Urban Wildlife

Keeping Critters out of Your Home

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- They can cause the kind of damage that can lead to costly home repairs. They are the four-legged critters looking for a place to stay warm.

"There are rodents, squirrels and raccoons always around this time of year looking for nesting sites," said Jeff Saylor.

Saylor, with Arrow Exterminators, said those nesting sites are in First Coast homes.

Saylor the entry points are easy to find; just look near the air conditioning systems.

"Service lines are easy access points for rodents to get into your home," said Saylor.

He said another weak spot is the soffit, the area under the eaves of the roof. 

"Rats can get through an area the size of a quarter, mice can get through about the size of a dime," he said.

Even a tree near your home can become an access point.

Saylor's advice is pay attention to the surroundings.

Stone Crab Season Opens Oct. 15

The commercial and recreational harvest season for stone crab claws in Florida opens on Oct. 15.  The season will remain open through May 15.

Stone crab claws must be at least 2 3/4 inches in length to be harvested legally, and claws may not be taken from egg-bearing female stone crabs.  Recreational harvesters are allowed to use up to five stone crab traps, and there is a daily bag limit of one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less.

Click here for more information regarding the recreational harvest of stone crab claws.

Click here for commercial stone crab regulations and licensing information (click on "Fishing - Saltwater").

Atlantic Beach Campout Under the Stars Oct 23

A Saturday Afternoon and Evening of Fun & Play

• Kayak tours – Dutton Island, 9:30 and 12 noon
• Morning bike tour of parks
• 2 pm – Kid Zone Bounce Houses, Ferris wheel, Train Rides
• C lown & Balloons with Sugar Plum
• 4 pm – Magic Show
• 5 pm – Working Warrior Fitness Fun
• 7 pm – Prince Pele Polynesian Dance
• 8 pm – Movie “How to Train a Dragon”

Campsites still $10.00

Reserve a campsite, pitch your tent and stay the night under the stars with family and friends. Free pancake breakfast for campers on Sunday am! Sites include a fire ring with wood for a campfire. Choose your site now at the Recreation Office, Adele Grage Cultural Center, 716 Ocean Blvd.

DEADLINE for reservations is October 9th or until sold out. So reserve early. Visit www.coab.us/events for registration form, site map and schedule of events.

New Blood Perks Up Florida Panther Population

USA Today - By the early 1990s there were only 20 to 25 Florida panthers left out of what was once a large and thriving population – and those that remained were sickly and inbred, destined for extinction within 20 years, experts estimated. So in 1995 conservation managers moved eight wild-caught female pumas from Texas to the area – a reintroduction so successful that between 1995 and 2008 a total of 424 panther births have been documented.