Wildlife Nuisance and Damage

Wildlife nuisance and damage problems impact residents throughout the state. As suburban sprawl increases, suburban residents, often unfamiliar with wildlife, come in contact with wildlife more frequently and many times with negative consequences to both. In agricultural areas, wildlife can cause economic damage to crops.

The following links contain information on how to minimize nuisance and damage problems.

Wildlife Disease

This fact sheet provides background about this viral disease and what animals are likely to carry and spread rabies. It also covers rabies control, what to do if bitten by any animal, and what to do with a suspected rabid animal.

This fact sheet discusses how to know if birds have the disease, what happens to infected birds, which birds are affected, what to do to prevent spread of the disease and if you find dead birds at your feeder.

Rabies fact sheet from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.


Learn how to keep woodpeckers from becoming a problem or how to lessen the problem if one currently exists.

Learn to control damage caused by Canada geese, ducks, and swans.

Learn the identities of birds that have caused problems at Pennsylvania facilities and learn various damage control methods.

Steps to keep birds from becoming a problem or to lessen the problem if one currently exists.

Learn the primary species of birds that cause damage to fruit, patterns of damage, and control methods available to growers.

This guide provides an overview of crow behavior, explaining the annual roosting cycle and what you can expect. The guide also gives a detailed account of how you can establish an urban crow management plan.


This fact sheet discusses bat biology, how to handle a single bat flying into a house or a bat colony in a house, bat-proofing techniques, legal status, and public health concerns. It includes information on making bat boxes and sources for more information.

This publication describes the important role that bats play in our environment and explains what to do if you find yourself sharing living quarters with them. It also discusses the reality behind the most commonly held misconceptions surrounding these beneficial mammals. It includes information on bat-proofing materials and bat box construction plans.

WNS refers to a white fungus on the muzzles and wing membranes of affected bats that typically die during hibernation.


Black bears are the smallest and most common of the three bear species found in North America, and the only species found in Pennsylvania. This fact sheet covers general black bear biology, damage caused by black bears, and damage control strategies.


Does fencing for forest regeneration pay? The short answer is "yes"--if you want a diverse and sustainable forest resource in the future. This publication explores the problem of deer browsing, explains how it affects forest regeneration, and compares several varieties of fencing commonly used by forest owners.

Small Mammals

Moles play a beneficial role in the management of soil and the control of undesirable grubs and insects, but homeowners may object to molehills and the shallow tunnels moles create. This fact sheet discusses mole biology, damage caused by moles, and damage control strategies.

Learn about vole biology, food habits, damage caused by voles, and damage control methods.

Learn about chipmunk biology and explores ways to control damage caused by chipmunks.


Information on rabbit biology and control methods, including exclusion, repellents, live trapping, habitat modification, toxicants, and shooting.

The woodchuck, also known as the groundhog or whistle pig, is one of Pennsylvania's most widely distributed mammals.

Tree squirrels sometimes find their way into buildings through loose siding or ventilation screens.

Skunks are nocturnal residents known for their repugnant odor, and is a cause for concern because they sometimes set up their dens close to human dwellings.

This article provides basic information for Pennsylvania landowners regarding their rights to control nuisance wildlife. Further information for many of the species mentioned here can be found in the Wildlife Damage Control fact sheet series, published by Penn State Extension. Direct additional questions to a regional office of the Pennsylvania Game Commission or your county extension office.


Snakes rarely cause actual damage, but they are often considered a nuisance when found in or around buildings.

Licensed Wildlife Pest Control Individuals

PDF, 91.3 kB

The following individuals are licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to trap and remove nuisance wildlife. These individuals set their own prices. Some charge by the hour. Others charge by the number of individuals trapped. Make sure you are aware of how charges are calculated prior to requesting assistance.


Webinars on nuisance and damage

Forest landowners often have a small number of acres close to their homes they would like to enhance for wildlife, while preventing wildlife/human conflicts close to their dwellings. Many would like to develop habitat for small game, song birds, and larger wildlife species on their land while protecting their lands for future generations. These goals are not mutually exclusive if short and long term objectives are established and management options are put in place to reach the owners; wildlife and habitat goals.

Find out who’s cohabitating in your chimney or developing an attitude in the attic or slithering through your salad greens. Check out who is dining in your den or hammering the hostas. Learn how to evict a murder of crows, a gaggle of geese or a rhumba of rattlesnakes.

Techniques that landowners and managers can utilize to attain a white-tailed deer herd that is in balance with the forest habitat.

Be part of the Green Movement. Start by enjoying the natural beauty and learn to recreate part of it in your own landscape. Be enchanted by the showiest of the native perennials and see which of these you can identify in your area.

Learn how to minimize damage from these furry critters through plant selection.

4/5/10 - The deer are coming, the deer are coming. . . and they are staying to dine on your landscape and garden plants. Find out how to co-exist with deer by planting what they least like to eat. There is hope for your garden. Presented by Linda Wiles, Monroe County Cooperative Extension.

Ever wonder who assaulted your apple tree or committed a felony on your tulips? Learn crime scene investigation techniques to learn “who done it”