Common Sense Precautions That All Citizens Should Practice
- Keep tree branches trimmed away from your home
- Seal openings to your crawl space, attic or roof
- Cover dryer, stove and exhaust vents
- Consider a chimney cover to prevent birds from nesting there
- Do not feed pets out of doors, or immediately remove food dishes after a pet has eaten
- Keep pet rabies vaccinations current at all times
- Keep pets confined to prevent contact with wildlife. Bring pets indoors at night.
- Secure pet doors at night.
- Do not feed wildlife; this will encourage them to return. It may also lead them to expect other humans, who might be fearful of wildlife, to feed them
- Keep garbage tightly secured
- Do not chase, corner or try to pet or touch wildlife
Sites with Techniques That Will Deter or Discourage Wildlife
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators
- I see animals like raccoons and foxes during the day. Does this mean they are rabid?
With increasing development in our City, wildlife is more visible than ever before. In almost every neighborhood, Chesapeake residents will commonly see raccoons, opossums, muskrats, nutria, groundhogs, foxes, and many types of birds. These animals seem to have lost their fear of humans and have readily adapted to living in close proximity to humans. In addition, species that we often think of as nocturnal are now frequently seen during the day.
- I am not comfortable seeing wildlife around my home. Can these animals just be removed?
These animals are a necessary part of our environment. Some are predators that eat vermin, insects, and carrion (dead animals). Some are prey that other animals use as a food source. Sometimes citizens request that these animals be captured and removed for no other reason than the fact that the animal is present. Relocation is not permitted when most of these animals are captured. They must be destroyed. This is neither practical nor desirable, if the animal is healthy and behaving normally. Finally, removal can often create a void that will quickly be filled by another animal.
- I am afraid my family or pets might be attacked by wildlife. What should I do?
Citizens may be concerned about perceived dangers from these animals. In reality, a person is 700 times more likely to be harmed by a dog or a cat than one of these animals. However, wildlife is naturally drawn to food sources. The best way to discourage wildlife from visiting your property is not to provide such a food source. This may include removing bird feeders at least temporarily. As for your pet, he or she is much more likely to attack wildlife than the other way around. If your pet is injured as a result, it may have to be quarantined. The best way to protect your pet is to keep them away from wildlife and make sure rabies vaccinations are current. (See What Should I Know About Rabies?)