
  • If your animals eat outside, give them a chance to eat and then bring the food and water bowls inside.
  • Secure all doggie-doors at night.
  • If you have a bird or squirrel feeder, bring it in at night.  Empty the birdbaths as well.
  • Seal all openings into your home and any outdoor storage units using hardware cloth and steel wool.  Mice can squeeze into a ¼” opening and it only takes ½” for a rat to gain access.
  • Clean out any debris that might provide refuge for these animals.

Coyotes:  It’s four months later and we’re still losing pets to coyotes.  Please visit the sites listed below and make sure you’re following all their tips.

  • Keep your pets inside from just before dusk until after dawn.  If they have to go out, take them on a leash – even in your own yard.  We have had coyotes both jump and dig under fences.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.  They’ve been sited along the trails daily and have even followed walkers.  Keep your dog on a leash and close by.

Here are links to a great hand out from Travis County to download, the City of Austin webpage on coyotes, the Humane Society page, and Texas Parks & Wildlife page.  All cover tips on deterring coyotes and discuss how to best protect your fur babies.

Be safe, not sorry!

Snakes:

With the mild winter we’ve had and a plentiful food source, our slithery friends are out and about!  Please remember that rat snakes are our FRIENDS.  They earn their keep around here by keeping the rodent population down.  While they can get quite large, they don’t pose a threat to you, your children or your pets and are reluctant to bite unless messed with – leave them be and they’ll go on about their business.

Photo by Brad Dushkin

Unsure about which snakes are harmless and which may be poisonous?  Visit austinreptileservice.net to learn more.  This site makes it easy by breaking them down by stripes, blotches, diamonds, bands and solid color snakes.

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