EA Guide Sharon Fruchey hails from Pittsburgh but has been a West Side Clevelander for over 30 years. Sharon is very knowledgeable about our region’s rich history, ethnic diversity, cultural institutions, food scene, and golf courses. She also happens to know a thing or two about the abundant wildlife that is part of the natural beauty of Northeast Ohio. Sharon put together a few fun facts and helpful tips for Northeast Ohio newbies…
“Living by a Great Lake, a few rivers, and over 50,000 acres of heavily wooded parkland, a resident of Northeast Ohio is bound to have an up close and personal encounter with the wildlife native to the area. This blog will identify the more common of those four-legged critters and share strategies for a peaceful co-existence.
Give me the night:
The most common of the nocturnal creatures is the raccoon (other night owls are opossums, voles, and skunks). Here are some guidelines for avoiding run-ins with these “mayhem makers.”
- Keep lids of garbage cans securely fastened, and remember to close your garage door at night.
- Trim limbs of trees so that they are not touching your home. These guys are excellent acrobats and are always on the hunt for food, warmth, and shelter.
- Make certain you have heavy gauge wire mesh covering openings including chimneys (wood-burning and utility) and vents.
Outdoors decks are screaming “Hotel Vacancy!” They are a great place for a long winter’s nap or starting a family. The most proficient diggers of the group are groundhogs (aka woodchucks) and skunks. They will create the openings and the rest of the gang will follow. If you must have a deck… according to the experts, installing a heavy wire mesh that goes at least 18 inches underground and around the perimeter will thwart most attempts to take up residency.
Bird feeders… So challenging for the bird lovers of the world, but the debris left on the ground attracts all the above-mentioned animals AND their predators.
My poor flowers:
The ‘tunnelers’ of our wildlife friends are the voles and the chipmunks. Members of the rodent family can challenge the viability of your flowering beds, shrubs, and lawn. There are several methods for reducing the population though they may not get the approval of PETA.
For the veggie lovers:
Groundhogs see your garden and plantings as a banquet. They are early morning and evening feeders. The eastern cottontail rabbits that populate our area assist in weed control in our lawns. Clover and dandelions are among their greens of choice.
Squirrels common to Northeast Ohio are the gray and fox squirrel. They love feasting on the nut-bearing trees, which are in abundance, as well seeds. They are incredible contortionists and can be very entertaining to view in their quest to conquer a bird feeder and its contents (here is video proof!).
The buck stops here (and there!):
Our urban deer population, though adorable, can cause havoc in your yard. They are mainly night grazers though they have become more increasing in numbers and are surprisingly unfazed by human presence and will just be out and about all the time. They will eat what is easily accessible. They have a real fondness for hostas though I have it on good authority that they are not into the variegated kind.
The more exotic of the wildlife are the gray and red foxes, coyotes, and wild turkeys. Coyotes have been seen more frequently in the last couple years. Though they can keep the balance of nature in check, they can be a threat to unattended small dogs and cats. Bird feeders can pose a problem as well because they attract their prey. They have a healthy respect for humans so making them feel unwelcome usually works (loud noises, clapping etc.).
Wild turkeys have recently become more prolific and assertive; in fact, the city of Rocky River made the national news for a “gang” of turkeys that were harassing the mailman to the point where he refused to deliver the mail!! Apparently, wild turkeys are also into ‘antiquing!’
Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my:
You can view lions and tigers at our world class Zoo, but the bears have recently been spotted in some of our southern cities in Cuyahoga County. Definitely gives you paws (I mean pause!).
If you are fortunate enough to live in a city that will provide you with a trap and will collect captured animals, open-faced peanut butter sandwiches are a fan favorite except for groundhogs who prefer cut-up cantaloupe.
If you prefer to view and learn more about the area’s wildlife in a safe, controlled setting visit the following:
- Cleveland Metroparks Nature Centers in the Rocky River Reservation, North Chagrin Reservation, and the Brecksville Reservation.
- Perkins Wildlife Center and Woods Garden at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
- Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village, Ohio
- Nature Center at Shaker Lakes in Shaker Heights, Ohio”
Executive Arrangements’ staffers are true Northeast Ohio experts and love sharing their insights with your company’s recruits and new hires. Our talent attraction and retention services can help you fill important positions with the right people and ensure that they are happy with their decision to relocate to Northeast Ohio. Call us at 216.231.9311.