Humane “Pest” Control – Wildlife Exclusion

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

Learn the most common species conflicts below or view our full, detailed guide with links to humane exclusion products, like decoys here.

Solutions to raccoons or skunks nesting under or in your property and additional conflicts:
If there are no babies, you can soak a towel, tennis balls, or sheet in ammonia and leave them onsite (such as under the deck) when raccoon is gone during the night. You can sprinkle flour on the ground to look for tracks when they leave and enter.
If there are babies, be patient and wait for the family to leave on their own after about eight weeks. Adding fencing and covering holes and spaces is the most effective way to prevent raccoons from nesting in or under your property. Make sure there are no animals or their babies inside. Mothers will do anything to get back to their babies.
To avoid raccoons preying on chickens, keep them in a locked coop at night. Wire at least a foot below ground or have it bend 90 degrees to create an apron going out away from the structure. You can also play a radio and use motion sensor lights to deter the raccoons from approaching.
If a pet is sprayed by a skunk, use this common recipe to bathe it: Combine 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap.

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.

 

Bats are very important animals for insect control and pollination - but you don't want them nesting in your home!
If a bat should become stuck inside your house, open the exit that bat came through, close any other escape routes, turn off the lights and leave the room. The bat will most likely fly out on its own during the night. To prevent them from nesting in your roof, cover any entrance sites to your house (i.e vents, holes, chimneys, etc.). Leave the exterior entrance open. When they leave to hunt for the night, cover the exterior entrance with 1/8 – ¼ " hardware cloth or polypropylene netting to prevent them from reentering. They can enter very small spaces, so 1/8 " hardware cloth is usually the best permanent option.
Here are solutions to prevent deer from eating your freshly planted garden.

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. 

Here are solutions to prevent rabbits from eating your freshly planted garden.
Erect appropriate fencing, such as chicken wire or 1/2" hardware cloth that is buried to keep rabbits out of the area. Place a concrete base under gates so that rabbits cannot dig under them, use repellant spray and insect netting over plants at night.
Have issues with flickers pecking holes in your walls or geese entering your pond?

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.