Springtime can cause headaches for humans as wildlife raise young

May 19, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. May 19, 2011

Springtime means more sunshine, balmier days — and wildlife reproduction season.

Homeowners often report nuisance animals in springtime, as the birds and the bees birth and raise young.

The most common nuisance calls to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife offices relate to skunks and raccoons. The animals find crawl spaces, outbuildings, and other nooks and crannies to set up housekeeping for babies. Homeowners fear potentially nasty encounters between the animals and pets or children.

In addition, squirrels, rabbits, moles, marmots, bats, snakes and starlings preparing to raise families create other potential nuisances around human homes.

The top attraction for females of many species in springtime is a warm, dry, easily defended area for a den or nest.

So, homeowners should close up spaces, including basement window wells, areas under porches and decks, garage and shed entries of even the smallest dimensions, roofing gaps, uncapped chimneys and vents, and attic rafters.

Humans should also eliminate easy food sources for wildlife.

Keep pet food and water and garbage inside, fence gardens and secure compost piles, clean up feed spilled on the ground from bird feeders, or discontinue feeding altogether for now, and pick up fallen fruit from trees.

Sometimes, however, animals might need to be removed. The state wildlife agency offers DIY tips for evicting animals from buildings.

Homeowners can also turn to a nuisance wildlife control operator to solve problems. Though the operators must be licensed through the state, and conform to state regulations, operators do not work for the state. They operate as private enterprises and set fees.

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