Have a furry intruder?

Have an animal nesting or using a space that you would prefer they did not? Humane Harassment is a process used to disturb an animal to such an extent that it decides to leave its den and move on. These techniques are used to spare the life of the animal and avoid needless trapping.

Try one of these tested methods to help remove the animal safely!

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Animals In/On Home

UNDER PORCH/DECK/STAIRS:

Opossums are nomadic, and leave on their own. No need to do anything. You can seal area using an L-shaped barrier design, but make sure area is clear so as not to entrap animal.

UNDER PORCH/DECK/STAIRS:

No cause for alarm. If animals MUST be evicted, harassment strategies such as sweaty socks sprinkled with vinegar in den entrance along with blaring radio. This will take time and patience as they can be resistant and also need time to find or create a new den.

UNDER PORCH/DECK/STAIRS:

If in spring or summer, it’s probably a mom with babies. Raccoons move around and use different den sites. If tolerance is impossible, harassment can work – socks with vinegar, bright lights at night and loud talk radio. One way doors or an L-shaped barrier will prevent future denning, but it is imperative to make sure no babies are left behind first.

UNDER PORCH/DECK/STAIRS:

Skunks will use cavities to raise young, but will leave as soon as young are old enough. The simplest option is to allow them to leave on their own to avoid spraying. Harassment such as socks or tennis balls soaked in vinegar can work. One way doors or an L-shaped barrier will prevent future denning, but it is imperative to make sure no babies are left behind first.

UNDER PORCH/DECK/STAIRS:

Burrows don’t tend to undermine foundations. If in spring or summer, it’s probably a mom with babies. Harassment such as rags or tennis balls soaked in vinegar, urine-soaked kitty litter, or dirty gym socks can be left at the entrance to evict. Once the animals are gone, an L-shaped barrier can be installed.

UNDER PORCH/DECK/STAIRS:

Remove anything from your yard or around or under your porch/deck/stairs that may be attractive to snakes. For instance, if you have mice or rats around your home, this will attract snakes because they serve as a major food source. Cut down any large patches of grass or any other cover that snakes will be attracted to. Snakes will use these areas as shelter. Store wood and compost piles far away from your home and decking.

ENTERING HOLES IN ATTIC:

Care should be taken when using harassment during breeding season, March-October. Leave all lights on and radio blaring (rock music), vinegar doused rags around the attic. Apply deterrents in daylight. Be patient, it may take a few days. Once ALL animals are gone, seal entry holes. To make sure animals are gone, stuff holes with newspaper, if it stays in place for three days, the family has moved and it is now safe to repair holes.

ENTERING HOLES IN ATTIC:

Bats will not chew their way back in once evicted so sealing them out can be quite simple. Take time to look thoroughly for holes as an opening less than a quarter-inch wide or a half-inch in diameter can be used by bats. Entry points may be easy to see by day, look for a slight staining at the point of entry or a few droppings on the wall. Never seal entry points when bats might be trapped inside. In PA, flightless young may be present from mid-April through mid-August. We never recommend eviction until mid to late August.

Plug entry points by using a piece of plastic to cover each one. Tape, staple, or otherwise fasten the plastic to the wall several inches above, allowing roughly 14 inches to extend to the sides and below. Be sure to allow the plastic to hang free at the bottom, so the bats can exit. The hanging plastic acts as a one-way door. Bats can drop out and exit from beneath, but when they attempt return, the entry is blocked. Leave the plastic in place for at least three warm nights, so all the bats have had a chance to exit. Then permanently seal the openings.

Exclusion of bats living beneath Spanish or tile roofs is a little more difficult. Experts recommend the installation of rain gutters to prevent further use. The gutters must be installed to be completely flush against the surface, and the edges must be even with lower edges of tiles, to extend about eight inches. Downspouts should be open-ended no remain unattached to vertical drains until the bats are gone.

IN CHIMNEY:

Application of quarter-inch mesh hardware cloth over the opening for the chimney may be all that is needed. Also take time to look thoroughly for holes as an opening less than a quarter-inch wide or a half-inch in diameter can be used by bats. Entry points in the brick may be easy to see by day, look for a slight staining at the point of entry or a few droppings on the wall. Never seal entry points when bats might be trapped inside. In PA, flightless young may be present from mid-April through mid-August.

Plug entry points by using a piece of plastic to cover each one. Tape, staple, or otherwise fasten the plastic to the wall several inches above, allowing roughly 14 inches to extend to the sides and below. Be sure to allow the plastic to hang free at the bottom, so the bats can exit. The hanging plastic acts as a one-way door. Bats can drop out and exit from beneath, but when they attempt return, the entry is blocked. Leave the plastic in place for at least three warm nights, so all the bats have had a chance to exit. Then permanently seal the openings.

SLEEPING IN AWNINGS

Bats will sometimes use carports, awnings, or gazebos for night roosts, which are temporary stops they make after feeding to rest and digest insects they have caught. This can be deterred by either repelling or excluding the bats. Mylar, or flash tape may repel bats from such structures, and plastic sheets attached with staples so that the bat cannot grasp onto the favored part of the structure will work as well. Make sure to put staples no more than an inch apart, so that the bat cannot crawl under the sheeting, and get stuck.

BEHIND SHUTTERS

Use bat repellents. Some chemicals such as napthalene used in mothballs have a sharp smell that may discourage the bats from roosting behind your shutters. Place some around and between the spaces in your shutters then wait for a few days to see if the method works.

Use light. Shine a strong light under the shutters to discourage the bats from settling there.

Prop the shutters slightly away from the house by a few inches. The bats were roosting in the space because it was offering them a shelter away from the elements, so the gap will definitely deny them this comfort. They will then migrate to another place. Another option is to caulk the shutters to the wall after placing a screen behind the louvres. The method will ensure that no bats can get behind the shutters by completely sealing off any point of entry.

One of the humane activities that people take up is that they purchase and install bat houses for the bats to migrate to instead of roosting in their homes.

ENTERING HOLES IN ATTIC:

Birds may rarely find themselves in attics. When this happens, the easiest thing to do is to open any available windows and leave the area. The birds will be attracted to light and will find their way outside. Seal the entry holes after the bird has freed itself.

IN DRYER VENT

The best prevention is to install a cap on the dryer vent. If a nest has already been established, it should not be moved. Most birds are protected by federal law, and it is illegal to interfere on any way with their nests, eggs, or babies. In this case, tolerance is the best method. Songbirds only occupy a nest for a few weeks. Once the babies have left the nest, apply the appropriate plastic cap or ¼” hardware cloth to the vent to avoid future nesting. Make sure to leave a ½ “gap at the bottom of the cap to allow lint to escape.

If you must use the dryer, a substitute nest can be placed in a wicker basket, a strawberry basket, or a kitchen colander and hung near the entrance to the vent. The container does not matter as long as it’s unobtrusive and has excellent drainage. A wicker basket with small twigs on the bottom is the best option. A strawberry basket with twigs can also be used. Locating the nest near the original spot increases the probability of success. Often the parents will continue to feed even if the nest is located in a nearby (5 to 10 feet away), which may be necessary. Parent birds are usually very accepting of the nest being disturbed for a short period of time.

PICTURE WINDOW:

Night migrating birds hit windows because they are attracted to the light source behind the glass. If this is happening, close a blind or drape when your lights are on at night. Daytime migrants may collide with windows when the reflection gives the illusion that the sky or other natural elements lie behind the glass.

The most likely place for birds hitting windows is near bird feeders. Move your feeder away from picture windows. If you have outside screens on all your windows, you’re already on your way to having a bird-friendly home.

The easiest way to stop birds hitting windows is to apply visible patterns to the outside of windows:

  • Most birds will avoid glass with vertical stripes spaced four inches apart or horizontal stripes spaced two inches apart. Stripes should be at least 1/4″ wide. Generally, white stripes perform better, as they are visible against more backgrounds.
  • Patterns and even artwork done on glass with tempera paint will last a surprisingly long time, can be easily removed or replaced and are non-toxic. Tape and decals are readily available on the internet or at stores for bird lovers; you can also see our Bird-Smart Glass page for more products.
  • Cords or netting can be mounted in front of glass, as can external motorized shades and screens.
  • Not all windows are equally hazardous. Check to see which of your windows are most reflective and closest to areas where birds are active, like feeders. Collisions happen more frequently when more birds are present, such as during spring and fall migration and when many young birds are present.

NESTING IN INCONVENIENT PLACES

Do not move the nest. Most passerines, their nests and eggs are protected under federal laws. Tolerance should be encouraged when a bird nests in an inconvenient location. Passerines spend only a few weeks in the nest, after which point the babies leave and the nest is abandoned.

If a nest has already been removed and cannot be replaced where it came from, a false nest should be constructed and placed in the same location.

NESTING IN DOORWAY OR WREATH

Wrens: Do not move the nest. Most passerines, their nests and eggs are protected under federal laws. Tolerance should be encouraged when a bird nests in an inconvenient location. Passerines spend only a few weeks in the nest, after which point the babies leave and the nest is abandoned.

If a nest has already been removed and cannot be replaced where it came from, a false nest should be constructed and placed in the same location.

ENTERING HOLES IN ATTIC:

Care should be taken when using harassment during breeding season, March-October. Leave all lights on and radio blaring (rock music), vinegar doused rags around the attic. Apply deterrents just before dusk – mothers may not move cubs in daylight. Be patient, it may take a few days. Once ALL animals are gone, seal entry holes. To make sure animals are gone, stuff holes with newspaper, if it stays in place for three days, the family has moved and it is now safe to repair holes.

IN CHIMNEY:

Keep the damper closed and put a blaring radio (rock music) in the fireplace. Put a bowl of vinegar on a footstool near the damper. Apply these deterrents just before dusk, as mom will not move babies in daylight. Once the raccoons are gone, it’s best to call a company to clean the flue and install a chimney cap.

WINDOW WELL:

Skunks do not see well and sometimes get trapped in unlikely situations. Put a wide board, slanted at a 45 degree angle into the window well, add a towel or rope for traction. The skunk may climb out on its own. One can also slowly lower a plastic garbage can or large bucket, with cheese, tuna, or sardines inside, into the window well. Drill holes in the can to thread a rope, so you can easily lower and lift it out of the window well. Make sure the can is on its side so the skunk can walk in. Slowly lower it into the well. If the skunk begins stamping its feet or raising its tail, move away until this warning behavior stops, then begin again. Once the skunk is fully inside, slowly tip the can up and raise it to ground level. Lower the can so the skunk can walk out. Make sure the open end of the can is facing away from you. Once animal is out, cover window wells.

WINDOW WELL:

As above, but use apples or carrots as an attractant. It may take some time for the rabbit to feel comfortable enough to enter the bin.

IN CHIMNEY:

Chimney swifts, are a type of bird that likes to roost and build its nest inside the chimneys of human homes. Most people learn that they have swifts using their chimney when they hear the loud chattering coming out of their fireplace. These birds are protected by federal law, and it is illegal to interfere on any way with their nests, eggs, or babies. Tolerance is the best method.

Swifts only occupy a nest for a few weeks. Chimney swift chicks usually don’t start making much noise until they’re around two weeks old, and they leave the nest when they’re around 30 days old. The best way keep these birds away is to have a chimney cap installed. A well-constructed and properly maintained cap will prevent all kinds of birds and wild animals from entering the chimney and building nests.

Bees and wasps are primary pollinators of many plant species. Disproportionate fears of being stung often cause unwarranted alarm. If the insects are truly causing an issue, it’s always best to contact a local bee keeper or bee control company for advice and possible professional help.

Wasp nest in house or tree: Wasps live and use their hive structure only for one season. At the end of the summer, the mated female leaves the hive to find a spot to spend the winter, and the rest of the colony dies. If the wasps are not causing harm, the best course of action is to leave a nest alone and allow this natural cycle to take its course.

Old, inactive paper wasp nest in/near house: Simply remove it. Any insects still in the summer hive die by fall, and the nest will not be used again.

Bird/Squirrel Feeder Issues

For the best results, try several methods to squirrel-proof a bird feeders.

■ Location: Squirrels can jump distances of 10 feet or greater, so place feeders well away from trees, wires, porches, gutters, and other launching points to make it more difficult for squirrels to get on the feeder. Ideally, mount or hang feeders on a smooth metal pole at least six feet high, and prune any branches or bushes within a 12-foot radius.

■ Cages: Place a wire cage around a bird feeder. Squirrels will not fit through small wire openings but that will not restrict smaller birds from feeding. This is also useful for preventing larger bully birds, such as starlings, grackles, and pigeons, from accessing the feeder. Some feeders come equipped with these cages, or you can easily add mesh to an existing feeder. A larger cage can be placed around a feeding station with several feeders inside the barrier.

■ Baffles: Add smooth plastic or metal baffles above and below bird feeders. The baffles should be at least 15-18 inches wide or long to prevent squirrels from reaching around them. Many squirrel baffles are designed to twirl or tilt if a squirrel climbs onto them, keeping the animal off balance and unable to access the feeder.

■ Cleanliness: Keep the area around the feeder clean and remove debris and spilled seed from the ground that could be attracting squirrels. This also ensures that ground-feeding birds do not eat old, contaminated, or rotting seed that could be unhealthy.

■ Spinners: Hang a feeder from a thin horizontal wire strung with spinners to keep squirrels from climbing across the wire. Spinners may be a line of thread spools, short lengths of pipe or hose, or empty plastic bottles strung along the wire that will spin and keep squirrels from accessing the feeder. When squirrels try to cross the spinners, they are tipped over and fall away from the feeder.

■ Feeder Style: If you need to replace feeders that squirrels have destroyed, opt for specially designed feeders with doors that will be triggered by a squirrel’s weight to close and restrict access to seed. Alternatively, choose metal feeders or designs with thick, sturdy materials that squirrels will be less able to damage.

■ Seed: While squirrels will readily sample most types of birdseed, they are less attracted to nyjer and safflower seed, both of which have a bitter taste. By using these seeds exclusively, you close the squirrel snack bar without eliminating feeding the birds.

■ Spicy Seed: Mammals, including squirrels, are sensitive to the perceived heat of pepper, but birds are not. Adding cayenne pepper or similar spices to birdseed can deter squirrels, but it can wash off and must be used consistently for the best effects. When handling pepper, wear gloves and avoid breathing in the dust. Some retailers have pre-treated seed available, but it should be treated just as cautiously.

Visits most frequently occur from late winter through early summer when other food sources may be scarce and bears are emerging from hibernation, often with hungry cubs in tow. Bears are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods, but the majority of their diet is plant material – seeds, fruits, grains.

■ Remove Feeders: If bears are a consistent problem, it may be best to remove feeders entirely during the spring and summer. Birds will find plenty of other natural food sources. Taking feeders in at night can also deter bears, though if there is a lot of spilled seed they may still visit.

■ Clean Feeding Areas: Keep bird feeding areas clean by using a yard vacuum to remove spilled seed and hulls, use trays or mesh nets underneath feeders to catch seed and clean the feeders regularly. Not only will this eliminate the food, but it will also minimize odors that could attract bears.

■ Mount Feeders Properly: Bears will climb poles to reach feeders or may lean on poles to knock feeders down. A sturdy, metal pole with the feeder 10-12 feet high is best to discourage bears, but the pole should be secure enough in the ground that it cannot be knocked over or easily uprooted. Feeders could also be mounted on cables or wires strung between two trees, so long as the feeder is high enough and at least 5-6 feet away from a tree bears could climb.

■ Choose Alternative Foods: Bears are most attracted to suet and seed feeders, but will also sip at leaking nectar feeders or try feeders where fruit is offered. Instead of offering these treats to backyard birds, offer bitter-tasting safflower seed or Nyjer and plant natural foods instead of feeders. While bears will still investigate many natural sources – especially fruit – they are less likely to linger if feeders aren’t available.

■ Choose Sturdier Feeders: The powerful claws and jaws of bears can overcome any bird feeder. Most bears are industrious and will persist after a tempting feeder until they succeed, but less vulnerable feeders may discourage some bears from snacking. Choose feeders made from solid metal or thick, durable recycled plastic. Tube feeders and cage feeders also offer more difficult feeding access for bears.

■ Store Seed Properly: Be sure birdseed is stored properly in airtight, secure containers, and ideally store it indoors in a garage or shed that bears cannot enter.

■ Eliminate Other Foods: Bears wandering into backyards for birdseed may find other easy foods that tempt them to stay. Remove outdoor pet foods, keep trash secure, tend compost piles properly to eliminate odors and keep barbecue grills clean so there are no other smells or foods that could lure bears.

■ Spice Up the Seed: Add liberal amounts of red pepper to a birdseed mix. Sprinkling pepper over the ground or using vinegar or ammonia on the ground around the feeder can also help deter sensitive bears.

■ Water Lawns at Night: Setting automatic sprinklers to run during nighttime hours can also discourage bears. While not a strong stand alone method, this can be helpful in conjunction with other methods.

■ Lights On: Install motion sensor-operated lights. Bears will trigger the lights when they approach. Most bears will head for darker areas away from the feeders where they feel more secure.

■ Keep Fences in Good Repair: Strong metal fences at least six feet tall are best for deterring bears, and gates should be kept closed at all times.

Birds and rodents both love to eat seeds. Mice and rats will forage on the ground for spilled seed and hulls. To keep rodents of all kinds away from your bird feeder, you need to manage the mess the birds leave behind.

  • Use a Seed Tray: Install a seed catcher tray to catch stray seeds and hulls that the birds drop as they eat.
  • Choose No Waste Bird Food: A number of bird feeding options are available that reduce the amount of waste. Look for hulled seeds, including sunflower hearts, shelled peanuts, and hulled millet. You can also try suet, nectar, thistle, or cracked corn.
  • Clean Up: Use a broom to regularly sweep up seeds and hulls on the ground.
  • Store Smart: Store your bird seed in airtight, watertight, rodent-proof containers away from where rodents live.
  • Locate Feeders Away from House: If you have a choice, place your feeders closer to natural areas, rather than near your house.
  • Rodent-Proof Your Feeders: Use baffles to prevent rodents from climbing the pole, and place feeders where rodents can’t get to them. Avoid ground feeders if you have a rodent problem.
  • Rodent-Proof Your House: Because it’s impossible to keep mice and rats completely away outdoors, protect your home by sealing any cracks and openings where they might get inside

Animals In Yard

IN WOODPILES

Chili powder is a nontoxic irritant that affects all mammals and when used regularly will deter. Sprinkle chili powder anywhere wild animals are frequenting or wherever animals are digging. Vinegar is also offensive. Place vinegar soaked rags or spray directly onto areas wildlife finds attractive. Reapply daily for best results.

IN WOODPILES

Snakes in the wood piles are a very common problem. The wood pile is providing a snake with a nice dry place to live and hunt. Rats, mice, squirrels and other rodents love to inhabit woodpiles and make the crevices and cracks of the woodpile home. This in turn attracts the snakes to the area in hopes of an easy meal. Other animals are also attracted to wood piles such as moles, voles and shrews.

There is only really one thing you can do to eliminate snakes in the wood pile around the home, you need to remove the wood piles from around the home and move them to an area that is not near the home or to an area that you do not frequent as much, it is inherent that snakes will be around the woodpile. If you are not comfortable with snakes at all, then you need to eliminate the woodpiles from around the home completely.

IN WOODPILES

Sometimes, turtles will use woodpiles to lay their eggs. If you come across a clutch of eggs, it is best to leave them alone. Once they hatch, the animals will move on.

A secure chicken coop is a necessity when you want to keep your birds away from predators such as raccoons, foxes, opossums, and rats. A predator-proof chicken coop must have solid walls, solid floors and doors that are well-maintained. Some predators, such as rats, are capable of chewing through the walls, doors or floors of your chicken coop. Larger predators may use those holes to gain access to the coop. Check the condition of your chicken coop’s walls and floors regularly to ensure they are in good shape. If any part of the coop is damaged, replace it immediately.

For outdoor runs or chicken coops with dirt floors, bury hardware cloth or some other type of wire-mesh to prevent raccoons and other predators from digging their way in.

If the chicken coop has doors or windows, close them at night. You may want to consider covering windows with hardware cloth or similar material to ensure no predators can come through.

Outdoor runs should be fenced in using wire mesh fencing with small openings that a predator cannot fit through. The smaller the openings in the fence, the more effective it will be against predators. Make sure all the doors and windows on the coop have latches and locks that cannot be opened easily.

Remember raccoons can climb. Your coop needs a roof, even if that roof is made of wire with openings that are too small for a raccoon to reach through.

Consider installing a motion-activated light that will light up any time a predator approaches.

Bring in any uneaten feed, including that of your domestic pets, before nightfall. Food that has been left out may attract predators, as will unsecured garbage cans.

Raccoons and snakes will steal and eat your chicken eggs. Collect your eggs daily to help reduce the temptation for a break in.

Consider keeping a rooster in the flock. Roosters are the natural protectors of the hens in a flock. A rooster will crow to sound alarm when a predator approaches the coop. Some roosters even fight predators to protect their hens.

IN COMPOST/BIN PILES

To discourage animals, mix kitchen garbage with soil or wood ashes before burying it in the hot center of your compost pile. Do not put any food scraps in open compost piles, but if you must, bury them under at least eight inches of soil and then place a wire mesh barrier over the top held in place with a heavy object or two.

Putting your compost pile in a pest-proof container is another way to prevent tampering. Compost bins with wire tops or sealed lids work well too.

DIGGING IN LAWN

When it rains, grubs come to the surface and animals can smell them and will begin digging. Once the lawn dries out, the digging should cease. Natural products like Milky Spore can be applied to the lawn to reduce grubs. Cayenne pepper can also be sprinkled on more localized digging for a temporary repellent.

DIGGING IN LAWN

Squirrels need to bury nuts so they have a food source for winter. Although it can be unsightly, the shallow holes will not damage the lawn. Cayenne peppers or products that contain capsicum can be sprinkled on the lawn to prevent digging.

Animals in Garden + Plants

The most effective way to keep these animals out of a garden is to erect a small fence. The fence should be at least 3 feet high, made of wire mesh and posts. Rabbits will not tunnel under, but may push through weak spots at the bottom. To prevent this, the fence should be sunk into the ground at least 8 inches. By adding an L-shaped barrier, groundhogs will not be able to dig under the fence. Allow the top of the fence to be loose and wobble, groundhogs do climb, but will not trust loose wire mesh and will not climb. If fencing is not an option the addition of visual/auditory deterrents can be used. Pinwheels, balloons, and even glass bottles buried neck deep in the dirt may deter rabbits.

Tolerance is needed when figuring out the best solution for your particular deer problems. Under mild browsing conditions, a good repellent may work. Under heavy browsing conditions, you may need to change your plants to more deer-resistant varieties and use deer-proof fencing around your garden. There are many deer-resistant annual and perennial flowers, ornamentals, and tree species on the market. A deer’s taste buds vary geographically and seasonally, and are affected by what alternative plants are available. Deerfriendly.org gives state-by-state web links for information on what types of flowers and ornamentals deer usually avoid in your area

Where deer browsing is a serious problem, the only completely effective way to protect crops or plants is with fencing. Deer can jump fences up to eight feet high. There are a variety of fencing options ranging from 8-foot woven wire fencing to electric fence garden kits to poly-tape (electrified nylon) fences, which are portable and good for more temporary use. The best type depends on how large an area you need to protect and for how long.

Electric fences can work very well for deterring deer and provide more of a “psychological barrier” than a physical one. Electric fences must be maintained for safety.

“Buck rubs” are the damage caused by bucks rubbing against trees to remove the velvet from their antlers. Prevent buck rubs by placing cylinders of hardware cloth or corrugated plastic sleeves around the trunks.

To prevent browsing on young saplings use temporary fencing enclosures or hardware cloth cylinders until they reach a height of four to five feet.

A variety of repellent products, used singly or—better yet—in combination, can create a very effective multi-sensory deterrent to repel deer. Some effective repellents contain a sulphurous odor (e.g., rotten eggs), believed to induce fear by giving off smells that deer associate with rotten meat or a predator. All repellents work best if applied before the deer’s feeding pattern becomes established. Apply repellents before bud-break and as new growth appears, to prevent a browsing habit from forming. Reapply repellents after heavy rains and at least every two to three weeks. Deer may become accustomed to the same repellent, so alternate repellents to keep the deer confused and more wary. At the height of growing season, use an odor repellent over a taste-based one. Taste-based repellents need to be constantly applied to any new growth to keep the whole plant tasting bad.

Hang bars of soap that are high in fatty acid (e.g., Irish Spring brand) on trees or shrubs you want to protect. With any strategy, moving things around and switching types of products will help keep deer on their toes and make them wary.

A Motion-Activated Sprinkler attached to a garden hose will achieve a combination of physical sensation and a startle effect to provide effective aversive conditioning.

Animals in Pond + Pool

Maintain a high water level (at least three feet deep) and stack cinder blocks, large rocks or ceramic pipes in the bottom of the pond so the fish can escape and take refuge.

Use pond netting to create a protective barrier between your backyard fish pond and predatory birds. Ensure that the netting is taught, at a distance between 6 inches to 12 inches above the pond surface. This method is one of the most successful ways of preventing herons from eating your fish.

Herons are territorial birds. A useful device that works well is a great blue heron animal decoy since herons do not like to eat near other herons.

Plant aquatic plants around the outsides of your garden pond and make the sides quite steep. If the heron is unable to access the fish then it will move on.

Reduce the amount of food around the pond (Canadian Geese love grass turf). Keep the banks of your pond steep so that it’s difficult for them to get in and out of the water. Allow your pond to freeze over in the winter. Do not feed wild waterfowl. Avoid planting certain crops, such as corn and soybeans are favorites of geese, if you are planting these you may want to consider planting them away from the pond. Install a fence around the perimeter of your pond or plant shrubs around it.

 

WITH BABIES IN POOL

Attempt to raise the water level to the rim of the pool or provide a ramp at a 45 degree angle. Toss a few objects that float, such a Styrofoam into the pool to allow the babies to get out of the water. If the babies use the ramps, wait until they are all out of the pool. If they do not readily use the ramp, use a pool skimmers to gently guide them toward the ramp. Ensure the mother and babies have an easy exit route away from the pool by opening gates and removing any barriers. If the mother does not attempt to walk the babies away, it may be helpful to cover the pool, to deter the mother from leading everyone back into the water. Do not feed the mother or babies.

Many types of animals are attracted to the water and get caught in a swimming pool. Install a ramp device, like the FrogLog, to allow stuck animals to climb out on their own.

The two most common problems associated with beavers are flooding and damage caused to trees.

Flooding becomes a crisis after unusually heavy rain or snow enters bodies of water with significant blockages. While beaver dams sometimes contribute to this type of flooding, they can also store water during periods of drought and slow down the movement of water from land to river systems, thereby preventing more serious floods and significant financial damage downstream.

Place homemade tree guards around the trunk. The guards should be about three feet high and made of galvanized welded wire (2 x 2 or 2 x 3 inch is recommended). This material can be found in any large hardware or home improvement store, usually sold as fencing.

Because beavers are not good climbers, three to four-foot-high fencing can also be a highly effective way to block their access to larger groves. Check the fences frequently to make sure they are intact.

An electrified wire strung approximately four inches off the ground can also prevent beaver from entering an area. This type of fence can be especially effective in a small garden or crop plot when set up to protect plants for a few weeks and taken down afterward.

These aquatic rodents are very successful breeders, and can multiply in numbers within months after inhabiting a garden pond. They will dig tunnels in the land adjacent to the pond to live in, and they can actually destabilize the floor of the pond and cause leakage from the pond into the ground surrounding it.

One of the best ways to get muskrats out of your pond is to remove the food that makes your pond such a great place to live for these animals. This may reduce the attractive looks of the pond for a little time, but it will help to drive these animals away. Take away the cat-tails, water-lilies and other plants in and around the pond.

If you find that your pond is attracting repeated muskrats, or you live in an area which is particularly prone to muskrat infestations, then you may want to take preventative measures to change the habitat. One of the best things that can be done is to change the pond itself, as muskrats are particularly attracted to bodies of water which are at least six feet deep and have relatively steep banks which can be used to burrow into. A gentle slope into the pond rather than a steep slope will make it very difficult for the muskrat to burrow, which is usually the simplest way of changing a pond to repel muskrats.

Other Issues

Several species of mammal can wander into an open garage. If you notice this, remove any access to food (bird seed, dog or cat bowls, trash). Open the garage door during the time the animal will be active. Sprinkle an 8-inch band of white flour across the threshold to see when the animal leaves.

If this is a problem in the spring or summer, it is most likely a mother with babies. She may be in rafters or hiding underneath something with her babies. Try to evict them by placing vinegar doused rags and a blaring radio in the garage, near where you think they are hiding. Be patient, this may take a few days.

If a bird has gotten into the garage, leave doors and windows open to allow the bird to leave on its own.

Wild animals are opportunists. When they find an easy meal, they will take it, and most likely keep coming back for more. Never leave opened food outside. Make sure all food sources are properly sealed and contained at all times. If you feed your pet outside, bring the bowls in once the meal is over.

Wildlife Resources

Find out what to do if you’ve found an animal that you believe could be injured or orphaned.

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Humane and Wildlife Education

The community relies on Humane Animal Rescue as a resource to care for animals, both wild and domestic.

Read More

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Volunteers

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center encourages the partnership of employees and volunteers to offer the most up-to-date and comprehensive animal care possible.

Read More

Wildlife Resources

Find out what to do if you’ve found an animal that you believe could be injured or orphaned.

Read More

Humane and Wildlife Education

The community relies on Humane Animal Rescue as a resource to care for animals, both wild and domestic.

Read More

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Volunteers

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center encourages the partnership of employees and volunteers to offer the most up-to-date and comprehensive animal care possible.

Read More