Urban Wildlife
Dealing with Nuisance Animals

County, State and Federal agencies each handle different animals.  
Here are some animals and which agency can help you. 
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raccoon Raccoons

Click here (.7 MB PDF) for a paper on controlling raccoons from Iowa State Univ. Extension

Below is an excerpt from the Illinois State Department of Environmental Conservation:

As members of the bear family, raccoons are VERY strong in relation to their size. While not normally aggressive towards humans, a raccoon will defend itself if it feels threatened, or if you are in close proximity to it's offspring.

Raccoons are not commonly spotted because they are mainly nocturnal (active at night) animals. Spotting them out during the day could possibly be an indication that they are sick, or injured. Do not approach a raccoon at any time, especially one spotted during the day time.

A common household entry points for raccoons is down the fireplace chimney. By climbing down the chimney, they usually find a nice warm home on top of the damper. Unless the damper is left open, in which case they might make themselves right at home in your bedroom! Because of this it is recommended that EVERY chimney be capped with a stainless steel rain/animal guard.

There are MANY other points where a raccoon may enter your home, or property, thus causing damage, and a nuisance by it's presence. In addition to the damage and nuisance they cause, there are many diseases carried in the feces of raccoons that can pose a real threat to the well being of you and your family. Children are especially susceptible to these diseases.

Do not store food of any type where a raccoon can get it, like your garage.   They will open a bag of dog food with little trouble, so keep food indoors.  Raccoons have been known to come in through dog doors as well, so if you know there are raccoons in the area, close the dog door until they are gone.  

While they look loveable, raccoon can be vicious and attack household pets, so keep your pets indoors at night if you see raccoons. 

When they can not get food, they will move on.

 If You see an injured raccoon or can not get rid of him, call your County Sheriff or  Animal Control office
Click here for County Listings
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Brown Bear  Photo Credit: USFWSBEARS 

Bears are common in the hills of Nevada and California, around Lake Tahoe, and even in Las Vegas.  In the Spring when they awake from hibernation, they go in search of food.  If snow still covers the ground, they will often turn to man for food.   Man's food is not good for bears.  So please, don't feed them.  They don't know that man's food is not good for them, they just know it's easy to get!  

ears walk into homes and open refrigerators.  They tear open  trunks of cars.  They take pies off window sills.  They break car windows.  They rip open garbage cans.  

When bears are around, you must take precautions to protect your home and car.  Don't leave food in your car, especially when camping.  Bears can smell toothpaste on a used toothbrush, or coffee from an empty cup, and they will break through windows to get at them. 

Don't leave a door open at night, they will walk right on in.   Don't leave food on a deck unattended.  Don't put a pie on a windowsill to cool unless you stay nearby. 

Trash cans are big toy.  People that live in the mountains know to have bear-proof bins.  If you don't, place trash in a sealed bag and into a can with a tight-fitting top.  Tie a bungee cord to hold the top in place.

If you encounter a bear, DO NOT run away - they will think you are prey and run after you.  Stand still to see their reaction.  If they continue toward you, yell, stomp your feet, and act aggressive.  They will think you are their equal and leave you alone. 

Never come between a mother and her cubs.  If you see cubs, leave the area quickly.


Back to Discouraging Wildlife in Your Backyard / Nevada FWS Home Page

Link to Nevada Department of Wildlife
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