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How to Get Rid of Wild Animals

How To Get Rid Of Nuisance Wild Animals

Wild animals can be a real problem when they make their homes in suburban or urban areas, and the methods that they use to survive can leave large amounts of mess as they scavenge. These animals can also be quite antisocial, and cause problems for people and domestic pets, and eight of the most troublesome animals are:

  • 1. Rats - seal all entry holes leading inside the house or building, THEN trap all the rats with snap traps.
  • 2. Skunks - cage trapping is usually the answer for these outdoor animals. If under a porch or shed, they should be excluded.
  • 3. Raccoons - if they get inside an attic, the young must be removed by hand, and the adult trapped and removed.
  • 4. Squirrels - the best bet is either a one-way exclusion door or a repeater trap mounted directly on their primary entry & exit hole into a house.
  • 5. Bats - All the bats must be excluded alive, which is the only practical and effective way to remove a colony from a building. The seal-up job must be perfect.
  • 6. Opossums - they can live under houses, in attics, or just outside. They are fairly easy to catch in cage traps.
  • 7. Snakes - most species are non-venomous, and can be removed by hand or with snake tongs. If lost inside a house, a trap works well.
  • 8. Groundhogs - like armadillos in the south, they burrow, and the best option is cage trapping and removal.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with these animals is that you do have to deal with them in a way that won't affect other species that aren't a nuisance. Here is a brief summary of how to get rid of these different types of nuisance wild animals.

How to Get Rid of Wild Animals on Your Property, in the Yard or Anywhere Else
If you’re having an issue with wild animals in your yard, chances are there is something drawing them to your property. Wild animals invade our space from time to time, but it is usually just a passing interruption. When wild animals become nuisances, we are often at fault. Wild animals in your yard are there for one of two primary reasons: food or shelter. The majority of the time food is the prevailing factor. If you’re having issues with wild animal do not leave any edible items outside. This means you will need to keep garbage bagged and secure inside bins. Pet food will need to be picked up once the pet is finished with it. Compost piles should be buried or placed in composting bins. Fruit from trees should be kept off the ground. If you have a vegetable garden, seriously consider installing a perimeter fence. Another way to keep wild animals out of your yard is to keep your landscape as manicured as possible. A number of wild animals enjoy unkempt lawns and the food and cover long grass provides.

How to Get Rid of Wild Animals in the House
A number of wild animals will make the attempt to coincide with humans in the same home. Most of these creatures are rodents and do considerable damage to the interior of a home. The manner of removing these rodents depends on just what kind of critters they are; squirrels are trapping with non-lethal means while rats and mice fall victim to the snap trap. Bats cannot be relocated and must be excluded from the home instead. Not all wild animals inside of a home are rodents. Birds will become very problematic if they work their way into eaves and roofs. Getting rid of birds, depending on the type, can be much more complex than rodent removal. Many birds are protected under migratory laws. Similar to bats, home exclusion is the best method when dealing with this type of situation. Larger animals, like raccoons and opossums will also set up shop inside of a home. These animals are much more destructive and messy than their smaller, nuisance friends, leaving waste and excrement all over their living space. For problems of this nature, live trapping is advisable.

How to Get Rid of Wild Animals Outside
There is no way to systematically exterminate wild animals so that one will never walk through your yard again. The best ways to deal with wild animals outside is to keep your property as unappealing as possible for would-be animal guests. Wild animals are drawn to a location for food or safety. Prevention includes keeping garbage picked up and stored in sturdy containers, managing pet food properly, and keeping gardens protected with fencing. Some wild animals are not interested in the food around your home but instead want to live inside where they are not exposed to the weather or to predators. These animals are best prevented by keeping your home in good repair. Any holes or cracks in you exterior will be an invitation to any number of nuisance animals. Once inside, many of these creatures must be trapped and relocated. Depending on the animal, live trapping or lethal trapping may be recommended. Be sure to check with a professional on what methods are advised.

How to Get Rid of Wild Animals in the Attic
Attics are one of the most common areas of a home to fall victim to the attentions of a nuisance animal. Because of the warm, quiet, protected environment within an attic, many creatures find the space desirable. Some, like rats and squirrels, will chase out or kill smaller creatures living there first. Depending on the species living in the attic, different trapping methods can be employed. Some animals can only be lethally trapped. This is true of rats and mice who will return to an area if they have found it favorable. Squirrels are often trapped alive by using repeater traps or by using exclusion traps. Bats can’t be trapped unless with netting, but they can be excluded from the home once they leave for the evening. All of these methods are effective, but homeowners are cautioned to make sure all baby animals are located and removed and that the space is cleaned thoroughly after the infestation is resolved.


As a species, there are few that have adapted as well to the human domination of the planet as well as rats, as they are very adaptable and scavenge food from a variety of different sources. However, if these animals get into the area of a domestic property, they can be a real problem, causing health issues by contaminating food and water, while also leaving dark stains on the walls where they pass, and lots of droppings too. The most common method of dealing with rats is to lay down traps or poison in the areas where they are most likely to be, with traps usually offering a much cleaner option than poison, as it can often be difficult to find the carcass with the home after a rat has been poisoned.


While many people will see a picture of the red fox and find them to look quite cute, the reality is that they can be quite vicious and cause significant problems for those who encounter the animals, or even if they come into contact with pets. Foxes are very territorial, and during the mating season they can be very noisy as the males fight, while they are also well known for tearing through garbage bags trying to find the waste food inside. If they are repeatedly visiting your yard or garden and are causing a nuisance, then the most important steps that you can take will be to install strong fencing to keep the animals out, and removing any food sources in your garden that will be attracting the foxes.


With their black and white faces, there is no doubt that the furry raccoons look quite friendly, but if you have these animals regularly visiting your garden, or there are raccoons nesting in your attic, loft space or chimney, they can be a significant problem. They are excellent scavengers, and have great dexterity in their paws, meaning they can remove the lid from a garbage can unless it is secured, while they are also known for tearing up insulation material in attics to create a nest. Removing the sources of food such as open pet food containers, garbage sacks and fallen fruit in a garden is a good starting point, while those dealing with a repeat visitor can trap the animal and remove it.

Feral Cats

Feral cats are another problem animal that can be a big issue, and when they are found in urban situations they are most visible when they are fighting other cats or animals, and can even form colonies where they interact and breed with other cats. Because of this, cat populations can become a problem if they aren't dealt with, and for many people this can include attacking domestic pets, cutting open garbage bags and stealing pet food. The best way to keep these cats away is to remove the food sources by storing garbage and food indoors in sealed containers, while those who have dogs will often find that the cats stay away because of the dog's scent.

The one thing to remember when dealing with feral cats is that they play a role in dealing with the rodent population, and if a colony of cats are removed or killed in a short period of time, this can lead to a boom in the rat and mouse population.


Unlike most pest animals, pigeons are a species that was originally domesticated, but then developed a feral population that became entirely separate from the domesticated pigeons that carry message and are used for racing. Pigeons can cause issues in terms of scavenging for food, leaving their droppings across floors, vehicles and windows, as well being a health risk for people and domestic animals. While hunting and shooting can be short term measures to try and keep pigeons away from your property, in the long term you will need to look at options such as installing anti pigeon spikes to stop them from landing on your property, or removing the seeds and berries that are attracting them to your area.

Go back to the main Wild Animal Removal page for more information about how to get rid of wild animals.
How To Get Rid of Wild Animal - Tips and steps for getting rid of animals.
How To Trap a Wild Animal - Methods for catching animal in cage traps.
Wild Animal in the Attic - Info about what to do if you have animal in the attic.
How to Kill a Wild Animal - Does poison work to kill animal? Is killing animal the best approach?
Wild Animal Feces - Pictures of animal poop and info about danger, and diseases from animal droppings.
How to Clean Your Attic of Animal Waste - How to Clean Your Attic After You Remove Wildlife.
Wild Animal Prevention - Preventative methods for how to keep animal away from your property.
Wild Animal Repellent - Analysis of various animal deterrents and repellent products.
What Bait Catches Wild Animal - What kind of food do you put in a trap to catch a animal?
Wild Animal on the Roof - If you hear scratching on the roof, and think it's a animal.
Wild Animal Under a Shed or Deck - Sometimes animal will dig under or live under a shed or deck.
Wild Animal Poison - What are the available types of animal poison? Are they legal?
Dead Wild Animal - Removal of a dead animal in the house or on the property.
Diseases from Wild Animal - Analysis of what kinds of diseases animal can carry and cause in humans.
Wild Animal Urine - Information about animal pee, and the dangers or diseases of animal urine.
Baby Wild Animal - Photos and information about baby animals.
Wild Animal in Your House - Tips on how to get a animal out of hour house.
Wild Animal in the Chimney - Information about removing animal in a chimney.
Wild Animal in the Walls - What to do if you hear animal in the walls, scratching.
How to get rid of critters in the attic
Dead Animal in the Chimney?
Dead Animal in the Wall?
What is histoplasmosis?
How to Find a Dead Animal in the House
Do rodents eat insects?
Do rodents nurse their young?
How to get rid of mold in the attic
How to get rid of Dead Animal Odors
Do rodents like rats and mice feel pain?
How to get rid of pests in the attic
Do rodents chew pex or other water pipes?
Will a pest control company remove wild animals?
How to get rid of rodents in your attic
Common Causes of Household Odors

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