Keep Nuisance Wildlife in the Wild

The National Pest Management Association offers advice for keeping critters out in nature

FAIRFAX, Va. (November 19, 2012) – As temperatures fall, nuisance wildlife are more likely to find shelter indoors for the cold months ahead. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that some wildlife, such as raccoons, squirrels, foxes, bats and skunks, can pose serious risks when they infest a home.

“It’s not unusual to encounter unwanted pests such as mice or spiders during the colder months, but most homeowners are shocked to find a wildlife intrusion inside the home,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Unfortunately, these animals can pose health threats to humans, so it’s important to take precautionary measures to keep them outdoors where they belong.”

In addition to property damage and hard to handle infestations, some wild animals carry rabies, which is potentially fatal if left untreated. In fact, wild animals accounted for 92 percent of reported cases of rabies in 2010, the latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with raccoons topping the list.  

And don’t let their looks fool you. “Most of these critters are seen as cute and cuddly creatures. However, homeowners should never attempt to remove them on their own. They can bite or attack if they feel threatened, so removal is best left to trained professionals,” advises Henriksen.

Here are some tips from the NPMA for homeowners to keep wildlife in the wild:

  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys
  • Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly
  • Keep tree limbs cut back 6 to 8 feet from the roofline and store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house
  • If you encounter a wild animal on your property, do not attempt to remove it on your own. Rather, contact a local wildlife or pest professional.

For more information about nuisance wildlife or to find a local pest professional, visit

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.