When Pests Become Pets: 5 Unusual Critter Companions
When it comes to animals and bugs in your home, it turns out the line between pests and pets can be pretty thin. One minute we want these critters as far away as possible, and the next, we’re making them part of the family.
From furry to scaly, check out this list of unwanted invaders. You might just find your new best friend.
If you’re looking for a friendly, cuddly pet but don’t have room for a dog, a mouse might be the animal for you. These furry rodents are incredibly social, making them a fun companion. As long as you’re gentle, mice usually don’t mind being handled, so you can get plenty of quality time together out of the cage.
Because mice enjoy interaction, it’s usually recommended that you get more than one so they have company. Stocking their cage with plenty of toys and items to climb on will also help keep them occupied. If you don’t want to end up with an entire mouse family overnight, make sure your mice are either all female or all male.
While mice can bring a lot of joy into your life, it’s important to know they don’t have a long lifespan. Most pet mice only live for one to three years, so if you’re looking for a furry friend to grow old with, you may want to explore other options.
Half science experiment and half pet, ants are educational and entertaining. You won’t be able to take them on walks or play tug-of-war, but they can still provide lots of fun.
It’s hard to see what ants are up to when they’re underground. An ant farm will give you a window into their hidden world, and you’ll be able to watch as they build tunnels and create chambers. It can take a little time for ants to establish a thriving colony, so don’t worry if they get off to a slow start. Ants are low-maintenance pets, so as long as you keep them stocked with food and water, they’ll take care of the rest.
Ants are able to get through even the smallest holes and cracks, so make sure their enclosure is sealed tight. The last thing you need is for your ant farm to turn into an infestation.
Do you find yourself admiring these tree-climbing critters as much as Bob Ross? While squirrels are certainly cute, taking one in as a pet isn’t so straightforward. They’re protected by wildlife conservation laws in many places and are illegal to own, so be sure to do your research before making one your pet.
If you are allowed to own a squirrel or you’re rehabbing one before releasing it back into the wild, there are a few things to know. First, squirrels are not easy to train, and because of their energetic and curious nature, they can get into trouble. Dedicating a room in your house for the squirrel or keeping it in a safe, enclosed outdoor area can help prevent it from damaging and chewing on your belongings.
Squirrels have strict dietary needs, so be prepared to spend a lot of time prepping nuts, seeds, berries, and vegetables for them. They’re also very active creatures and may need around-the-clock attention. If you do find an injured squirrel, consider taking it to a wildlife rehab center before trying to care for it yourself.
Some people are deathly afraid of snakes, but others find these scaly reptiles slithering into their hearts. Snakes come in a wide variety of species, and each has different considerations. Whether you’d like a big boa or a gentle garter snake, the good news is that they’re all hypoallergenic.
Snakes need an enclosure with a heat source, and that’s where they’ll spend most of their time. Some snakes are comfortable with being handled, but they aren’t very social creatures, so they’re content with being left alone. They may bite if they feel threatened, so handling them gently is a must.
Because they’re carnivores, snakes need live or frozen prey in their diet. If the thought of handling a frozen rat or a bag of live crickets makes you squeamish, a pet snake may not be for you.
Of all the pests out there, a cockroach is probably the last one you’d think of as a pet. Hissing cockroaches, or hissers, are a large, docile species beloved by exotic animal collectors. Originally from Madagascar, hissers aren’t skittish like other roaches. That means you can let one crawl on your hand — if you have the stomach for it.
Between their size and hard exoskeleton, hissing cockroaches look scarier than they really are. They don’t pose any danger to humans, but you will hear them make their signature hissing sound if they feel threatened.
Hissing cockroaches are pretty low maintenance, and if they’re getting fresh vegetables and have a few hiding places in their tank, they’ll be satisfied. They can also easily climb the glass walls in their container, so unless you want the biggest cockroach you’ve ever seen crawling across your kitchen, make sure your tank is sealed tight.
Unless you find these critters adorable, most are better left outdoors. Give us a call for a quick and efficient removal.