Tips for Wildlife Control

Baby animals: A wandering baby animal is not necessarily orphaned. Unless you know for certain that the mother is dead (i.e. found along the roadside), it is often best to leave young animals alone. The animal's best chance for survival is if it is left where it is found.

Bats: Bats prefer to avoid human contact; however, they are known to establish residence in attics. Entry and exit holes can be sealed with 1/4 inch hardware cloth, caulking or wire mesh. If a bat makes its way into the house, you can usually encourage it to leave after dark by turning on lights and opening windows and doors. Bat bites are often difficult to detect. If you cannot definitely rule out a bat bite, seek medical advice.

Deer: The most effective means of managing a deer problem is to use plants deer dislike. There are dozens of readily available plants that deer almost never eat. In Shorewood it is illegal to put food out for deer (Ordinance #478).

Opossums and Skunks: Raiding garbage cans, living under porches and low decks can be problematic to homeowners. To keep wildlife from denning under buildings, seal off all foundation openings with wire mesh, sheet metal or concrete. Tight-fitting garbage can lids may eliminate foraging.

Rabbits: Rabbits can be kept out of gardens by using repellents or by placing a two-foot poultry fence around the area. It is important to bury the fence at least six inches. Read all labels before using any repellent.

Raccoons: These common residents live in hollow trees, ground burrows, chimneys, attics and storm sewers. They are attracted to easy food sources like garbage and pet food. To prevent scavenging, use metal trash cans with secured lids that are fastened to a solid object. Cover chimneys with approved chimney caps and trim overhanging branches.

Squirrels and other rodents: Screen louvers, vents and fan openings. Keep doors and windows in good repair. Replace rotten boards. Cap the chimney. Trim overhanging trees. Remove bird feeders or use squirrel-proof feeders. Chipmunks can be deterred by removing logs.

Woodchucks: Also known as groundhogs, woodchucks burrow near buildings and live under sheds and woodpiles. They damage gardens and shrubs. Fencing can reduce woodchuck damage if the lower edge is buried at least 10 inches and stands three to four feet high.

Live Traps

Minnesota State Statute 97B.655 allows property owners or occupants to legally live trap certain nuisance wildlife species causing damage. Some wildlife are protected by State and Federal laws. If you are not sure if it is legal to trap a particular nuisance wildlife species, consult the Department of Natural Resources. Live traps can be purchased at most hardware or farm supply stores, and can also be rented from most tool rental centers. Caution should be taken to avoid overly aggressive animals. Captured animals may be killed humanely or released at a remote location with the approval of the property owner.

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