Wildlife: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (AND ANSWERS)

There is a lot of urban wildlife in my area, what can I do to avoid problems?

  • Never intentionally feed wild animals

  • Don't leave pet food or water outside

  • Always bring your pets inside before dark

  • Shut pet doors at dusk

  • Secure the lids of your outdoor garbage cans

  • Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily

  • Fence or net areas that you wish to protect

  • Clear away woodpiles and brush piles after the winter and keep vegetation neatly trimmed near the house

  • Close access to crawl spaces, attics, sheds and garage spaces. Keep all doors closed at night

  • Use a ScareCrow motion activated sprinkler that protects gardens by detecting animals and blasting them with water

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA does not support nor endorse any specific product or equipment recommendations, nor support or endorse companies that produce products that scare, deter or exclude wildlife. Any brochures, pamphlets or flyers that are sent or supplied to you are meant to help with ideas you may find useful. Should you decide to purchase any products or services from any source and that product or service should fail to support the claim of the manufacturer or business, Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA cannot be held responsible for the product, claim or service.

A raccoon or skunk is digging in my yard, what can I do?

The best way to stop damage to lawns and gardens is to eliminate the food source that they are searching for; not remove the animal itself, as there will always be another to replace it. The animals are looking for grubs and other subterranean insects that they feed upon. You can use beneficial predator nematodes or milky spore to effectively control these pests and at the same time stop the unwanted behavior by raccoons and skunks.

You can also try to:

  • Pin new sod to the ground with thin spikes or cover with a thin nylon bird netting and hold down using bricks or rocks

  • Water your lawns in early morning rather than in the evening

  • Sprinkle your lawn or planters with cayenne pepper to discourage grub hunting. For large areas, cayenne pepper can be diluted with water and sprayed over lawns.

  • Install low voltage hot wire fencing (not exceeding 12 volts) around planters. Check with your local hardware store for installment instructions.

  • Protect trees by pruning them back and by wrapping a 2- foot band of sheet metal around the trunk about 4-6 feet off the ground. Trim any branches below 4-6 feet.

How can I protect the fish in my pond from raccoons and other predators?

  • Install a 2-foot wire mesh horizontally around the perimeter of the pond. Leave the wire mesh lightly secured under water (animals cannot reach over the wire and do not like to stand on it if it is unstable).

  • Provide a nylon netting cover at night or provide a low voltage wire system around perimeter of pond (see destroying landscape).

  • Always provide fish with adequate hiding areas. This can be achieved with bricks, rocks and/or plants.

  • Cover pools at night.

There is an animal under my house/in my attic, what can I do?

First, be sure that there are no animals in the area. To do this you can use deterrents such as ammonia soaked rags, mothballs, lights and/or noise to drive the animals out. Close off all but one of the openings around your house. Spread a layer of baking flour in front of the openings to check for tracks of animals coming and going. Once you have seen no new evidence for a couple of days you can safely and securely close off all possible access points to areas such as crawl spaces, underneath decks, basements and attics. Animals can sometimes cause damage to roofs in order to gain access to attic spaces. In this case, prevent animals from climbing to the roof by trimming tree branches or using metal flashing to prevent them from climbing.

There are coyotes in my neighborhood. What should I do?

Coyotes are a part of even the most urban environments. Here are things to do that may minimize conflict:

  • Keep small pets indoors

  • Remove outdoor pet food

  • Pick up fallen fruit

  • Remove bird feeders

  • Secure garbage

  • Trim overgrown landscaping

  • Don’t water your lawn at night

  • Supervise small children at play

Never feed coyotes! Most conflicts occur when coyotes associate people with food. This alters their behavior and makes them more dangerous.

If you see a coyote:

  • Be aggressive, yell, throw rocks, or spray a hose at the animal

  • Make yourself appear large & back away slowly

  • Never turn your back or run away

How can I keep deer from damaging my yard?

  • Provide deer safe fencing around your yard. Fencing should be at least 8 feet tall, consisting of solid wood or openings no larger than 4 inches wide. The top surface should be flat.

  • Stiff plastic netting can be used to cover individual plants and bushes.

  • Trees can be protected by staking wood stakes around the perimeter of the tree about 2 inches apart and 4-5 inches high.

  • Make your lawn “deer proof” by planting landscape deer do not like.

  • Hang bars of soap, crushed garlic or human or dog hair (placed in stockings) from trees. Deer are very sensitive to smell.

  • Use motion detected lights.

  • Noise deterrents such as aluminum pie pans and tin cans rattling in the wind.

  • Use wind sockets, windmills or streams of aluminum near plants to deter them.

  • Use a ScareCrow (a motion activated sprinkler that protects gardens by detecting animals and blasting them with water).

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA does not support nor endorse any specific product or equipment recommendations, nor support or endorse companies that produce products that scare, deter or exclude wildlife. Any brochures, pamphlets or flyers that are sent or supplied to you are meant to help with ideas you may find useful. Should you decide to purchase any products or services from any source and that product or service should fail to support the claim of the manufacturer or business, Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA cannot be held responsible for the product, claim or service.

Deer Repellent Formula

Blend 4 eggs, 2oz. of red pepper sauce and 2 oz. chopped garlic with enough water to make 1 quart. Strain mixture and spray plants with repellent.