Virginia.gov

Nuisance & Problem Wildlife

How to Prevent or Resolve Conflict with Wildlife

As human populations continue to rise and move into traditional wildlife habitat, human/wildlife contact is becoming more prevalent. This section provides general information and techniques for Virginia property owners when wildlife becomes a problem.

Below are some easy techniques which will usually solve the problem and prevent it from re-occurring:

  • If you are feeding wildlife, stop. This will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.
  • Keep trash inside until the morning of trash pick-up or place trash in an animal proof container, such as a metal trashcan with latches on the lids.
  • Do not leave pet food outside; keep pet feeding areas clean.
  • Remove bird feeders when problem species, such as bears, have been seen around them.
  • Close up all openings under and into your buildings. Animals look for places to den and raise their young—don't give them that opportunity.
  • Clear overhanging tree limbs and branches which may be providing wildlife access to structures.
  • Clear fallen fruit from around trees.
  • Pass along this information to your neighbors. If anyone in the neighborhood is feeding wildlife directly, or indirectly, it can cause trouble for everyone.
  • Reflective tape, lights, or noise sometimes works, but they will eventually grow accustomed to these methods, so this is only a temporary solution.
  • Electric fencing can be very effective in keeping wildlife out of crops, beehives and structures.
  • It is illegal in the State of Virginia to trap and relocate an animal to another area.

If these techniques do not solve the problem, you can contact a licensed trapper or a critter removal service which you can find in your local phone directory.

If you are experiencing a problem with wildlife, please dial our toll-free wildlife conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003.