What To Do When Backyard Wildlife Becomes Too Wild

Social Circle, Ga.

It’s nice to see songbirds at the bird bath and rabbits hopping around your backyard. But what do you do when wildlife digs through your trash or eats up the pet food you stored in the garage?

Most people have had some sort of human-wildlife conflict issue. Why? In most cases, it is most commonly because of easy access to a food source, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“Most wildlife species will almost always take advantage of easy-to-get food source opportunities,” says Kaitlin Goode, Urban Wildlife Program Manager for the Wildlife Resources Division. “So, as homeowners, it is our job to ensure that we are keeping non-natural foods away from wildlife – for our safety, the protection of our homes and pets, and for wildlife.”

Following are some basic tips:

  • Keep items such as grills and pet food off-limits. Clean and store grills when not in use, keep pet food indoors and feed pets indoors.
  • Refill bird feeders less frequently and in small amounts.
  • Make trash cans inaccessible. Keep lids securely fastened or store trash cans in a secured location until the morning of trash pick-up.

Resources for resolving human-wildlife conflicts, including fact sheets, tips on managing land for wildlife, a list of professional nuisance trappers, wildlife rehabilitator information, and much more can be found at GeorgiaWildlife.com/preventing-wildlife-conflicts.