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Wildlife is all around us, and as human populations grow, encounters increase. Many animals' survival depends on adapting to coexist with us. Tolerance and understanding can offer rewarding learning experiences. Remember, we're all just trying to make a living – animals included.

If you create a beautiful yard oasis, expect animals to find it inviting. Take it as a compliment! To avoid wildlife encounters, take preventive measures: keep pet food indoors, pick up garbage and fallen fruit, and cover holes before they become homes. Keep garages and sheds closed, and minimize hiding places like lumber piles. Trim trees, shrubs, and gardens neat.

Note: Before using deterrents, always check for babies if animals have started to den on your property.

WRSOS recommends using deterrents, exclusion, and removal of attractants rather than relocation, as it's often stressful for animals and reduces their survival chances. Many babies become "orphaned" due to their mothers being relocated or shot.



Important – Caution should be taken with all rabies vector species. Animals that are exhibiting unusual behaviours such as too tame or friendly, aggressive, dumb – banging into things, wandering around in public or out when they should be sleeping should not be approached. Call the WRSOS Helpline 306-242-7177 for further information.

Examples of mammal deterrents:

  • Scent deterrents: Place items with strong scents in areas of interest (e.g., under your deck). Effective options include synthetic coyote urine, human hair, dirty gym socks, pet excrement like kitty litter (keep this in a bag with holes poked in it), and apple cider vinegar or ammonia-soaked rags (keep these in a sealed bag with holes as well).

  • Sound deterrents: Play a talk radio station near dens or high-traffic areas. Wildlife perceive human voices as a threat, so the sound can discourage them.

  • Light deterrents: Use motion-sensitive lights or continuous, fire-safe lighting aimed at den sites or other areas to discourage animals.

Conflicts with Mammals most often arise when mammals are looking for a safe place to raise their young or to hibernate. Prevention is the best option. Repair all holes BEFORE they become someone’s new home. If you are unsure whether there is an animal there already, the ground can be dusted with flour and watched for several days to highlight any tracks entering or exiting the area. The entry can also be filled loosely with debris like straw or crumpled newspaper. If a hole remains blocked for several days then it is likely nothing is living there. The last thing anyone wants is to have several babies starving to death under the porch. Mammals with young will only stay for several weeks before moving to a new den site.



Examples of bird deterrents:

  • Bird Scare Eyes mimic the appearance of a predator's eyes, creating the illusion of a threat to birds. This visual cue can intimidate and discourage birds from settling or foraging in the area.

  • Reflective Tape/Scare Tape/Aluminium Foil is effective as a bird deterrent because it creates visual disturbances, such as flashes of light and movement, which can startle and deter birds from landing or nesting in an area.

  • Decoys are effective bird deterrents because they mimic the presence of predators or other birds of prey, which can create a perception of danger for birds. This can discourage them from roosting, nesting, or feeding in the area where the decoys are placed.

Wildlife Proofing

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"Wildlife-proofing" your property, may include installing chicken wire on trees vulnerable to wildlife, sealing holes beneath decks, capping chimneys and vents, and fencing off areas. Implementing these steps not only addresses current wildlife issues but also prevents future occurrences.

For further advice on deterrents and exclusion techniques, please contact the WRSOS Wildlife Helpline and consult with an educator at 306-242-7177.

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