A cat in a flower bed on a summer day.

Cats and Your Home

Lovable hunter and pet, or maybe more of a nuisance for your garden, cats can be a great addition to your home. They have added benefits such as chasing away pests and catching unwanted bugs. However, stray cats can cause trouble for your flower beds, gardens and even get in your trash. Here are some ways cats can help protect your home and alternatively how to keep them out of your yard if they are unwanted.

A Mexican free-tailed bat flying.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats in Austin, TX

Austin’s Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, also known simply as the Congress Avenue Bridge, houses around 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats during the hot summer months. The bats congregate under the bridge that leads to the Austin Capitol Building and take flight in large groups as dusk approaches. The flight of the bats makes for a popular tourist attraction during Texas summers, when evenings are warm and the largest volume of bats lives under the bridge.

Two deer mice.

What Is a Rodent?

Rodents, or mammals of the order Rodentia, are the largest group of mammals on Earth. Most North Americans don’t distinguish well between rodents and other pests. Furry, mischievous creatures such as raccoons and river otters are mistakenly placed in the same category as rodents.

A side-by-side comparison of a mouse and a rat.

Rats vs. Mice

Mice and rats are annoying. They are a serious health issue, carrying dozens of diseases at a time. Rats can contaminate roughly ten times the amount of food they can consume, too. Both rats and mice present a public health concern and need to be dealt with quickly by a qualified rat removal team. Despite their perceived similarities, mice and rats are quite different.