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It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. But what is love, really? Is it patience? Kindness? Never having to say you’re sorry? Maybe! Is it a deeper subject matter than you’re looking for from a blog about cute animals? Probably! But hear us out… we think love is seeing something’s flaws clearly, but adoring it anyway. After all, it’s easy to go gaga over something that doesn’t have problems. Who wouldn’t be gaga about perfection! But acknowledging all the ways something drives you nuts, and feeling great about it anyway? Now that’s love. Keeping this definition in mind, we love these animals. Because we think they’re pretty darn cute, even though they’re all notorious troublemakers. See what we mean now? These are the top four varmints we just can’t stay mad at… even when they’re at their worst.


opossums are cute, when they're not terrorizing your gardenLike all the critters on this list, opossums are very cute. Those ears! That nose! That “just got out of bed” scruff! But what really makes opossums tough not to love is their personality. Opossums are a bit of a mess. Look at those crooked whiskers and all that matted fur. Their only defense when threatened is to faint--or, “play opossum”. Opossums are that one “really busy” friend. They’re very sweet, but they never get enough sleep and they’re always “going through a lot right now”. In 2018, we are all the opossum. That’s why they’re so darn lovable. Unfortunately, however, opossums tend to be a lot less lovable when they’re on your property. In keeping with their slovenly personalities, opossums are relatively low-energy opportunists. They don’t dig or attack pets, but if they have a shot at gardens or garbage, they’ll take it. They also tend to hide, and may occasionally scare the heck out of you by popping out suddenly. Fittingly, opossums mostly bumble into being inconveniences, but they get there nonetheless.


Foxes are the charming rogues of the animal kingdomThere’s a reason why Disney chose to make Robin Hood a fox for their animated retelling. No other animal commands the same debonair, dashing air that the fox does. The eponymous Mr. Fox in The Fantastic Mr. Fox was voiced by George Clooney, for pity’s sake! Between that beautiful fur, those mischievous golden eyes, and their svelte bodies, foxes are the charming rogues of the animal kingdom. And whether we’ll admit it or not, everyone’s rooting for the charming rogue. For all their charms, it can be all-too-easy to forget that foxes are wild animals; predators. Like all predators, they can be territorial and dangerous. Foxes mark their territory with unpleasant odors from their urine. If they feel their newly-claimed territory is threatened, foxes might lash out and attack the perceived threat. Foxes are a particular problem for farms, where they’re notorious chicken thieves and livestock harassers. Like coyotes, foxes may also carry dangerous diseases like rabies. Foxes may be disarmingly clever, but their charms are best admired from a distance.


chipmunks are like if coffee was an animalLook at these little guys go! Chipmunks are like if coffee was an animal. Running, leaping, and climbing all over the place, chipmunks seem to have boundless energy. They don’t even really run, so much as they just kind of… lunge from place-to-place. Chipmunks are too hyper to use their legs properly. And have you seen them eat? Their cheeks expand until they’re roughly the same size as their entire body! Watching chipmunks is almost enough to make us jealous. We want to be that excited just to be alive! All that nervous energy has its downsides, however. Chipmunks don’t do anything just a little, so if they’re being a pest, they’re doing it full-time. The ground squirrel is notorious for its annoying digging tendencies. They’ll leap over fences and dig up flower bulbs, plant roots, and even newly planted seeds. Sometimes chipmunks even burrow under buildings or decking. Chipmunk burrows can compromise structural integrity and even lead to serious damage. In our experience, a little chipmunk goes a long way--especially when they’re in your yard.


Raccoons are nature's masked banditsIf foxes are the gentlemen thieves of the animal kingdom, then raccoons are the masked bandits. What they lack in subtly and grace, raccoons more than make up for in ingenuity and tenacity. Like a thief on the run, it can seem like the whole world is out to get the raccoon. They don’t deal with cars very well, they’re notoriously persecuted as pests, and nobody trusts them. And yet, year after year, winter after summer, the raccoon remains. Their persistence would be almost admirable, were it not for their motivations. Raccoons want to steal your stuff. Specifically, your garbage. But why would you care about your garbage? Well, if you give a mouse a cookie, they’ll want a glass of milk. If you give a raccoon some garbage, they’re going to want more… and more… After a few days, they may even attempt to burglarize your home! Like other pests, raccoons can be dangerous when startled and may transmit diseases. Don’t feel bad about kicking a raccoon to the curb--they’ll be just fine.   Frustrating as they may be, we just can’t stay mad at these adorable little troublemakers. That’s part of why Varment Guard remains so committed to using only the most humane wildlife control available for any given situation. Expert knowledge, live trapping, animal repellent, and exclusionary help us save animal lives. Of course, we don’t compromise when it comes to protecting you, either. For all our love of animals, our first and most important valentine will always be you: the customer. If you ever have wildlife problem you need help with, give us a call anytime. Have a great and safe Valentine’s Day!

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