Nowadays, humans and wildlife are being forced to live with each other more then ever before due to habitat encroachment as cities grow. Many people have problems with wildlife intruding into their homes and the use of trappers and pest-control companies are on the rise. However, many trappers and pest control companies use inhumane methods which result in the slow, painful death of animals (yes this is legal) , often leaving behind litters of orphaned babies for the homeowner to deal with, and charge hundreds of dollars for their services which, more often than not, fail to solve the problem. There are other more effective and humane solutions.

On this page we offer advice on how to solve some of the most common problems yourself. And if this does not work, or if you need help directly, we offer you a list of Humane, No Kill, Wildlife Exclusion Services created to actually SOLVE your problem for less money than hiring a trapper, without killing anything or orphaning babies!

Bay Area Humane Wildlife Exclusion Company Listings:

  • WildCare’s Exclusion Hotline at  415-456-SAVE (7283), ext. 23)
  • SFROMP at 415-350-WILD

Read on for:

  • Simple solutions to some of the most common wildlife conflict problems
  • Problems with Raccoons? Read HERE for some Humane Solutions
  • Ways you can make your garden more inviting to wildlife than your garage

How do I discourage nighttime visits by wildlife?

  • Bring in your dog at night to prevent conflicts and barking
  • Bring in all pet food at night
  • Lock cat/dog doors at night
  • Elevate your woodpile to discourage nesting
  • Keep your garbage cans covered and secured
  • Place rags in a bowl of ammonia in areas you wish to deter wildlife- the strong odor will keep wildlife away
  • Close your garage/shed/doors at night- night roaming wildlife are always seeking new places to explore and look for food. If you leave open your doors, garage, or shed, chances are you will get a visitor.

How do I remove skunk smell from my pet?

  • Ever watch that show, “Mythbusters” ? They did an entire show on comparing Skunk Odor Removing recipes and proved what we knew all along! This is really the only one that works on a chemical level to neutralize the smell:
    • 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
    • 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
    • 1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent

    Mix these together and bathe (“shampoo” in or rub down) the spray victim thoroughly.  Be sure to use this mixture immediately after it is created, as it is unstable. Rinse with tap water afterward, and repeat if necessary.   **For spray in the eyes, flush with water as soon as possible.

How do I discourage digging in my lawn?

  • Laying down chicken wire and allowing plants to grow through this will prevent digging these areas for years
  • Motion-sensitive oscillating sprinklers will scare away wildlife when they approach your lawn
  • Motion sensitive lights can also be effective deterrents

How do I protect flower bulbs?

  • When planting, spread a layer of cayenne pepper powder over the bulb – this will not harm the bulb but the animal will be able to smell it and will be discouraged from digging it up.

How do I keep animals from living under my house?

  • When you know there are no animals under your home, walk around your home and attach wire mesh to all holes
  • Use ammonia stations to discourage wildlife
  • Using a radio or lights will also deter animals from thinking under your house is an inviting place to nest

NOTE: If there already is an animal living under your home you must get it out FIRST or it will be trapped and could die, creating a sanitation and odor problem for you and your family. Also, please don’t close up the holes until you are certain there are no babies in there – the mother will dig and damage your property to get to her babies if she is locked out and if the babies die in a small place it could be very costly and hazardous to have them removed after they die. Contact a wildlife exclusion expert for a free consultation about how to install one-way doors, or call the advice lines listed above.

How do I make my yard and garden more inviting to wildlife?

When they aren’t causing problems, wildlife can be wonderful to watch and enjoy. It is a proven medical fact that watching nature and wildlife can reduce your blood pressure, improve your mood and reduce stress. This is one good reason to enrich your garden by making it attractive to wildlife. There are many simple ways that you can do this.

  • When planning your landscaping, include fruit and nut trees and edible plants. Pine trees and Oak trees are also desirable for their cones and acorns and also provide wonderful places to nest.
  • Don’t over-manicure your yard – leave some groundcover for wildlife to hide in. That blackberry bramble is a treasure of food and shelter to many birds, squirrels and opossums.
  • Put up bird feeders that are squirrel proof, and also put up Squirrel feeders that are bird proof! You can find these at your local pet store. If you are having trouble keeping your squirrels out of your bird feeder, contact us for tips and solutions. Feed walnuts and almonds and (occasional) sunflower seeds to your squirrel-friends – variety for a balanced diet.
  • Consider hanging nest boxes for both birds and squirrels in your trees – contact us for squirrel nest-box suggestions.
  • Never trim your trees in the springtime or summer – if possible, please wait till fall or winter. Trimming trees is a common cause of orphaning because mothers will defend their nests and will often die when branches fall.
  • Never use snail bait even if it says it is safe for pets. Opossums are wonderful snail and slug eaters but if the snails and slugs are poisoned and the opossum eats them, the possum will die from poisoning also. Your local gardening store will have non-chemical/poison solutions to snail and slug control.
  • Mouse/Rat poisoning causes the same problem as snail bait, by poisoning wildlife who would love to eat your mice and rats. There are other ways to trap mice and rats without bringing poison into the environment. Live traps are recommended but if you must use death traps, snap traps are quick and cause no problem if wildlife eats the mouse/rat.

If your problem is not listed above, or if these solutions do not work for you, you may contact us at (510) 421-YUWR or contact one of our Wildlife exclusion experts listed above.

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