Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

April 17, 2014

How to deal with nuisance wild animals

How to deal with nuisance wild animals

Most people enjoy watching wildlife and sometimes even interacting with critters on occasion. One of my favorite activities is keeping the bird feeder well supplied and seeing Hoosier song birds up close and personal.

Sometimes there are situations when it becomes difficult to appreciate wildlife. Especially should you find your expensive landscape plants ravaged by deer, your riverside timber fallen by beaver, your grape vines in your arbor ringed by rabbits or the inside of your garage or home vandalized by raccoon.

Years ago, we had the memorable experience of having a skunk invade our basement. There weren’t a lot of resources or avenues available to deal with problem wildlife… it was pretty much every man for himself when it came to critter control. Fortunately, I was able to construct a ramp to the basement window and entice the skunk to exit the house with little bits of hard boiled eggs and grapes.

Today, Hoosiers have several options for dealing with nuisance wildlife.

If you encounter a nuisance wildlife situation, you can start by calling a licensed wild animal control company. For the name of a licensed company, visit wildlife.IN.gov/2351.htm.

Hoosier landowners or tenants can also trap and release or kill raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, beavers, muskrats, minks, long-tailed weasels, and foxes on their own property without a permit if the animals are damaging the property.

Live traps for capturing animals can be purchased from garden-supply or home-improvement stores. Be careful when live-trapping wild animals in the spring because they may have young.

If the animal is to be released after capture, it must be released in the county of capture and cannot be kept as a pet, sold, traded or given to another person. Releasing wild animals on a city, county or state property may be illegal or require written permission. Contact proper officials before releasing wild animals on public property.

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