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Landowners’ Guide to Wildlife Control and Prevention Laws in Pennsylvania

T his publication provides basic information for Pennsylvania land- owners 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, pub- lished by Penn State Cooperative Extension. Direct additional questions to a regional office of the Pennsylvania Game Com- mission or your county extension office.

Control and Prevention Methods

Described below are various methods for controlling or preventing damage by nuisance wildlife. See the table to find out which methods may be used to control particular species. Remem- ber that using more than one control method will give the most beneficial results.

Habitat modification Modifying habitat is adjusting prac- tices at home or on commercial lands to deter wildlife habitation. Such practices include keeping lands well manicured, containing garbage and food properly, reducing food avail- ability through the use of insecticides and herbicides, and installing fencing around potential nesting or feeding sites.

Frightening Frightening discourages habitation by causing the animal to leave on its own. Methods include shooting shell crack- ers; regularly detonating gas exploders to scare mammals or birds; and using predator or distress calls, electronic and vibration devices, and scarecrows.

Repellents Repellents are chemicals that, when applied, deter wildlife habitation and feeding.a

Toxicants Toxicants are chemicals that, unlike repellents, kill or harm the animal or bird.a

Fumigants Fumigants are substances or mixtures of substances that produce gas, vapor, fume, or smoke intended to destroy rodents. Because of the complex nature of rodent burrows, fumigants often are not effective when used alone.a

Kill trapping and live capture In most cases, the use of traps where permitted is most effective. Various traps are available, depending on the situation. Live capture traps, like cage traps or box traps, can be set and left alone until the target species triggers them. All traps must be checked every 36 hours. Kill trapping may require a furtakers’ license or permit from the Game Commission.

a. When using any chemical, read the label carefully for application methods and warnings. Use of certain chemicals requires permits and/or licenses. Contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Licensing (717-783-3959).

College of Agricultural Sciences Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension

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