Virginia.gov

Skunks & Opossums

  • No Kill Permit required from VDGIF.
  • Landowner may kill on his own land during closed season.
  • You must contact the Commonwealth Attorney's office in your county/city for information regarding legal methods of animal removal. Local ordinances are usually more restrictive than state laws.

The major problems associated with these species involve their ability to invade houses or trashcans. These species are very adaptable to urban areas, and are nocturnal, meaning they come out mostly at night; however just seeing them during the day is not a sign of rabies. They are commonly seen during the day in urban and suburban areas and are usually attracted there by a food source or an easily accessed area to make a den such as under porches/decks, crawl spaces or out-buildings. The best way to prevent them from becoming a problem is to not give them a reason to come.

  • 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 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.
  • Contact your local health department if animal exhibits signs of rabies such as stumbling, foaming at the mouth or aggression.

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.