Nuisance Wildlife Control
This time of year is when I am reminded that not all wildlife is as friendly and innocent as the squirrels that play in my yard. I am reminded of the nuisance that wildlife can be to a homeowner through phone calls asking for advice on animal control options.
There are many ways you can react to wildlife damage. The common animal control methods that you might want to take include: exclusion, habitat modification, frightening, repellents, toxicants, fumigants, trapping, and hunting. Not all methods can be used on all wildlife due to laws.
Exclusion is the process of keeping an animal out of a specific area. This would involve the use of fencing, rodent-proof construction, using hardware cloth, bird netting, and caulking. Please realize that some city ordinances do not allow above ground electric fence, so you should check with city ordinances before using an electric fence. Likewise, some homeowner associations have restrictions on fencing in some neighborhoods.
The process of making an area unsuitable for the animal to live in is considered habitat modification. By storing pet and livestock food in ceramic, metal, glass, or garbage cans with a lockable lid, you can remove a food source for rodents and raccoons. If you want to avoid having snakes and mice, keep your lawn at a height of 3 inches. Tall grass serves as a great habitat for snakes and mice.
Frightening an animal away from a location can be achieved by using scarecrows, Mylar tap, flags, or a radio. If you would decide to use firecrackers or noisemakers, you should check with city ordinances and your homeowner association to see if it is an acceptable practice. It is important to realize that frightening is only a short term solution and will not provide a permanent solution to your wildlife problem.
Trapping and hunting can be difficult for someone who has never done either before. It is important to understand all laws and regulations associated with trapping and hunting wildlife. Certain wildlife have hunting seasons and you must obtain specific permits when hunting. For detailed information about trapping and hunting contact your local DNR or go to <http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2343.htm>.
As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay Co. or 829-5020 in Owen Co. or reach me directly at email@example.com. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
April 25 Area V Pond Management Workshop 5:30-7:30 p.m. Terre Haute, IN - Fowler Park
April 25 Owen County Extension Board Meeting
April 27 Clay County FFA Cattle Show
May 1 4-H Enrollment deadline for Clay County
May 3 Area V 4-H Performing Arts (Share the Fun) Cloverdale Middle School