As the human population of Massachusetts increases, many rural areas are being developed to accommodate this growth. Consequently, habitats once solely occupied by wildlife are now becoming habitats for humans too. As a result, encounters with wildlife around your home and yard may be more common. Learn more about these specific home and yard concerns.
GARDEN AND LAWN CONCERNS
Visit our Help for Gardeners webpage for humane solutions to conflicts with wildlife interested in your garden and yard.
One person’s trash can be an animal’s downfall. Consider how your trash, if not disposed of properly, can negatively impact wildlife, and the easy steps you can take to keep animals safe.
Knowing the dangers trash poses to wildlife may help save an animal’s life.
||How you can prevent it:
|Animals attempting to eat the residue off of containers can swallow packaging material, which can lead to fatal blockages.
- Use critter-proof trash containers. Visit our resources page to find vendors that sell these.
- Rinse all of your recyclables to remove residue and odors.
|An animal can get its head stuck inside certain plastic and glass containers, as well as become trapped inside plastic bags, leading to suffocation or overheating.
- Put container lids back on tightly. If the lids have been misplaced, crush the containers.
- Recycle all plastic bags at your local grocery store. Don’t put plastic bags in the trash.
|Items like six-pack beverage rings and fishing line can get stuck around an animal’s nose, mouth, and neck, blocking off means of breathing, eating, drinking, and self-defense.
- Cut up all six-pack beverage holders and other similar packaging so that there are no closed rings.
- Cut fishing line into small pieces or tie it into a secure bundle so that it cannot be unwound.
|Broken glass and sharp edges on cans can cut an animal’s paws and mouth.
- Use a can opener that opens cans beneath the lip of the lids, leaving only smooth edges on the cans and lids. Completely separate lids from cans.
- Take care when placing glass bottles and containers into bins so that they do not break.
|Excess trash invites animals who seek food and shelter.
- Switch to brands that have less packaging and buy food in bulk to avoid creating excess trash.
- Spread the word! Teach your kids, friends, and family to do the same!
FINDING SOLUTIONS THROUGH A PRIVATE COMPANY
The MSPCA can offer you advice and solutions that will help you solve your conflicts with wildlife in a humane, long-term, and cost-effective manner.
For help with specific species, view our Animal Information, Intruder Excluder, and Humane Vendor pages. If you choose to go to an outside company for help, visit our page on Problem Animal Control agents.
TIPS TO PREVENT CONFLICTS WITH WILDLIFE AROUND YOUR HOME AND YARD
- Enjoy wild animals from a distance. Never handle or attempt to pet or feed wildlife. Do not keep wildlife as pets.
- Secure trash and recycling bins and containers. See above trash concerns for more information.
- Regularly clean outdoor grills.
- Clean up spilled seed from bird feeders to avoid attracting other wildlife.
- Keep your home in good repair.
- Secure chimneys with a chimney cover and cover dryer vents.
- If you think a wild animal may be sick or injured, contact your local animal control officer, Police Department, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, or wildlife rehabilitator immediately.
- Visit our interactive house — the Intruder Excluder — that will allow you to choose the location of your home or yard affected by the intruder, identify the intruder, and find a humane, long-term solution.
For more information, visit our Intruder Excluder