Compiled by Dick Oakes
Coexisting with Wildlife
In most situations, people and wildlife can coexist. The key is to respect the wildness of wildlife. Wildlife should not be harrased, captured, domesticated, or fed. Intentional or inadvertent feeding is the major cause of most wildlife problems. It is illegal to feed most wildlife, except songbirds.
- Do NOT feed wildlife. Although feeding songbirds is okay, it may attract other animals.
- Cover window wells with commercially available grates or bubbles, or make a cover using quarter-inch hardware cloth or chicken wire.
- Close holes around and under the foundation of your home so that animals will not be tempted to homestead.
- Bury wire mesh 1 to 2 feet deep in places where animals might gain access.
- Don't give wildlife the opportunity to get in to garbage. Store it in metal or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Keep cans in a garage or shed, and put trash out only on the day of pick up.
- Keep pet food inside.
- Keep pets away from wildlife.
- If birds are flying into windows, mark them with strips of white tape or with raptor silhouettes.
- Fence gardens and cover fruit trees with commercially available netting to protect your harvest.
- Screen fireplace chimneys and furnace, attic and dryer vents, and keep dampers closed to avoid "drop-in" guests. Chimney tops should be screened from February to September to prevent birds and animals from nesting inside. To prevent fire and safety hazards, check with a knowledgeable source before attempting this.
- Seal all cracks and holes larger than a one-quarter inch in diameter to keep out rats, mice, bats, and snakes.