Did you find an animal?

Nuisance Animal

Please review the supplied information below and contact the appropriate facility to assist the animal.

Permitted Rehabilitators

Nuisance animals

It is against the law to keep wild animals except to transport them to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator or facility. Click here for a list of Minnesota Rehabilitators & Facilities
Deer

Listed below are a variety of non-toxic methods that will assist with deterring deer.

Any solution that is applied or sprayed on an area will need to be reapplied after rain. These recipes should also not be used on plants used for human consumption as they will affect the taste, hence why they deter the deer!

Fish based deterrent:
3 Tbsp finely ground kelp
1 Cup fish emulsion
3 Tbsp IvoryTM
Mix and add enough water to make spraying easy. Apply directly to plants and trees.

Blood based deterrent:
1 Tbsp dried blood (garden stores)
4 cloves powdered garlic
2 gallons cool water
Mix ingredients into water and spray onto desired areas. Use sparingly as this recipe may burn plants due to its high nitrogen content.

Pepper based deterrent:
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp kelp
3 Tbsp liquid hand soap
1⁄2 Tsp oil of peppermint (not peppermint extract)
1 pint warm water
Mix ingredients together and spray onto desired areas.

Plants that naturally deter deer: Rotunda Chinese Holly, Foxglove, Mexican Oregano, Mint, Wormwood, Spearmint, Lemon Thyme, Madagascar Periwinkle, Artemisias, and a variety of thorny bushes

Foxes & Coyotes

Coyotes & Fox inhabit urban neighborhoods due to the encroachment of housing developments into their habitats. Although they rarely pose a threat to humans unless approached, coyotes can pose a threat to small dogs and cats that are outside unmonitored or free-roaming. If you have a fox or coyote in your neighborhood it is best to alert your neighbors to their presence, teach children to respect wildlife, never approach or harass them, and follow the tips below.

Do not feed the coyotes or fox.

Keep all dog/cat food inside, especially at night.

Secure garbage cans with tight fitting lids; preferably keep them in a garage or enclosure so they cannot be tipped over.

Keep compost in a fenced area or a large secure container, not open piles.

Clean up around bird feeders – coyotes will eat spilled bird seed.

Don’t let your pets roam free outdoors; occasionally coyotes will kill small dogs or cats. Also watch your pets while outside if you know coyotes are present in your area.

If you see a fox/coyote make lots of noise and scare it away – do not let them become habituated to people.

Fences greater than 6’ tall with no gaps at ground level (they are good diggers) will help keep them out of your yard.

Opossums

The Virginia Opossum is a nomadic animal. They do not hold territories like many other animals do. Because of this fact the only reason an opossum would be staying in an area for an extended time would be due to a reliable food source, most often human related. They are usually wandering through and if left to their own devices will disappear in a few days. People are often concerned about opossums carrying rabies. Scientific studies have shown that, although possible, it is very difficult for an opossum to contract and carry the rabies virus. Their low body temperature is suspected to be the reason for their natural resistance to the disease. With that being said, it is always imperative to protect yourself from an animal bite of any kind.

To discourage opossums from coming around your yard:

Do not feed the opossum, on purpose or not. They are scavengers and will eat almost anything.

Keep all dog/cat food inside, especially at night.

Secure garbage cans with tight fitting lids; preferably keep them in a garage or enclosure so they cannot be tipped over.

Keep compost in a fenced area or a large secure container, not open piles.

Clean up around bird feeders 

If seen in your yard, either leave alone or make loud noises to scare them away.

Rabbits

Rabbits chewing on tree trunks: place half-inch hardware cloth around the trunks of these trees. Make sure you bring the hardware cloth up high enough on the tree trunk to protect it from mammals that will stand on their hind legs to chew. Please remember that your tree trunks may be growing, so apply the hardware cloth loose enough to allow for any growth.

Rabbits chewing on your flowers or decorative plants: spray these plants with a mild solution of 2 parts water to 1 part plain (non-soapy) cleaning ammonia. It is non-toxic and discourages chewing because it tastes terrible. Re-apply after a rain shower. Do not spray on human food plants, as it will affect the taste. However, you can spray around the border of people food gardens.

If you have large human-food gardens, consider fencing it with 1/2-inch hardware cloth. To discourage the mammals from digging under the fence, bury part of the fencing under the ground. Initially it will be more work, but it also will result in a sturdier, more effective fence that will serve you longer.

Raccoons

Raccoons are a clan animals. They live in groups of several adult individuals, as well as juveniles, and are very dedicated and dependent upon family ties for survival, protection and nurturing. For this reason we strongly discourage live trapping and relocating of raccoons. Studies done by the Humane Society of the United States have shown that more than 90% of relocated raccoons die within a short time in alien territory that is habitat to other resident raccoon clans. Many of them die on roads in their desperate attempts to get back to the safety of their own clan. Many others are killed by the resident raccoon clans protecting their territory.

If you have a raccoon that is alone and disoriented in your yard and has discharge from its eyes or nose, this raccoon may have the distemper virus and needs immediate help. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator or facility for advice.

To discourage raccoons from coming around your yard:

  • Keep all dog/cat food inside, especially at night.
  • Secure garbage cans with tight fitting lids; preferably keep them in a garage or enclosure so they cannot be tipped over.
  • Freshly laid sod can attract raccoons as there may be worms or grubs underneath it. If raccoons are damaging sod it is an indicator of the presence of grubs that need to be addressed. With the grubs taken care of, the raccoons should no longer be attracted to your sod.
Squirrels

To prevent from squirrels from climbing a certain tree place a metal band around the trunk at least 2 feet wide and 6-8” off the ground. This will only work if there are not other trees in close proximity they can jump from.

Pepper based deterrent:
1 quart warm water
2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1⁄4 tsp Tabasco Sauce
Mix together and allow to cool. Spray onto decorative plants to discourage chewing.

Sprinkling blood meal in and around your garden can help keep squirrels away.

Squirrels disturbing your bird feeder: the most effective solution is to feed the squirrels away from your bird feeder. This way the squirrels will be satisfied and have no need to go to the bird feeder. There are also commercially available “squirrel proof” bird feeders, however it does seem like it’s always a matter of time until the squirrels figure out how to get to the feed

Woodchucks

The woodchuck is the largest member of the squirrel family we have in Minnesota. In the spring woodchuck kits are born. They spend their early life underground and usually are not seen by humans until they are exploring with both their parents outside their dens. Both the parents participate in raising the young.

Woodchucks chewing on your flowers or decorative plants: spray these plants with a mild solution of 2 parts water to 1 part plain (non-soapy) cleaning ammonia. It is non-toxic and discourages chewing because it tastes terrible. Re-apply after a rain shower. Do not spray on human food plants, as it will affect the taste. However, you can spray around the border of people food gardens.

If you have large human-food gardens, consider fencing it with 1/2-inch hardware cloth. To discourage the mammals from digging under the fence, bury part of the fencing under the ground. Initially it will be more work, but it also will result in a sturdier, more effective fence that will serve you longer.

To discourage nesting under a porch or shed place ammonia soaked rags into tin cans and roll them into the den. The mother will not appreciate the smelly atmosphere and will move her young to another site.

Place clear glass jars filled with water (seal the top) around the areas you are having problems with visiting woodchucks. The appearance of their reflection will scare them away.

Planting garlic and onion plants where you do not want the woodchuck to visit will help keep them away. They do not like certain plants from the allium family.

Placing blood meal or talcum powder near a burrow can also help deter woodchucks.

Woodpeckers

If you have woodpeckers pecking on your house, check carefully for insect infestation in the area. You may have an insect or a carpenter ant problem.

If you rule out a major insect problem, then the woodpecker is probably doing something called “drumming”. This is the way woodpeckers communicate and announce their territory. Unfortunately, if not frightened off, the woodpecker can eventually damage your house. If the woodpecker is drumming in one specific spot, try inflating a couple of balloons, tying them on a string and hanging them from the gutters or siding near where the woodpecker is drumming.

Windsocks, flags or strips of aluminum foil dangling in the wind all work well. Keep these items in place for several days and the woodpecker should get the message to go do his drumming elsewhere.

Another trick is to spray a solution of 2 tablespoons white vinegar with 1 quart water into the holes and around the area they frequent.

Evacuating Nuisance Wildlife

The following information can be used to humanely evacuate or deter wild animals from inhabiting chimneys, attics, garages, overhangs, porches/decks, etc.

Place a radio turned to a talk radio station with the volume as loud as practical, as close to the inhabited site as you can get it. The radio should be left on day and night for at least 48-72 hours. This will encourage the mother animal to move her family and will send a message that this is not a safe habitat for her family. In addition to the radio, place a few tin cans with ammonia-soaked rags inside and around the inhabited area. The mother should move her babies within 72 hours to a new nest site that has been prepared. After they vacate the area you must cap the chimney or repair the entrance site to prevent another situation. PLEASE make sure ALL babies have been retrieved before closing the hole. It is also important to remove all nesting material as it may be a fire hazard if located in an unsafe area.

Other ways to prevent any nuisance animals from visiting your yard include making sure there is not a food source accessible to them. Make sure domestic pet food and/or bird seed is stored in a secure metal container with a lockable lid. Garbage needs to also be stored in the same manner as scavengers will view this as a possible food source..

Choosing a Pest Resolution Service

The following are recommended questions to ask any service before hiring them to remove nuisance wildlife. The answers provided here would indicate a humane service.

1. Can you offer a long term solution to my situation?
A high quality service should be able to provide you with not only the removal of the problem animal but ways to prevent future situations.

2. What do you do if there are babies present?
Babies should never be walled up or left behind. The service should have a plan to safely retrieve the babies from the area.

3. Do you reunite infants with their mothers?
Most often babies should be placed near the closed entrance for the mother to find and move to a new location. They should be provided with a gentle heat source and be checked on to ensure the mother had retrieved them. The mother should also be given ample time to facilitate the retrieval of her babies.

4. What does the service do if the mother has not come to retrieve her babies?
They should offer to bring the infants to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or facility. It’s best to offer to bring them yourself as insurance they make it there.

5. How do you ensure no orphans are left behind?
Steps should be taken to thoroughly check the area before repairing the entrance site.

6. If an animal must be trapped, what do you do with it?
Relocation of trapped animals is strongly not recommended. All animals should be released into their home territory (this should not pose any problems given a long term solution to your site has been implemented). Animals should not be euthanized unless for a public health concern or the situation legally requires it.

7. How do you make sure animals are treated humanely?
Snares, glue traps or other trapping devices in disrepair should never be used. Live traps should be placed in areas to ensure comfort and safety for the animal. For example, traps should not be placed in areas where there will be direct sunlight for many hours – this could result in heat stroke and possibly death for the trapped animal. Infants should be handled gently and provided a safe spot until the mother returns for them. It should not be assumed the mother returns for her young, they must be checked on.

8. How often are traps checked? If you report an animal in a trap, how quickly will the service respond?
Traps should be checked a minimum of every 12 hours. Animals become very frightened and stressed while in a trap and many will injure themselves trying to escape. If you call to report an animal in the trap, how quickly will they come?

9. What guarantee do they offer on their work?