When confronted with wildlife in their own homes or backyards, many people often resort to what they see as a “humane solution”—live-trapping the animal and then setting them free in a far away area. But there is another solution that many are not aware of.
Live-trapping and relocation rarely ends well for wildlife and is not as humane and effective as it seems. There is a newer, safer method available known as eviction and exclusion.
Wildlife Trapping and Relocation
Most people think of wildlife trapping and relocating as a humane option when needing to get rid of an unwanted critters like raccoons and squirrels living within a home or business. What many do not know is that trapping actually causes harm to the animal, if not death and relocating a wild animal outside of its habitat can be detrimental as well as illegal in most states without a permit. The first thing to understand about trapping is that trapping an animal doesn’t necessarily mean you have resolved the problem of the animal taking residence within your home. Most animals that are found within a home or business are looking to den or nest which means thats its most likely an adult female wanting to provide a warm, secure place to have her babies. Between the spring and summer months females will search in, around and under homes and buildings looking for a dark, quiet place to rear their young. It’s likely only the adult will be seen around the area and if trapped, it means the babies are left within the property to slowly die of starvation. Once trapped, the animal will do everything it can to escape often leading to severe self injuries. Whether or not its injured itself, the trapping method is almost always concluded with extermination. When wildlife management companies say they trap ‘humanely’ it is simply another way of saying ‘exterminating quickly’. For companies that do not exterminate, an animal is relocated to a suitable habitat.
Relocation sounds like a reasonable method when dealing with wildlife around your home or business but the relocation of wildlife is actually very disorienting for the animal and often results in death. Wildlife like squirrels and raccoons are very adepth to their surroundings and oftentimes these animals are protective of their territory so when you move a new animal in, that animal is likely to be chased out or attacked for invading the territory of the current wildlife residents. When this happens, the animal doesn’t know where to go to find shelter and protection, leaving them vulnerable and exposed. Just finding food and water in unfamiliar territory becomes difficult for them and if they left babies behind they will often stress themselves out desperately looking for their young. Most often relocation is not given much consideration when it comes to the impact of the catch and release process or to the animals impact on the established wildlife populations release site. A well meaning intent can lead to a variety of disruptions both to the animal and its new location. In both Washington and Oregon State it is illegal to relocate without a permit and even then, it is not encouraged for the sake of the animal and the preservation purposes of wildlife within each state.
Wildlife Eviction and Exclusion
The best method when dealing with unwanted critters in your home or business is to be patient and wait out their denning process. Once animals have had their young they will soon leave the premises in search for shelter in their natural habitat and upon leaving you can repair access and entry ways preventing them from future visits. If you cannot wait however, one the best methods is eviction. This is done by gently disrupting their current living situation through the use of unpleasant sounds and smells. Things like bright lights, blaring speakers and rags soaked in cider vinegar make the residence unappealing and will cause the animal to look for another space to den. Wild animals like squirrels, raccoons and bats have an impeccable sense of their surroundings and will easily relocate themselves when necessary. Even if their young have already been born, they will move their litters if disturbed. Opossums carry their young, so if they are discouraged from their current residence they will leave with babies in tow and find a new place to dwell.
Once it is determined that the animals are no longer taking residence within the home or business, repairs can be done to exclude wildlife from reentering. At Get Smart Rat Solutions, we specilize in the truly humane solution of eviction and exclusion of wildlife. We can assess your property and work to safely encourage the animal to move on and ensure that all entry points are sealed so that you can be assured your property is protected from reentry of unwanted guests.