Environment

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.

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.

Mosquito-Borne Illness Advisory

The Duval County Health Department (DCHD) is emphasizing the importance of protection against mosquito-borne diseases after laboratory tests confirmed a 45-year-old female Duval County resident had been hospitalized for West Nile Virus Disease. The individual has since recovered from the illness. This is the first confirmed human case in the county since 2005.