Gardening with native plants for wildlife in Tampa Bay.


Wildlife Gardening in Tampa Bay

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Gardening for Wildlife in Tampa Bay


Dealing with wildlife on a daily basis has given me a great deal of insight into how different species interact with their environment in an urban setting. Since most of the animals I deal with have become a nuisance I have learned many reasons and conditions that have caused them to become that way.


Many people love putting out birdfeeders and pet food to feed wildlife but this usually leads to problems.


Birdfeeders usually feed rats and squirrels more than they do birds. When those critters have that much more food to eat on a year around basis it usually leads to over-population. This leads to disease and animals breaking into attics because of lack of nesting areas.


Leaving out pet food for raccoons or opossums gets those species to lose their natural fear of humans. When you forget to fill the food bowl one night a raccoon might slip into the house through the cat door. It may also accidently scratch you trying to get the food bag out of your hands too aggressivley. If that happens you will have to get rabies shots unless the animal is caught and killed before testing. I have seen both of these things happen, countless times.


The best way to feed wildlife is by planting native plants. Native plants are the bottom rung of the food chain. Even animals that don't feed on plants will benefit from feeding on the insects and herbivores that do feed on them. Not as many problems arise from this method because wildlife keep to their natural cycles. They don't associate humans with food. They don't overpopulate an area that may not sustain them if someone who leaves the dog food or bird feeder out, moves out of the neighborhood.


I am compiling a list of native plants and different local wildlife and how to best provide for them in a natural way.












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Native plant gardeing for wildlife habitats inTampa, St petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties.