Scavengers Perform a Duty to the Property Owner


A great many people will shake their heads when talking about a skunk, or a fox, or even a raccoon. In most minds, these are pests. The skunk annoys with its scent; the fox moves into the coop and your chickens disappear; even the raccoon makes sure to spread your garbage all over your driveway – major annoyances that you wish would just go away. But…these pests are also responsible for keeping larger, more violent predators, from heading onto the property and doing more harm than they ever could.

Being small, and very common in the U.S., the only thing that makes a human run away from a skunk is that odor. But that odor is what wards off potential predators seeking to destroy. The cons are there, of course. They dig up land, ruin lawns in Raccoontheir search for grubs, as well as help the raccoon to take down a garbage can or two. But in many areas where overcrowding is occurring with extremely large, violent predators – the skunk is definitely good to have on your side.

If you’re looking at helping the garden, skunks also defy expectations by controlling those insects that can damage the vegetation. No to mention, they eat native plants allowing a spread of seeds, and easy cleanup when it comes to rotted fruits.

From the king of odor to the masked bandit; raccoons may be a pain and cause frustration with the trash cans and the bird feeders – and they are certainly unwanted guests in he attic – but even with all that, there are huge pros to keeping that raccoon alive and well.

This species is the ultimate scavenger, which means along with mess comes cleaning up of carrion – getting rid of the old flesh/meat of other animals. The raccoon will also make sure that your pest numbers – snakes, lizards, rats – will never get out of control. When the raccoon turns to native vegetation for dinner, they help the plants spread seeds. So, perhaps dealing with the small messes may be a heck of a lot easier when the raccoon takes care of the big ones.

Coyotes are a difficult pest to consider. There are major negatives; however, the positives they bring are when your skunk and raccoon families have grown out of control. Every habitat humans create – farms, cities and the ever-popular suburbia – they have not only created homes for themselves but also for rats, mice, raccoons and skunks. Disease can happen from overcrowding of these pests, and the coyote can come in and clean it up. They make problems for ranchers, but in the big cities the coyote is a species that many have accepted. They get rid of the little pests. Of course, they also can call out to their own predators, such as wolves or bears in certain locations, that are far more frightening than that annoying rat.

A lot of pests soar above our heads that have not only made history, but have been placed in so many books and movies as the ‘evil creature’ that they have become misunderstood. Take vultures, for instance. Again, like all pests, the vulture can not only be unnerving to a human, but they also cause damage to buildings. And when they meet up with planes, consequences to humans can be tragic. But with all their cons, those vultures clean up carrion; the dead and leftover meat of other species can also spread disease quickly and cause many new pests to arrive; so having the vulture on hand is a definite pro for the human. This is one creature that has saved countries billions of dollars in clean-up; whereas the wild dog causes billions of dollars in damage to do the same thing.

But the vulture is not the only soaring pest that helps. Crows have pros, but when it comes to a farmer’s new crops that they work so hard to plant, the crow can become a real pain. Crows can ruin corn crops by pulling up sprouts and eating the kernels. They’re loud, they’re annoying, they like to caw at almost anything, but the crow will also eat tens of thousands of insects that cause destruction to crops. Joining with the coyote and vulture, the crow will also take care of carrion. These are birds that are extremely smart, and could be used for far more.

All species have pros and cons. But the next time that raccoon tips over the garbage can in the yard, take a moment to remember just how much the bandit can help in other areas of the property.

Source: Sportsmans Life / Baret News Wire