Living With Wildlife

Urban Wild Animals Have Set Up Housekeeping on Your Property. What to Do?

Don’t panic. Take some time to think and understand what exactly is going on. Look to see how many critters are occupying the space. Where is their den or nest is and where they gained access to the property.

What hours do they keep as they go about their daily and nightly affairs? Is the animal a mother with little babies? Removal or baracade techniques should not be implemented until you are absolutely certain that ALL ANIMALS are out of the space to be blocked off.

If young are present, if at all possible wait until they are old enough for their mother to walk them out and then secure the entry points. Otherwise, the young will starve and you will have other unpleasant problems to solve. The babies begin to go out with mom in a few to several weeks. It is never wise to use live traps—hundreds of mother wild animals are separated from their helpless young every year as a result of the use of these so-called humane devices.

It is natural for wildlife to seek shelter. Caves, hollow logs, and large abandoned bird nests suffice in the wild, but in the city the substitutes are attics, crawl spaces, or chimneys. Animals are intelligent, but they should not be expected to know that they are “trespassing.” After securing these areas, pay close attention during the day, as well as at night, for any sounds of scratching or whining. This would indicate that an animal has been trapped inside and you will need to immediately give the animal an exit. If you made the mistake of trapping and removing an adult wild animal and you hear whining or crying then you have orphaned a litter of babies and they will need the care of an experienced rehabilitation facility.

Check porches, decks, sheds, and garages for holes or weak areas and securely seal them off. Regularly check the roof and eaves and block all holes using galvanized sheet metal. On open vents, use rustproof screening. Make sure there are no animals living inside at the time. Keep garage and shed doors shut at night. If an animal goes into a garage or shed, simply leave the door open for a few hours after dark and she will leave.