A Wildlife
                        Exclusion Service
Helping People Solve Problems with Wild Animals
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General

Identify the animal
Predator scent
Most common attractants
If babies are present
How to exclude animals from your home
Animals digging up lawn
How to discourage nighttime visitors
When is wildlife a threat to pets


Identify the animal 

In the event that an animal has taken up residence under a home the first method of removal should be exclusion. The first step of exclusion is to identify the animal you are trying to exclude. It is important to know what the animal is. If you know the type of animal, it tells us the likelihood of baby animals living in the structure with them. You can read more about common wild animals by clicking here.

For detailed information about birthing and weaning of local wildlife,
click on
Animal Birthing Season Chart

 

Predator scent  
Predator scent is coyote or Mountain Lion excrement that is applied to areas of your yard where wildlife is seen most often. The wild animals smell the scent of the predator and choose to leave your yard so they are not susceptible to predator attack. Predator scent can be purchased through Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue located at 403 Mecham Rd, Petaluma Ca. for $25.00 per quart sized bag. Predator scent works 70-80% of the time and the other 20-30% includes mothers with babies (mothers are less likely to move from their nests when she has babies already residing in that nest) or if food is present; animals are less likely to leave and remain gone if the attractant is still available. If babies are likely present (May-August) an inspection by a trained Wildlife Technician is recommended. There are other "urine" like products available at many home and garden stores but success is unknown.

 

Most common attractants 
Food is the most common attractant. Do not leave pet food out or you should bring it in after the pet is done; animals will learn new routines quickly, even cats, and will have no problem eating their food at certain times rather than whenever they want. Garbage containment should also be looked into because it can be a key attractant. If there is no lid or it can be easily pushed or pulled off, other locking devices need to be added such as bungee cords or rope. Grubs in the soil are a favorite of our wildlife neighbors. Reduced watering or turf treatment will often remove or reduce the grub attraction. A product called “Milky Spore” is available from online merchants and kills the grubs in the lawn; one application lasts for 10 years or more.

Shelter is the next most common attractant, especially in the spring when babies are born. Under houses, sheds, decks, in attics and eaves are all important areas to be inspected. A Wildlife Technician can successfully identify current and potential shelter during a detailed inspection.

 

If it is likely baby animals are under the structure 
If they have young, under most circumstances one must wait until the young are old enough to walk out on their own if they don’t want to pay a technician to properly remove the family. Trapping young in a structure will not only make the mother furious and destructive, but they will eventually die and become an odor problem. There is also the potential problem of parasites such as fleas, mites or ticks that will now be in search of a new host.

The mother will care for and nurse the young for a number of weeks (depending on animal type), until they can walk and venture forth with the mother. SCWR can tell you how long it generally takes for babies to become mobile. Exclusion Technicians can address the situation before babies are able to leave on their own and can often solve the problem within a few weeks, but we do not recommend homeowners to try to exclude them themselves. 9 out of 10 times it is unsuccessful and babies are left orphaned or dead.

For detailed information about birthing and weaning of local wildlife,
click on
Animal Birthing Season Chart

 

How to exclude animals from your home 
Basic wildlife exclusion can be done by determining all possible entrances to the structure in question. Check for any and all openings on the house including roofline and subfloor vents. After this is done, you need to find the most commonly used entrance. This may have to be done by the use of tracking powder. Talcum, flour, or baby powders are the best choices. Sprinkle a light coating around the opening during the day and recheck the next day. This may also tell you the number of animals or what type.

Seal up all openings except the one used the most. Once all the other openings are sealed, you can prepare to exclude the animal. Prepare the building material that you will use to exclude the animal. Often this is as simple as buying a new vent screen, and having nails or screws ready to attach it in the opening. Sometimes you must be creative in coming up with a way to seal the opening. It must be stressed that a permanent solution is what is wanted.

Create something that only opens in one direction and will shut once an animal walks out. Often this can be a small piece of house siding with a hole cut out and then reattached with spring hinges. For a small fee of $7 you can purchase AWES’s One-way Door building plan, please call the office for details (707) 992-0276. Prop it open and wait until it shuts. Continue to prop open until the door stops shutting for up to two weeks. At this point you will know the animals are out. When the animal returns there may be some scratching or digging around-- attempting to defeat the exclusion, but a good job will usually hold up. If there is continuing, furious attempts to reenter, this may be a sign that young are present!

It should be as simple as this in the majority of situations. The animals will move on to better habitat. For more complicated situations an inspection by a Wildlife technician should be considered.

Animals digging up lawn 
Use predator scent to deter animals from the area. This can be purchased at SCWR. Use “Milky Spore” to naturally deter the grubs that wildlife are seeking. This can be purchased online. Take up all fruits and nuts as to make the area less attractive. Cayenne pepper, grub killing chemicals, predator scent, motion sprinklers, hot wire etc. may also help.

 

How to discourage nighttime visits by wildlife 
Remove pet foods left outside in feeding bowls. Cats only need to feed for 10 minutes in the morning and evening and food should be removed promptly after 10 minutes. Elevate woodpiles to discourage nesting, keep garbage can lids on tightly, apply predator scent around where wildlife is coming to help keep wildlife out of your yard.

 

When is a wild animal a threat to pets? 
Wildlife generally do not seek out pets as a food source. Most of our pets are around the same size as the wildlife commonly in our yards and wildlife do not view them as food but as a threat to territory and food sources (they don't know that our pets don't want the same food and shelter they do). When pet food is left out, wildlife will be attracted and potentially fight the pet over the food. Most pets, especially cats, will avoid wildlife at all costs, but dogs usually become aggressive to protect "their" territory or become excited at the site of a new "friend" and often scare wild animals. Pets should always come in at night, or be placed in a predator-proof enclosure if they do have to be left out at night click here to see how to predator proof your outdoor enclosures. Wild animals only attack if they are feeling threatened. A dog barking at them will cause them to attack the dog.


A Wildlife Exclusion Service • 403 Mecham Rd, Petaluma 94952 • (707) 992-0276
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