Hints on Harassing problem wildlife

Many people for various reasons cannot bring themselves to use lethal control on a nuisance animal. Here are a few strategies that will help your harassment techniques work a little more effectively. We will also give you some advice on how you shouldn't harass a nuisance animal.

Also See Repellents

General Principles of Harassment:

Harassment must be continuous, concentrated and caustic to be effective. Always remember that you are trying to convince an animal to leave its home or food source. In short, you must become the animal's worst neighbor. You must convince the animal that you are more bothersome than the possibility of starvation or homelessness.

Warning: when you harass an animal there are no guarantees where it will decide to take up residence next. It is not out of the question that a raccoon, upon leaving your chimney will decide to enter your attic. Strengthening your the animal free portions of your property is highly recommended before starting a harassment program. To learn more about animal damage prevention click on our animal info link at your left.


Read the information given by a professional NWCO on his harassment work: BE WARNED:

Just a brief summery of some raccoon evictions I have been doing instead of trapping and removing the young from chimneys and attics in a resort town. About two weeks ago I got a call about coons in a chimney. Went out and sure enough there they were. A momma with three kits, one of the kits had a short tail. So I harassed them alittle bit and set some traps. Next day momma and kits were gone. Four days later or so I got a call about coons in an attic about 6 blocks away.. Guess which coons it was.. Sure enough the family with the short tale. Harassed again and poof they were gone the next day. Three days ago got another call about coons in a chimney.. Guess who again.... One street over and a few blocks down. Today they are gone... Wonder were they will show up next. Now all these people that believe that they won't continue to be a problem once evicted from one place should rethink. Just thought I would give it a try in this one area to see what happened.. Waiting for the phone to ring again on these raccoons in the next week... If nothing else I suppose one could consider it job security!!!!

To learn about Ineffective Animal Control Techniques click Quackery

Harassment techniques


SIGHT: This is the least effective method of all harassement techniques for most animals. In buildings, shining lights into attics etc. just make the animal move into the corners or down the walls where it is dark. Sometimes mylar tape and other shiny lights like lasers can be effective against birds like woodpeckers and geese/birds respectively. However, under buildings, such as porches and sheds, raising the structure so that daylight can be easily seen underneath, can be an effective way to prevent skunks from living under sheds or porches. So if you want to prevent skunks from living under porches you can either open them up so that there is plenty of light or you can close them up so that the skunk can't get underneath. (Warning, technique won't work on woodchucks which will build dens in the open.)


FLOODING: Can be useful for ground dwelling animals but beware. If the animal has dug near a structure, you could damage the foundation by adding water. Also if the animal is present be prepared for it to run out at you if you stand too close. Just insert hose and walk away and observe from a distance. I wouldn't recommend this technique for attic or chimney dwelling creatures. You also run the risk that you may drown the animal. Avoid this technique with skunks, unless you are certain you have the den entrance (which is not to be confused with the hole you see going under your steps or porch. Chances are there is a second hole underneath the porch or steps that is their true den entrance.)

There is also something known as the scarecrow which sprays water when a motion detector goes off. Learn More Scarecrow

BARRIER: This method should not be used for building dwelling animals like squirrels or raccoons. If you are looking for information on one-way doors contact us for details. Barrier method consists of back filling the holes of burrowing animals like chipmunks, skunks and woodchucks. I would like to remind you that you must be persistent. You must refill in the hole every day. The idea is that the animal will eventually tire of reopening the den. Don't make your barricade enough to stop them. You just want to block the hole enough so that the animal must expend energy to reopen it.

TEMPERATURE:  This method cannot be used in many situations. However, bats in attics constitute one exception. Bats, in order to raise young, need hot attics. Necessary ambient temperatures range in the 90 degree to 110 degree fahrenheit range. By installing an attic exhaust fan, you may be able to lower the attic temperature sufficiently enough to require the maternity colony to find another dwelling. Be sure to do this before the young are born (around May/June).

SHOCK: Electric fences, posts and mats can help stop animal damage in certain circumstances. Usually these techniques work best for deer.



NOISE: Radio, blare it all day long. Preferably with heavy metal music and subwoofers. Don't be surprised if the animal moves to a different part of the attic or dwelling. Be prepared to move the noise to a new location.Technique works on squirrels and raccoon. Distress calls can be effective for birds however.

ULTRASONICS: generally speaking, most mammals cannot hear in the ultrasonic range (bats are one exception). There is no scientific peer reviewed evidence that ultrasonic devices are effective in preventing or stopping animal damage. Of course WDC would welcome the receipt of such proof. Scroll down below for address and e-mail information. Most animals cannot hear in the ultrasonic range any more than we can. Also the noise doesn't penetrate walls. For information on this subject click Ultrasonics



TACTILE: Most animals don't like anything sticky because it will get into their fur. Some animals like squirrels will go to great lengths to rid sticky products from their bodies. So don't think that this technique is necessarily more humane than lethal control. Smear thick molasses or other kinds of syrup around the entrances where the animal enters the den/building. You may need to reapply after rain. Be prepared for gooey dirty footprints on your building. Works on squirrels, raccoon and woodchuck. Be very careful of using this technique on birds. Some of the goo products for birds, will if not applied properly, actually catch birds. It can also create a big mess.

CHEMICAL ODOR: This is a dangerous technique because it can have bad effects on humans. Many people have heard about how mammals hate the smell of mothballs. What these people don't know is that mothballs are highly flammable and are suspected of being a carcinogen. Remember that many of the household repellents people use are not, in strict legal terms, authorized to repel animals. See chemicals used as Pesticides/repellents are governed by FIFRA laws. See http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode07/usc_sup_01_7_10_6.html

I have trapped in many attics where people threw moth balls in to get rid of squirrels. The fact is mothballs do repel animals but the odor must be concentrated enough to work. Otherwise the animal simply moves to a better smelling area of the house. Generally speaking, only use mothballs in small enclosed areas such as a small room, like a bathroom. If the animal can move in an area larger than a bathroom then don't use mothballs. Mothballs work on all mammals. One note of warning. Don't bother using mothballs on burrowing animals like skunks or woodchucks. Even if you throw them down the burrow's entrance they won't work. For the animal will simply throw them out.

TASTE: A lot of your repellents to drive away browsing deer and or grazing geese are taste repellents.



ANIMALS: Guard animals like llamas and dogs can provide protection especially for flocks, herds and fields.

URINE: There is evidence that animal urine, typically predator urine can reduce damage to property. One study showed that the use of predator urine reduce the amount of damage to cabbage patches by woodchucks. But I should remind you that most urbanites want 100% reduction not a partial reduction in damage. Farmers can sustain some crop losses, but most urbanites will not tolerate any. So don't be surprised if your urine doesn't work the way you want it. Besides, wildlife quickly become habituated to the smell. If you plan on using urines, remember that they are not necessarily sterile. So don't use them around plants you intend to eat. Instead wearing rubber gloves, add them to a cloth and hang them near the plants but a safe distance away. REMEMBER TO TREAT URINE FOR WHAT IT IS. URINE. IT IS POTENTIALLY BIOLOGICALLY HAZARDOUS TO YOU THE USER. TREAT IT LIKE A BIOLOGICAL DANGER.

SEXUAL: These types of repellents or harassment techniques are quite rare. However there is one product that has been known to work on female raccoons. It is called Raccoon Repellent. It essentially uses parts of a male raccoon to scare the female to move her young. You see, other than mating season, males and females don't interact. And if a male finds young raccoons, he will eat them. Raccoon Repellent.


How do you know if you have won?

  1. You stop hearing the animal in your building.
  2. Plug the hole with newspaper and see if remains in place for 3 plus days.
  3. Fill the hole with dirt and see if it remains for 3 plus days.
  4. Damage to property ceases.

Never, Never, Never seal a hole off unless you are certain that the animals have left. Failure to follow these instructions may result in some truly remarkable animal attempts to reenter building. Or worse, the trapped animal may die leaving you with the smell of its demise.

Further questions drop me a note which includes your home state toadmin@wildlifedamagecontrol.com 

Remember all correspondence becomes property of Wildlife Damage Control


Wildlife Damage Control
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Disclaimer: WDC seeks to provide accurate, effective and responsible information on resolving human/wildlife conflicts. We welcome suggestions, criticisms to help us achieve this goal. The information provided is for informational purposes only and users of the information use it at their own risk. The reader must consult state/federal officials to determine the legality of any technique in the reader's locale. Some techniques are dangerous to the user and to others. WDC encourages readers to obtain appropriate training (see our informational literature at our Store ), and understand that proper animal damage control involves patience, understanding that not every technique/method works for every situation or even 100% of the time. Your use of this information is governed by this understanding. We welcome potential users of the information and photos to simply ask for permission via e-mail. Finally, WDC welcomes e-mail but understand that all e-mails become property of Wildlife Damage Control.