In order to co-exist with these animals and encourage them to move to a more acceptable living distance you must first eliminate the conditions that are attracting these animals to your property (See Why my house?
As long as the attractions exist on your property, you will continue to have these uninvited guests. Removing one of these animals by trapping will only buy you a little time before another one or a different species moves in to take its place.
Next you must convince your unwelcome guest that the space he/she has learned to think of as "home" is no longer attractive. You can do this by using one or more of the following techniques:
- Illuminate the area during the daylight hours. Hang a trouble light if possible, or shine a light into or under the space. They don't like well-lighted areas.
- Play a radio or create other noises during the daytime to disturb the animal during his/her sleeping hours.
- Place a wide-mouthed jar with holes in the lid and either ammonia -soaked rags or mothballs (use only one or the other or you will have a dangerous chemical reaction) in the area where the animal(s) is living. This will smell up the area and make it less desirable. (Do not throw loose mothballs into area; it is unhealthy for the animal if it comes in contact with them. We have had reports that the animals will just remove the mothballs) Finally, you must identify how the animal(s) is entering and exiting their living space. You can put down some flour, cornstarch, etc., by the spots that seem most likely to be used by the animal as entrances. You can then do some "amateur tracking." If you determine that there are more than one entrance and exit, close off all but one. Then after several days of using the above described methods to discourage your uninvited guest, you can finally seal off the last opening once you are sure the animal is out. Use the flour tracking technique to verify that the animal is gone. The best time to do this would be at dusk when the animal(s) is most likely to be out looking for food. Smooth the flour over just before dusk, then watch for tracks leading out and make sure that none are heading back into the space. Tracking should also give you information as to how many animals you are dealing with and must be accounted for before sealing the entrance.If you seal all openings without following the above suggestions, it is very likely that the animal will make an effort to dig or destroy its way back into its "home" space.
The steps recommended above will usually discourage an animal from returning to the same space because it is no longer desirable as a home. If you think that just trapping the animal and relocating it seems much easier, consider the following:
- If you don't change things, you will end up with another animal living there soon
- Relocating these animals potentially creates a new problem for people living near relocation areas
- Relocating the animals minimizes chances of survival for these animals and can dramatically increase the chance of spread of disease among different populations of the same species
- These animals play an integral role in the health of local ecosystems. If an animal has become trapped in your garbage can, tip the can on its side. He/she will leave when they feel it is safe. If an animal has become trapped in a window well or pit, put a board or large pipe into the area so they can climb out. Cover such areas to prevent another occurrence.