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Nuisance Wildlife Control


Animal Control vs Pest Control

Animals classified as "nuisance wildlife" are not "pests," per se. Nuisance animals are generally considered to be desirable in their natural habitat, and only require control when they stray into areas where they create a threat or nuisance.

When control becomes necessary, nuisance animals typically must be trapped and released, rather than killed, assuming that they are healthy. (Animals that are rabid or otherwise seriously ill or are badly injured typically are euthanized.)

There are a wide variety of animal traps on the market, but state laws regarding nuisance animal control vary widely. In some states, literally anyone can legally trap and release nuisance animals. Other states require that the operator possess a pest control license, while still others have a special license strictly for animal control operators. In some states, it's legal for anyone to trap animals on their own property and release them on state lands, while in other states the same behavior will land you in a cage.

Benefits of Professional Animal Control

Regardless of state law, animal control is one area of pest control in which it's usually better to call a professional, for several reasons:

We urge our visitors to contact an animal control professional for all of their wildlife management needs. The information here is strictly for informational purposes and should not be construed as providing sufficient information to enable an ordinary person to safely or effectively trap nuisance animals.

Common Nuisance Animals


Norway ratAlthough usually treated as pests, many people prefer using animal control companies for rat control. There are a lot of advantages to this approach, for example:


Copperhead SnakeThere are hundreds of species of snakes in the United States, almost all of which are beneficial and generally should be left alone. Most snakes feed on rodents, insects, and other small animals, and they play an important part in naturally controlling these species.

But when snakes take up residence in or around human-occupied buildings, playgrounds, athletic fields, and other areas where humans congregate, snake control becomes necessary. This is especially true for venomous species like rattlesnakes, copperheads, coral snakes, and cottonmouths.


BatsBats are small, flying mammals who are primarily nocturnal and tend to live in caves, attics, bell towers, steeples, and other protected places. They are not rodents, despite what many people believe. Bats are overwhelmingly beneficial: Many species consume countless insects every night, and they seldom come in contact with humans due to their nocturnal habits.

Bats do present a health hazard, however, when they nest in close proximity to humans. Like all wild mammals, bats can be hosts to parasites, many of which are carriers of diseases. In addition, bat guano (droppings) can harbor dangerous pathogens; and bats themselves have a fairly high rate of rabies.

Because of their tendency to nest in attics and other high places, bat control usually is best left to professionals. For some interesting pictures and information about how professional bat removal companies do it, check out this Atlanta bat control company's site.


Raccoon trappingRaccoons are stocky, medium-sized, primarily nocturnal carnivores who are readily identifiable by their "masked" facial markings. They are very strong, highly intelligent, and very resourceful.

Raccoons usually cause a nuisance when they rummage through garbage pails looking for food, or get into attics, chimneys, or other parts of occupied buildings. They can be very aggressive when confronted and have a fairly high rate of rabies, making raccoon control one of the more dangerous jobs performed by animal control professionals.


Trapped SquirrelSquirrels are among the most common nuisance animals that wildlife control companies are called upon to control. In fact, there are entire message boards devoted to squirrel control. These small, furry rodents cause havoc when they chew their way into attics and other voids of building, and often cause fires when they gnaw on electrical wires. In addition, they carry parasites such as fleas and ticks that can transmit disease.

Squirrels are usually controlled by trapping and exclusion. Because of their relatively small size and their ability to get in through small openings (which they'll chew to enlarge, if necessary), squirrel control is a very detailed and somewhat hazardous job (because it involves working up high) that is best performed by professionals.

For more excellent pictures of squirrel control work, check out Rid-A-Critter's Atlanta squirrel removal page.


Fox TrappingFoxes are canines, like dogs and wolves. In nature, they play an important role in the natural ecosystem and rarely, if ever need to be controlled.

But foxes can create a problem when they move onto lands in close proximity to human dwellings, businesses, and especially farms, where they often attack and kill livestock.

In addition, like all canines, foxes are susceptible to a number of serious diseases including rabies, mange, distemper, and parvo, as well as numerous internal and external parasites.


(Special thanks to Richard Adcock of Rid-A-Critter Animal and Pest Control for use of the photos on this page.)