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Rats, killer bees top expert’s list of ‘Florida’s Most Unwanted’ home pests

By Staff | Sep 23, 2021

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Rats, bats, woodpeckers and bees are among the most destructive — and unwanted — invaders in Florida homes, according to Cape Coral biologist and wildlife remover Patrick Gibson.

Speaking on the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association’s Royal PalmCast podcast, Gibson presented his list of the critters he encounters most often and the ones who cause more headaches than any others for Southwest Florida homeowners.

“Rats are — not even close to the second — our biggest issue,” he said. A single pair of rats can multiply exponentially in a very brief period, he notes. “Once born, a female is ready to reproduce in just 35 days.”

Rats can deliver up to five litters of four or five offspring a year.

The animal eradicator says a common mistake homeowners make after discovering rats in the attic is to seal the space up, preventing the invaders from leaving each night for food and water. That’s when the destruction begins, he said, as rats begin to gnaw through wiring, plumbing and other systems trying to get out.

Other animals on Gibson’s “most unwanted” list: killer bees; pileated woodpeckers; muscovy ducks; snakes, especially cottonmouth and coral snakes; bats; armadillos; opossums; and raccoons.

During the podcast, Gibson listed the techniques he uses to evict each of the unwanted tenants from homes and businesses as owner of Professional Wildlife Services. For example, a smear of clear repelling gel will keep woodpeckers away from soffits. To banish racoons from outdoor trash and recycling receptacles, he advised, simply move them 4 or 5 feet apart.

Listen to The Royal PalmCast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/505474

Comprising a membership of more than 8,000 Realtors, RPCRA serves Southwest Florida Realtors with offices in Cape Coral and Fort Myers. For more information, visit www.rpcra.org.