Saint Paul is home to many species of wildlife that have adopted to city life. Reports of deer, raccoons, opossums, bats, and fox are received routinely. Some animal have found ways to make themselves at home by nesting in chimneys, attics, and basements. They dig through trash cans to find food, and even eat dog feces that aren't properly disposed of.
These animals are beautiful to see from a distance, but up close encounters can be shocking.
Saint Paul Animal Control (SPAC) does not respond to calls about wildlife behaving normally in outdoor spaces. Here are some tips to keep wild animals from invading your space:
- Make sure trash is secure at all times. Trash receptacles should be kept tightly closed. Wild animals tend to live close to convenient food sources. Removing the food source is often the easiest way to evict them.
- Inspect properties regularly for places where animals can live. Make sure your chimneys are capped so animals don't nest in your fireplace. Also inspect attics, crawl spaces, and basements for holes. Wild animals may also den under porches or sheds. Inspect these spaces regularly to make sure there aren't freshly dug holes.
- Use caution repairing holes in the spring, as there may be babies already in the nest. Try playing loud music or using ammonia soaked rags to evict mother animals and their young before making repairs.
- Consider using deterrents. Sprays and other commercially available agents are designed to keep unwanted animals away and can be purchased at garden or hardware stores. Moth balls or ammonia soaked rags can also aid in deterring animals from a specific area.
- Keep gardens well-groomed and pick produce as soon as it's ripe. Wild animals enjoy many of the same fresh food sources that we do.
- Keep trees well trimmed. If trees hang over houses, animals are likely to gain access to the rooftop by climbing the tree.
SPAC will respond to certain types of wildlife calls, for example:
- Bites involving wild animals (seek treatment immediately)
- Injured wildlife, or wildlife that may be sick
- Wild animals inside a living space
- Unusually aggressive wild animals that are threatening people.
Animal Control Officers are not trappers. If you have problems with wild animals and want them trapped, consider hiring a wildlife trapper. Keep in mind that removing one wild animal may allow another to move in unless home repairs and maintenance are done to make the property less attractive to wild animals. Remember, in Saint Paul, it is only legal to trap animals that cause a hazard or danger to people or property, and the trap cannot pose a risk for children, or other animals, including non-target wild animals, pets, or birds. Leg-hold traps, snares, body squeezing traps and other types of lethal traps are prohibited. (Saint Paul Ordinance 196).
For more information about wild animals, visit the Humane Society of the United States' Wild Neighbors site.
If you have questions, contact our Animal Control office at 651-266-1100, or email the DSI Message Center.