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Not every creature that visits your property is a dangerous nuisance. Many animals actually offer a number of benefits that keep your yard healthy. Predatory animals, in particular, actually offer natural pest control.

Here are five common suburban creatures that can help keep more difficult or annoying animals at bay:

owl

Bats

Although many folks may have an aversion to bats, these flying mammals are quite important to the overall health of an ecosystem. Not only is guano a rich fertilizer, but more importantly, bats prey on mosquitoes, moths and many other frustrating insects. So long as you don't have bats living in your home, the risks of sharing your property with these animals is pretty minimal.

The National Wildlife Health Center reported that a condition called white-nose syndrome had led to an 80 percent population decline in North American bats in just a decade. Many conservation groups have installed special bat boxes to give the animals a place to live and raise young in safety. Some families have taken similar steps to help these important creatures.

Amphibians and reptiles

Another set of animals that are quite important despite not being particularly charismatic are the amphibians and reptiles. Frogs, toads, lizards and snakes spend the spring and summer feasting on insects and other small creatures, providing an effective pest control service. This also extends to small mammals, although snakes aren't the only accomplished mousers.

As National Geographic reported, the American bull frog, which can be found in parks and backyards across the continent, is a surprisingly gluttonous beast that along with bugs will feed on mice, other amphibians and even small birds. As such, having a small family of frogs living on your property could keep small mammals and other pests in check.

Owls

When it comes to accomplished predators, however, few animals can top the owl. There are 19 species of owl in North America, and each one is a silent aerial assassin. Mice, chipmunks and other problematic creatures make up the majority of many species' diets.

In fact, owls are so renowned for their ability to hunt small mammals that many homeowners have invested in plastic owls. Working just like a scarecrow, the intimidating glance of these artificial owls is used to discourage mice and similar animals from comfortable exploring the yard.

Unfortunately, many small rodents actually have poor eyesight, and these plastic owls may not be effective. If you're desperate for help, your best bet is to call a pest removal specialist to deal with any unwanted animals.

Songbirds

There are dozens of species of birds that do very well in suburban and urban areas. Importantly for homeowners, these birds are also quite efficient hunters and are useful in managing all sorts of harmful bugs.

Caterpillars, in particular, can be quite difficult. These insects can strip away huge amounts of leaf matter in preparation for their metamorphosis, causing irreversible damage to an otherwise picturesque yard.

Turkeys

A staple of suburban wildlife, turkeys can often be seen wandering yards rummaging through the grass. These birds feed on nuts and plant matter, but will also make a meal out of insects.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, turkeys are known to feast on ticks if given the chance. In the summer, tick populations in some areas can be quite large, but a group of hungry turkeys may be helpful in reducing this risk.

Relying on Mother Nature to take care of your pest problems isn't wise, even if some of suburbia's predators are efficient hunters. Call a pest control specialist to come up with reliable solutions for eliminating unwanted animals from your property.

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.


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