News Filed Under Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management
Wild hogs cost Mississippians millions of dollars each year, but landowners stand to lose more than money if the nuisance animals’ range and population continue to grow.
Left unchecked, wild hogs have the potential to steal property owners’ investments and cripple the state’s ecosystem in the process.
Now is the time of year when many of us notice the pitter-patter of small feet in our attics or walls.
Complaints of mice in and around homes are common in the fall. The house mouse is one of the most troublesome and costly rodents in the United States. House mice damage structures and contaminate food sources meant for humans, pets, livestock and other animals.
During the fall, both the house mouse, which spends most of its life in human dwellings, and the deer mouse, which spends warm seasons outside, are searching for food and warm shelter to nest and breed during the winter.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Wild pigs have roamed parts of the Southeast since Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto introduced them as food for early settlers in the 16th century. But during the last two decades, Mississippi has experienced a rapid uptick in the spread of the nuisance animal.
STARKVILLE, Miss – Many of us look forward to a summer garden every year, especially after a long winter.
Unfortunately, many wildlife species find garden vegetables and plants just as delicious as we do. This leads to a battle -- a battle to keep the fruits of our labors to ourselves rather than providing a meal for the local wildlife.
STARKVILLE, Miss -- It’s a duck, it’s a goose...no, it’s a Cormorant?
The double-crested cormorant is a 4- to 6-pound bird with black or dark plumage. Often cormorants are mistaken for common waterfowl because they are seen swimming on ponds and lakes throughout Mississippi from late fall to early spring. Cormorants migrate each year from the Great Lakes region of the U.S. and Canada to spend their winters on the warm waters of the South. They really are snow birds!
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For an unassuming rodent, the beaver has quite a significant place in American history.
For more than 300 years, the beaver was one of the most valuable fur-bearing animals in North America and drove the fur trade, one of the earliest and most important industries in the development of the United States and Canada.
Often, the person is concerned that turtles are eating his fish. Sometimes the turtles are eating the pond owner’s fish food. Other times, the caller has caught a turtle while catfishing and does not like dealing with the angry reptile on the end of his line. For one reason or another, turtles have a bad reputation in Mississippi ponds. Well, it is time to set the record straight on turtles!
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Often found scavenging in trash cans or seen lying dead on roadsides after car collisions, opossums are not the most revered or understood wildlife creatures in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A great deal of my time with the Mississippi State University Extension Service has been spent raising public awareness about wild pig problems, and I have encountered quite a few myths and half-truths about these often destructive pests.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growing skunk populations in Mississippi are causing a stink in the Magnolia state.
Striped and spotted skunks, which are both found in Mississippi, are among the most common and widely distributed mammals in North America. Skunks are solitary and typically nonaggressive, and they have not historically been a serious threat to homeowners, agricultural producers and other wildlife. However, that could change.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Warmer weather means wild creatures of all shapes and sizes are on the move, which makes it a whole lot more likely you will encounter a snake during the spring or summer.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Say your prayers, varmint!”
If you recognize this quote, you know its source: Looney Tunes cartoon character Yosemite Sam, who never got the upper hand in his dealings with Bugs Bunny. Sometimes it seems we -- like Yosemite Sam -- battle with “varmints” that live around us. This column will give you a little insight into why the battle rages and what you can do to get the upper hand.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Wild pigs are a growing problem for property owners, land managers and farmers throughout Mississippi. Because of their high reproductive rate, they can be difficult to control.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Bare trees in the winter provide clear views of squirrels chasing each other up, down and every which way.
Mid-December through January is a common mating period for eastern gray squirrels, which explains the heightened activity. Baby squirrels are born about six weeks after mating occurs.
Typically, squirrels will build nests for these babies in the forks of tree branches or in the hollows of tree trunks. Their simple nests are fashioned mostly out of dry leaves and twigs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wildlife on roadways can be as hazardous to motorists as texting or reckless drivers.
State Farm Insurance reported Mississippi ranks sixth in the nation for wildlife-vehicle related accidents. More than one third of Mississippi’s 70,000 auto crashes are due to collisions with wildlife, specifically with white-tailed deer. One in 84 people statewide will be in a crash involving wildlife annually.
GRENADA -- Landowners, hunters and timber professionals across the state, including those in the Grenada County area, are educating themselves about a major nuisance to land and wildlife.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wild hogs are a nuisance and potential danger to farmers and landowners throughout the United States. Brought to the Americas by early Spanish explorers as a livestock animal and later transported by hunting enthusiasts, wild hogs have spread rapidly throughout the Southeast.
One reason wild hogs are a growing problem is they can adapt quickly to a variety of temperatures, climates and conditions. They also reproduce rapidly and have few, if any, effective predators, other than humans.
RAYMOND -- Many Mississippians enjoy the sport of hunting wild pigs, but trapping is a better way to control the rapidly growing population that is destroying forests, damaging agricultural resources and threatening native wildlife in the state.
“The only good snake is a dead snake” is an attitude probably triggered by common myths about snakes.
Snake myths are found in cultures around the globe, giving evidence of the troubled relationship between people and these reptiles. People are often afraid when they do not need to be. There are more snake myths than one article can cover, but let’s expose a few of the more common ones to the truth.
Myth: Rattlesnakes always give a warning rattle before they strike.
By James E. “Jim” Miller
Professor Emeritus, Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Aquaculture
MSU Extension Service
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The American beaver, the largest native rodent in North America, is an ecosystem engineer, building dams and creating ponds that contribute to plant and animal biodiversity. However, beavers can cause serious property damage and frustrate landowners and managers.