Mischief night in the garden
When I lived out east, the night before Halloween was called “Mischief Night”, the night the older kids went out and soaped windows, tee peed trees and got into trouble!
What creatures create nighttime mischief in our backyards?
The top prankster has got to be that cute little bandit, the Raccoon! From tossing our garbage to making their home in our uncapped chimneys, they are a nuisance to say the least. The DNR on Raccoons.
Toads are rather creepy looking with their warty bodies but they really are a good thing to have! The croaking creatures come out at night to dine on insects and other small animals. Contrary to popular belief, toads don’t give you warts! Learn more about frogs and toads from the Minnesota DNR.
Toads need to be on the lookout for shrews! The shrews tiny body belies a nasty attitude! They attack bigger animals than themselves and need to eat their weight every night. Minnesota DNR on Shrews.
And then there’s the Badger! This guy has a reputation for ferocity but it’s actually not as mean as the shrew. Unless you corner it, then be prepared! These guys can actually chase a gopher down a hole and GET IT. Now that’s worth having them around… at a distance. Looks mean! Learn more about the badger at Minnesota DNR.
Nocturnal Coyotes are a whole other thing. Keep Fifi indoors at night or make sure you’re on the watch. Otherwise, she’s a snack for the Coyote. As pretty as they can look, don’t be deceived, these guys are predators. There’ve been no attacks in Minnesota, but why take the chance. Learn more about urban coyotes at Minnesota DNR.