Think Wild Humane Exclusion Methods
Overall, humane exclusion techniques make your property less desirable or inviting for wildlife. Generally, remove outdoor food sources (pet and bird food, secure trash), ensure exterior maintenance and security (no holes, covered crawl spaces, motion-sensor lights), and minimize shelters (open decks, wood piles, leaf litter, old sheds).
It is illegal to trap and relocate most native wildlife and their nests, especially if it is a migratory bird species. Other than humane exclusion, for predators, extermination is the only other option – but it is not a permanent fix. Humane exclusion techniques offer inexpensive, long-lasting, humane, environmentally friendly and safe solutions to human and wildlife conflicts.
Call our wildlife hotline if you have any additional questions or would like to set up a site visit and consultation:
Did you know? There are no pest control companies in Central Oregon that only offer humane expulsion options. If a predatory animal, like a raccoon, skunk or beaver, is removed - it must be euthanized. Trapping, removal and euthanasia from local pest control companies cost upwards of $300 per animal, and it is not a permanent solution.
General Protocols to Prevent Conflict with Wildlife
- Make sure there is no exposed trash and use bungee chords to secure trash lids.
- Feed pets during the day or inside. Do not leave food out overnight – pet food is a huge attractant for wildlife.
- Minimize shelters for wildlife to hide in by cleaning up debris piles, trimming low hanging vegetation, and putting 1/4" or 1/2" inch hardware cloth around outbuildings and exposed holes.
- Consider removing bird feeders or making sure no seed is falling on the ground for animals to eat.
- Play a radio, use motion activated lights and sprinklers, or bang pots and pans to scare animals off.
- Keep pets indoors or on leashes to avoid them being injured by or causing injury to wildlife. Check outdoor areas and make noises.
Most Common Species-Specific Conflicts and Humane Solutions
Small mammals and rodents are attracted to households and property for shelter and food.
To prevent them nesting in your property, cover any openings more than a quarter inch in diameter with ¼ inch hardware cloth or wire mesh. Use steel wool or copper mesh to create a barrier in holes that cannot be plugged. Place offensive odors around the nest area, such as soiled kitty litter, ammonia soaked cloth, or Epsom salts.
If they are inside the house, use a live trap with food inside to capture the animal overnight and relocate the animal outside elsewhere. To prevent them tunneling in and around irrigation ditches, use the prescribed burning of aquatic vegetation in the area when ditches are low or dry, and allow ditches to run dry when not in use to reduce overwintering habitat.
Limit bird seed, pet food and other food scraps on the property. While leaf litter, wood and rock piles provide shelter for native wildlife, they can also attract rodents as well.
Owl nest boxes are a GREAT humane "pest control" option to support native wildlife habitat and predation on rodents.
Rattlesnakes can pose a danger to you and your pets!
To deter rattlesnakes from your yard, do not overwater your lawn, as this attracts frogs, which are a prey source for rattlesnakes. Avoid planting low to the ground plants that provide a large amount of shade, trim plants so that there is six inches between the ground, and keep the plant and keep firewood away from the house as this makes a good hiding place for prey items. To avoid bites, avoid shady and damp areas at peak heat times, stay away from tall vegetation near streams or rivers, and keep pets out of these locations.
Beavers felling trees and flooding your lawn? We can help!
If beavers are causing tree damage, install protective fencing or ‘sand point’ solutions when aesthetics matter. You can also plant vegetation buffer zones that ‘make the right thing easy, and the wrong thing hard’ as well as do landscaping with the tree species distasteful to beaver.
If you have flooding, a ‘water flow device’ allows water to pass ‘through’ the beaver dam, keeping water levels at acceptable heights to prevent flooding. Beaver exclusion fencing will also prevent culvert blockage and backed up flows.
To prevent them from eating flowers or trees, plant deer resistant plants such as Oregon grape. Deer repellant spray can also be effective, but it must be used consistently. You can also use chicken wire to create a large enough barrier around trees that they can not be reached, and erect fencing that is at least 8 feet high and planted firmly in the ground so that they can not use their heads to lift them.
Owl decoys can deter flickers from approaching your property. If they are pecking holes in your walls for nest cavities, you can put up a flicker nest box to provide alternative nesting options for them.
To deter birds from your garden or pond, employ predator owl or coyote decoys, or use a mesh of netting to cover.
To deter them from making nests in your home, cover any entrances with wire mesh or netting and ensure the chimney flue is closed before nesting begins. To prevent birds from hitting windows you can place reflective streamers over windows, use a matte covering for the outside of the window, leave lights off in rooms that are not in use at night, or use washable paint, dish soap or stickers. Do not leave plants in the windowsill.
BARBED WIRE FENCE REMOVAL
Barbed wire is extremely hazardous to wildlife and domestic animals. Every year numerous calls are received regarding owls, falcons, hawks, songbirds and mammals that have become entangled in barbed wire fencing. Many struggle there until they die.
Kellie Landers, Wild Wings Raptor Rehabilitation
541‐213‐4411 or 541‐549‐9192
Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice
The barbed wire is taken down and removed for recycling in a timely manner. The posts are left in place to mark property boundaries.