Even though most wildlife has an inherent fear of people with no interest in coming close to us, animals such as deer, coyotes, bears, raccoons, foxes and skunks often get labeled as a nuisance due to their sometimes intrusive and destructive habits in suburban settings, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. Why? It is because of easy access to “food.”
“Wildlife can, and will, take advantage of ‘easy food’ opportunities. So, it is our job, as homeowners, to ensure that we are keeping these non-natural foods away from wildlife – for our safety and for wildlife,” says John Bowers, chief of the game management section of Wildlife Resources Division.
Following are basic tips to help keep wildlife from becoming a nuisance:
- Don’t feed wildlife.
- Keep items such as grills, pet food or bird feeders off-limits. Clean and store grills when not in use, keep pet food indoors and feed pets indoors, and refill bird feeders infrequently and in small amounts.
- Make trash cans inaccessible. Keep lids securely fastened or store trash cans in a secured location until trash pick-up.
Options for handling nuisance wildlife (including a list of professional nuisance trappers), fact sheets, wildlife rehabilitator information, tips on managing land for wildlife, and much more can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com/nuisancewildlife.
A video is available at www.youtube.com/GeorgiaWildlife, click on “Videos” to find the title “Nuisance Wildlife in Georgia.”