Several types of wildlife can be a nuisance for your home and family.
Bats, raccoons and skunks are some of the most common wild animals that invade homes. Proactive nuisance pest control is necessary, as these and many other types of wildlife can be frequent carriers of rabies, a disease that is potentially fatal if left untreated. In fact, as many as 40,000 people each year in the United States are exposed to animals that might have rabies, and must receive preventive treatments.
Wildlife can also cause extensive damage our property: chewing and pecking on the wood siding of our house and creating holes to gain access, nibbling our garden produce, digging up our flower bulbs or turning our over our garbage cans and backyard grills.
How We Service
The primary objective of any control program should be to reduce damage in a practical, humane and environmentally acceptable manner.
A key to controlling wildlife damage is prompt and accurate determination of which animal is causing the damage. After the wildlife pest is identified, control methods can be chosen appropriate to the animal species involved. Improper control methods may harm but not kill the animal, causing it to become leery of those and other methods in the future.
The most commonly used methods for controlling nuisance wildlife around homes and gardens are described below. Wildlife control involves human risks both from possible injury to person and property, but also from disease.
Physically excluding an offending animal from the area being damaged or disturbed is often the best and most permanent way to control the problem. Materials needed for exclusion will depend upon the species causing the problem. Small mammals and some birds can be excluded with fairly simple procedures. Exclusion is usually necessary to stop wildlife from continually entering the premises.
Modifying an animal's habitat often provides lasting and cost-effective relief from damage caused by nuisance wildlife. Habitat modification is effective because it limits access to one or more of the requirements for life – food, water or shelter. However, habitat modification, while limiting nuisance wildlife, may also limit desirable species such as songbirds as well. Rodent- or bat-proofing buildings by sealing cracks and holes prevents these animals from gaining access to suitable habitats where they are not welcome. Storing seed and pet food in tightly closed containers, controlling weeds and garden debris around homes and buildings, and storing firewood and building supplies on racks or pallets above ground level are also practices that can limit or remove the animals' sources of food, water or shelter.
Using traps can be very effective in reducing actual population numbers of certain species. However, many species cannot be trapped without a permit. In most cases, homeowners may trap an offending animal within 100 yards of their residence without a permit, however relocation is illegal. Traditional live traps allow for safe release of the trapped animal. The release of the animal to another area is prohibited by Massachusetts state law, Leghold traps may allow for either release or euthanasia of the trapped animal. Traps such as body-gripping traps, scissor and harpoon traps, as well as rat/mouse snap traps, are nearly always lethal. Knowledge of animal behavior, trapping techniques, and baits is essential for a successful trapping program.
What Can You Do?
Massachusetts is the third most densely populated U.S. state, and also home to an impressive variety of animals. Usually wild animals don’t interact with humans, but sometimes they can cause problems.
Start by following these general tips: Do not feed wildlife, keep garbage and compost in a secure container, don’t feed pets outside, remove bird feeders, and close off crawl spaces under porches, decks, and sheds.
Rodent- or bat-proofing buildings by sealing cracks and holes will prevent these animals from gaining access to suitable habitats where they are not welcome. Storing seed and pet food in tightly closed containers, controlling weeds and garden debris around homes and buildings, and storing firewood and building supplies on racks or pallets above ground level are also practices that can limit or remove the animals’ sources of food, water or shelter. Read more about what you can do here.