Wayward Wanderers

How to deal with wayward wanderers

Opossum. Photo by David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org.


Skunk. Photo by Alfred Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org.



If you want them gone, call a wildlife control operator. These professionals are best equipped to remove the perpetrator legally and humanely. Once it's gone, see what you can do to prevent more from coming in. Changing trash storage and composting practices, planting things varmints don't like to eat, and excluding them with lattice, fencing, and wire mesh all help keep them in the wild.

What they look like

Raccoons, skunks, opossums, moles woodchuck (groundhog), weasel, rabbits, foxes, and shrews—all can be a nuisance in your yard.

Where they live

Most of the time they stay away, but come to your yard when the pickin's are good. From time to time one will set up shop too close for comfort—in a crawl space, wall void, garage, under a porch, or underground in your yard.

What they do

Although some varmints carry disease—like rabies—the main concern is with their eating habits. Burrowing to find grubs can tear up your lawn, grazing on plants can wipe out your veggies, and getting into the trash can make for lawn ornaments you don't want.


StopPests Blog

Feral Cats


Wildlife webinars

Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management

See results from the Northeastern IPM Center's resources database.