Keeping the 'Wild' in Wildlife

State law prohibits trapping and relocating any wildlife (including squirrels, opossums, and raccoons). But injured wildlife will be picked up by Animal Control and taken to a veterinarian for euthanasia or placement with a wildlife rehabilitator.

There are a host of humane, effective and simple measures to deal with unwanted wildlife that visits your property:

  • Identify the animal or animals involved and find out the extent, duration, and likelihood of recurrence. You also want to know whether young animals are present.
  • You can evict unwanted visitors by using repellants, removing attractions around your home and modifying inviting habitats.
  • Rinse used food packaging, crush or cut up plastic containers, and firmly secure all garbage and recycling containers.

Opossums & Raccoons

These two have become very adaptable to human surroundings. Close up all openings under and in your home or business because they look for places to den.

Opossums look for dense shrubs to hide under, so be sure to thin out underbrush. Also, don’t leave pet food outside overnight. Encourage neighbors to do the same. Remove woodpiles or other materials raccoons can crawl in or under. Also, cut back on overhanging tree branches to reduce access to the roof.


If they frequent your bird feeders, try spraying your feed with cayenne pepper. Birds have no sense of taste, but squirrels do. Squirrel-proof feeders are also sold in birding specialty stores. And, squirrels don’t like safflower seeds. For squirrels in the attic, make sure any entry point is plugged with wire mesh or metal sheeting. Playing a radio with loud music in the attic map help them leave. Just be sure no young squirrels are left behind.


If deer are eating your garden or landscaping plans, plant things they don’t like, such as juniper or other thorny plants.

For more information on other animal-related complaints, or to speak to an officer, call 757-727-6111, Option 1. For general information, call the Customer Contact Center at 311 from a landline or 757-727-8311 from a cell phone.