CO-EXISTING WITH OUR WILD NATIVE ANIMALS
Santa Barbara County Animal Services advocates peaceful co-existence with our native wildlife population. Understanding the normal habits of your wild neighbors and the reasons they are attracted to your property is the key to avoiding property damage. Most wildlife species are active at night when they are looking for food and water, since many are nocturnal animals. Without realizing it, you may be encouraging them to inhabit your property.
We do not normally rent traps to capture wildlife and do not recommend trapping as a solution. Since a habitat exists, trapping and removing one animal makes room for another to move in and does not resolve the issue.
We recommend the following ways to discourage wildlife from inhabiting your property:
- Don't leave pet food or water dishes out after dusk
- Secure trash cans with tight fitting lids, tied closed if necessary
- Keep garage doors and pet doors closed and secured after dusk
- Remove debris piles that provide shelter for wild animals
- Trim vegetation and tree branches that allow easy access to your roof and attic
- Pick up all fallen fruit from fruit trees
- Secure small domestic pets indoors and poultry in adequate outdoor caging
- Seal entry holes in fences, under buildings, eaves, air ducts and decks after taking precautions not to enclose adult animals or their offspring inside
- Don't feed wildlife
Sound, water, lights, motion sensor devices, and non-lethal deterrents, like ammonia, often keep animals from feeling at home.
In Santa Barbara County we are lucky to have a volunteer group committed to giving advice on co-existing with wildlife that may be able to assist you.
The following are a few local and regional wildlife resources ...