If you want to get rid of pests on your property, humane wildlife removal is the way to go.
While dealing with damaging, destructive pests can be frustrating, it’s essential to treat them responsibly during every phase of the removal process.
In addition to being good for the animals, humane removal tactics are better for the environment and ecosystem.
At Smith’s Pest Management, we provide holistic, comprehensive, and humane pest removal services for customers in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, so we understand how to remove pests responsibly and ethically.
In this blog, we’ll share our top tips for getting rid of pests humanely and how to choose the best tactics for you.
What is Humane Wildlife Control?
Put simply, humane wildlife control is the process of managing pest species like skunks, raccoons, deer, and ground squirrels ethically and responsibly.
Humane wildlife control is especially essential for situations where wildlife populations come into conflict with human properties or activities.
What sets humane wildlife control apart from conventional pest management approaches is that humane tactics minimize suffering, stress, and harm for pest species to the extent possible.
Pest management professionals that utilize humane wildlife control methods address pest populations in the following ways:
- Understand wildlife behavior and patterns
- Implement preventative and exclusionary measures to keep pests from entering and harming properties
- Utilize non-lethal, safe, effective techniques (like live trapping) to remove pests from properties when needed
The goal of humane wildlife control is to balance the needs of humans and wildlife while promoting coexistence and preserving the natural environment.
Wildlife Control Methods
Curious about the wildlife control methods our team uses in our fieldwork? Here’s what we recommend:
1. Live Traps
When people think of humane wildlife control methods, they usually think of live traps. Live traps are generally cage-style traps that contain pests like raccoons, rats, and ground squirrels without killing them. Once the animal is inside the cage, it can be relocated.
While we support the use of live traps, there are some caveats:
- First, you need to monitor live traps several times a day and release trapped animals immediately. This ensures the animal isn’t suffering from exposure or stress inside the cage.
- For live trapping to be effective, you also need to implement good exclusion tactics that prevent pests from re-entering your property or home—more on that in the next section.
Pros: Humane, effective, inexpensive, not dangerous to other animals or non-target species
Cons: Setting effective traps requires time and expertise, you must check and empty traps several times a day, and effective relocation may be impossible due to local laws and regulations
2. Exclusion Tactics
One of the most critical humane wildlife control tactics is exclusion. Exclusion means identifying pest access points and plugging or closing them up proactively.
Exclusion tactics can be effective for various pests, including spiders, insects, rodents, birds, and more.
Examples of exclusion tactics include the following:
- Installing door sweeps
- Using caulk or steel wool to fill gaps and holes in your home’s siding and foundation
- Installing or repairing household screens
- Putting grates over vents and pipes that enter the home
- Installing exclusion fencing around high-interest areas like gardens
In addition to being humane, exclusion methods are non-toxic and essential for protecting a home from all pests – not just the ones you’re struggling to control.
Pros: Effective, non-toxic, humane
Cons: Time-consuming, can be expensive, will not remove existing pests from your property
Do’s and Don’ts of Humane Wildlife Control
- Do understand that pests are part of the natural world, and their presence can be inevitable.
- Do keep pest-attracting food and shelter from accumulating in your home and on your property wherever possible.
- Do keep doors and windows sealed and screened and yards fenced
- Do hire a professional who is concerned about humane pest control to help!
- Don’t make your own repellents or pesticides
- Don’t relocate trapped wildlife
- Don’t waste money on pest repellent noise makers and other “too good to be true” gimmicks. If these things were effective, they would be used by the pros.
Laws and Regulations You Need to Know About
When it comes to humane wildlife control tactics, it’s essential to understand the laws and regulations that affect your area.
Many states, for example, have laws that make it illegal to trap or relocate pest animals.
If you trap pests, your state may mandate that you release the animal in the vicinity it was captured, or humanely euthanize it immediately.
Other states outlaw certain pesticides and rodenticides or prohibit their use for everyone but pest management professionals.
For more information about laws and regulations in your area, consult your local branch of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
How to Keep Wildlife Away from Your Property
When it comes to wildlife management, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The more effectively you can keep animals away in the first place, the easier it will be to avoid infestations.
With that in mind, we recommend a holistic approach to pest prevention, which includes the following:
- Habitat modification. Sanitization is the first line of defense against pests like rats, raccoons, and cockroaches. Generally, you can decrease pest problems by removing available food and shelter and making your space unwelcoming for pests.
- Exclusion tactics. Next, we recommend focusing on exclusion tactics like the ones listed above. Seal all gaps and cracks in your home, install exclusion fencing, and use door sweeps, wire mesh, or gopher baskets (depending on the type of pest present) to decrease damage.
- Trapping. You may need to implement a trapping program to remove large pest populations. We recommend working with a pest management team, like Smith’s Pest Management, to do this effectively. Animals are smart, and they’ll learn to avoid traps unless they’re set correctly. A team of professionals can help you ensure an efficient trapping program that gets the job done.
- Deterrents. Use deterrents like motion-activated lights or sprinklers to keep pests like raccoons and deer away from your property. Store-bought spray deterrents can also be effective for rodents and burrowing animals.
- Assistance from a professional pest management team. Last but not least, invest in assistance from a team of pest management professionals. This is the best way to ensure effective, humane wildlife control tactics and get infestations under control as quickly as possible.
Looking for Humane Wildlife Control in the San Francisco Bay Area? We Can Help
Here at Smith’s Pest Management, we believe all animals serve a purpose in the ecosystem and deserve to be treated humanely.
Because of that, we provide eco-friendly, humane pest control methods to manage populations of rats, ground squirrels, voles, moles, and other critters.