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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Controlling the wildlife

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jenna Smith
Living in the country is great for some, a disappointment for others and a constant reminder that you're never alone thanks to wildlife.

That wildlife is great to watch and photograph from time to time.

However, they can be a nuisance when they damage your property, resulting in you reacting in some way.

There are many ways you can react to wildlife damage.

The common animal control methods that you might want to take include exclusion, habitat modification, frightening, repellents, toxicants, fumigants, trapping and hunting.

Not all methods can be used on all wildlife due to laws.

Exclusion is the process of keeping an animal out of a specific area. This would involve the use of fending, rodent-proof construction, using hardware cloth, bird netting and caulking. Please realize that some city ordinances do not allow above ground electric fencing, so you should check with city ordinances before using an electric fence. Likewise, some homeowner associations have restrictions on fencing in some neighborhoods.

The process of making an area unsuitable for the animal to live in is considered habitat modification. By storing pet and livestock food in ceramic, metal, glass or garbage cans with a lockable lid, you can remove a food source for rodents and raccoons. If you want to avoid having snakes and mice, keep your lawn at a height of 3-inches. Tall grass serves as a great habitat for snakes and mice.

Frightening an animal away from a location can be achieved by using scarecrows, Mylar tap, flags and a radio.

If you would decide to use firecrackers or noisemakers, you should check with city ordinances and your homeowner association to see if it is an acceptable practice. It is important to realize that frightening is only a short term solution and will not provide a permanent solution to your wildlife problem.

The use of repellents, toxicants and fumigants can be very dangerous. Not all animals will be controlled by using one of these methods. If you would decide that you want to try one of these three, it is important to read and follow all label instructions in terms of use and what personal protective equipment you should wear when handling the substance.

Trapping and hunting can be difficult for someone who has never done either before. It is important to understand all laws and regulations associated with trapping and hunting wildlife. Certain wildlife have hunting seasons and you must obtain specific permits when hunting. For detailed information about trapping and hunting, contact the local Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or log on to www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2343.htm.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* May 19 -- Open Swine Show at the Owen County Fairgrounds,

* May 23 -- Clay County FFA Ag Advisory Board meeting, Clay County Extension Office,

* May 28 -- Extension Office closed, and

* June 4 -- Owen County Extension Board meeting, Owen County Extension Office.

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