Nuisance wild animals are a common problem in the spring, and Hoosiers have several options for dealing with them.
People can always call a licensed wild animal control company. For the name of a licensed company, visit dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/2351.htm
Hoosier landowners or tenants also can trap and release or kill raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, beavers, muskrats, minks, long-tailed weasels, and foxes on their own property without a permit if these animals are damaging that property.
Live traps for capturing animals can be purchased from garden-supply or home improvement stores. Be careful when live-trapping wild animals in the spring because they may have young.
If the animal is to be released after capture, it must be released in the county of capture and cannot be kept as a pet, sold, traded or given to another person. Releasing wild animals on a city, county or state property may be illegal or require written permission; contact proper officials before releasing wild animals on public property.
To keep wild animals from becoming a nuisance, DNR wildlife officials recommend the following:
•Pick up dog and cat food at night and keep birdfeeders out of the reach of wild animals or bring in birdfeeders at night.
•Install a commercial chimney cap made of sheet metal and heavy screen. Repair soffits to prevent access to attics, and install strong, metal vent covers.
•Prune tree limbs at least 10 feet away from the roof.
•Buy heavy metal garbage cans with lockable lids; otherwise, keep garbage cans indoors as much as possible.
•Install metal skirting around the bottoms of decks.
•Provide shelter structures for fish in ornamental ponds and water gardens; cover the pond during the night with metal screening.
Nuisance Canada geese also can create problems in the spring when nesting. You can oil the eggs of Canada geese or remove their nests after registering with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. A link to the USFWS goose egg and nest destruction registration page is available at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild
A list of licensed nuisance waterfowl control operators that are trained to remove adult geese is at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/files
Pond owners experiencing problems with otters should contact their district wildlife biologist for more information or to request a special control permit.