Critters In The Attic

Brindle, the dachshund does a fine job keeping squirrels in their place. Everyday she chases squirrels up the tree at Pecan Park, a Nacogdoches city park. Not far away Abigail, the cocker barks, but lets wild animals come and go as they please through Brownie Covin's backyard. "That dog would let me know that there was something coming and going from the outside to the inside," said Covin.

Each night Mrs Covin would lie awake listening to something crawl around above her. Covin described, "There was dancing in the attic."

Most wild animals have their own residency, but when the temperatures drop squirrels, raccoons, birds and skunks often become freeloaders. Nacogdoches County extension agent Crispin Skinner is often called for help. "Basically what they're looking for is a place to den up and get into a nice warm spot."

Small animals are not the only nuisance inside the city. Wild hogs are hanging out along Lanana Creek in Nacogdoches. If you see one leave it alone. They'll move on, if the trapper doesn't get them first.

Mrs Covin's unwanted guest entered through an opened crawl space. She didn't know what to do. "I had all kinds of suggestions," recalled Covin. She ended up taking the best advice and got a live trap. Skinner said, "You just set that trap and bait it. Don't go up there in the middle of the night and flick on a light and then surprise them. You may be surprised yourself."

Preventive measures to keeping urban wildlife out of your house are to cap chimneys, trim branches away from your house, secure trash cans and clean up debris. Crispin called it, "Spring cleaning in the fall."

Mrs Covin ended up catching her critter. She found what she thought was a dead possum in her live trap. Covin laughed, "The possum was not dead. It was playing possum and I didn't think of that immediately, but that possum, you would have thought he was at a horserace the way he scooted out of that thing." Which pleased everyone, even Abigail.

For more information on animals finding their way inside your home, visit