When one hears the term “Nuisance Wildlife,” it is usually referring to wild animals that cause damage to homes, property, or livestock. Typically, in the form of Raccoons or Squirrels getting into homes, Beavers eating trees, or Coyotes and similar attacking livestock. These animals do NOT fall under the mandate of pest control or local animal control; they are the province of local Wildlife Control Operators (WCO), which are almost always private companies.
Nuisance Wildlife Conflicts
In the Oregon/Washington areas, the most common Nuisance Wildlife calls are Beaver, Coyote, Nutria, Opossum, Raccoon, Skunk, & Squirrel. When these animals seek to make a habitat in your home or on your property, conflicts can ensue. Some animals are vectors for diseases, and others can be aggressive or damage structures. Even so, it is important to remember that wild animals are an essential part of the ecosystem. Many conflicts can be resolved without harming the animals in question, typically by adjusting the environment to make it less hospitable. Fish & Wildlife websites usually have instructions on how to do this. In the Pacific Northwest, everyone lives quite close to nature, knowingly or not, and that is part of the region’s charm.
Native Species vs. Invasive Species
Occasionally animals are imported from their natural ecosystem to a new environment. When they do, they frequently thrive with the absence of natural predators, & can displace or disrupt local wildlife. These animals are referred to as Invasive Species, & can be quite harmful to the local ecology. Most types of Rats, Nutria, the Eastern Grey Squirrel, California Ground Squirrel & similar represent a few invasive species. In the case of the Eastern Grey Squirrel, they have displaced the native Western Grey Squirrel in much of Oregon, particularly in the greater Portland metro. It’s essential to avoid introducing Invasive Species where they don’t belong.
Relocation vs. Euthanasia
In accordance with the laws and operating procedures set by Fish & Wildlife in both Oregon and Washington, almost no animal can be relocated. The concern of spreading disease, causing territorial distress among populations, or the animal in question going on to cause damage for someone else is considered to great. All animals captured by a licensed WCO & removed are euthanized, typically by C02 Chamber. This is generally considered the most humane procedure. If a WCO company promises they will only relocate the animal in question, they are almost certainly not being truthful. The only option to release a captured animal by a licensed WCO in Oregon or Washington is to release it on the property they caught it.
How to prevent Nuisance Wildlife Conflicts
As mentioned earlier, adjusting the environment is an ideal way to prevent conflicts with your local wildlife. Do not leave unsecured pet food outside, remove bird feeders, clear fallen fruit from fruit trees, and remove underbrush that might provide habitat. In more extreme cases, motion-activated lights, electric fences, and other physical deterrents may be helpful. In the event, you decide to trap an animal, make sure you plan what you will do with it once you catch it. Not only is transporting wildlife illegal for non-WCOs, but animals frequently return to a location even after being removed by 30 miles or more. Make a habit of inspecting crawl space foundation vents for damage between March-May. This is the time when Raccoons have litters, frequently under homes. A well-secured home is the best defense from Wildlife Conflicts.
Think you have an issue with nuisance wildlife? At Wayfare Pest Solutions we strive to be a leading eco-friendly humane pest control service, who understands the importance of wildlife in our ecosystems. Contact us to talk to a consultant today.