Trapping & Deterrence

I have animals in my attic/garage or under a deck/shed.

Live trapping is a last resort. Live traps can catch non-target animals and the release of the trapped animals is the responsibility of the trapper. It is best to try humane exclusion techniques before resorting to live trapping. This allows no contact with the wild animal and allows the animal to choose a new home which will improve its likelihood of survival. Below are exclusion techniques to follow:

  • Secure any source of food you may be providing.
  • Place ammonia soaked rags in the area of activity.
  • Play loud music in the area of activity.
  • Shine a light directly in the area of activity for 24 hours a day.
  • Limit burrowing access by burying wire mesh 1 ½ feet deep (curve the last 6 inches outward) in any problem areas.
  • Allow at least 3 days for exclusion techniques to work. If the animal is still in the space after that time, live trapping would be the next option.

As early as February, some animals begin nesting and having babies. You can encourage the mother to leave on her own by following the above instructions. If she has babies, she will take them with her to a new nesting area. The mother will need time to find a new nest and move the babies, which may take a few days. Please watch for any activity and look for babies before closing access holes.

If you must live trap, traps should be checked 3-4 times a day. Animals can do significant damage to themselves in live traps if left for too long and they will dehydrate quickly. Be aware that the trapped animal may have babies nearby, so look for babies before relocating. As dictated by state regulation, rabies vector species must be released within 10 miles (5 miles for skunks) of the capture location.

For more information, please read the New Jersey Wildlife Relocation Policy (PDF).

As a result of habitat loss, wild animals are forced to live closer to humans. Live-trapping and relocating does not guarantee that another animal will not move in and take its place in the future.