ISSUED: 9-83
Thomas G. Barnes, Extension Wildlife Specialist;
Bernice Constantin, USDA / APHIS / ADC;
Thomas Edwards, Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources

Most wildlife species (defined as undomesticated animals with a backbone, excluding man) are beneficial; however, they can cause problems when they are in the wrong place at the right time. As human populations continue to increase, wildlife-human conflicts are also likely to increase.
Every wildlife-human conflict does not necessarily require control. It is long-term sustained damage that reaches some economic or personal threshold that requires corrective action. Thus, the primary objective of a wildlife damage control program is to alleviate a problem, not destroy wildlife.
Wildlife damage control methods are essentially the opposite of techniques to improve wildfire habitat. Because all wildlife require food, shelter, water and space to survive, wildlife managers try to find out which requirement is in short supply or limiting population growth if they are trying to increase the population. Managers then apply appropriate techniques to provide the limiting requirement, thus increasing population size.
Wildlife damage control seeks to eliminate or make the environment "inhospitable" by moving one or more of the essential requirements, thus reducing the target wildlife population. If this is not possible or practical, alternative actions may be taken after thorough evaluation.
There is no "cookbook" approach to dealing with animal damage problems. Each individual situation must be examined based on a variety of factors, including:
 species of animal causing the damage,
 severity of damage,
 season and duration of damage,
 legal status of the animal,
 biological and ecological considerations and value,
 available types of prevention and control methods (non-lethal and lethal) and
 economic considerations.

When control is appropriate, specific management techniques should be applied at the time, point and place where the animal is most vulnerable.
The best type of program to solve wildlife damage problems is based on the following principles:
1.In most cases it is biologically impossible to control the entire population. In addition, most damage is caused by a relatively few individuals, not the entire population. One exception is when roosting or feeding activities of some bird species conflict with human interests. In these special cases, hundreds or thousands of individuals may be involved, and special control measures are necessary.
2.When the individual animal(s) causing the problem are removed, the damage will cease. However, damage may be caused by another individual if the habitat or original attractant remains.
3.The people who experience the problem are in the best position to locate the individual animal and reduce losses promptly. In some cases, especially those involving bird roosts with hundreds or thousands of birds, the problem may be beyond the scope of the individual to resolve, and professional assistance may be necessary to solve the problem.

The first step in solving a wildlife damage problem is correct identification of the species involved. This is important because any one technique is not appropriate for all wildlife species. For example, controlling coyote damage may require trapping or snaring, while a pesticide may be more appropriate for commensal rodent (house mice, black rats, Norway rats) control or large bird roosts creating a public health hazard.

Preventive Measures
Many wildlife damage problems can be solved by applying preventive measures, such as habitat modification, barrier control or repellents. Preventive measures, the preferred methods in most cases, are most effective when damage can be predicted well in advance. Examples of preventive measures include erecting a fence to keep out coyotes or other predators or sealing off entrances into a building where hats, birds or snakes could enter.
After the initial damage assessment, the first step in managing a wildlife damage problem is to examine the food, shelter, water and space needs of the wildlife species causing the damage. Can the habitat be altered to make it less hospitable? Can the source of food, shelter or water be removed? Habitat modification generally produces long-lasting control.
If the habitat cannot be modified, can an effective barrier be placed to keep the animal from the site of damage? Effective barriers may include fences, hardware cloth, heavy sheet metal or individual tree guard tubes.
Other methods of keeping animals away from the site of damage may include using a visual, auditory or chemical repellent Visual repellents may include aluminum pie fins or foil hanging in the breeze, balloons or brightly colored plastic. Auditory repellents include any device which produces a loud noise, such as bird rockets, propane cannons or a radio playing loud music.
Chemical repellents are classified as area repellents if they produce a foul smell to keep animals away or contact repellents if the repellent produces a bad taste in the animal's mouth after chewing on the substance or produces an adverse behavioral reaction signaling other animals to move away.

The next step in managing a wildlife problem is to remove the offending animal using safe and effective methods. Various traps or snares are available which can catch animals safely and humanely. Shooting is effective in moving individual animals in rural areas. Remember, unless you are somehow exempt, you must have a valid Kentucky hunting license to shoot a firearm in the state during any season of the year.
If all else fails, a pesticide registered for that particular wildlife species can be used. Private individuals must be trained and certified in order to buy and use Restricted Use Pesticides. This training is available at your county Extension office.

After the problem has been remedied and the individual offending animal(s) removed, be sure to repair any damage to buildings or other structures. Seal all entrances where hats, birds or snakes could enter a building. These actions prevent further damage. If preventive techniques are not used, the features that attracted the animal still remain, with the possibility of another animal moving in and continuing to damage your property.

Sources of Assistance
A variety of programs and agencies provide assistance or information on managing wildlife damage problems.
The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service provides a wide range of information on prevention and control of wildlife damage. County agents and specialists receive up-to-date training on handling a variety of wildlife damage situations.
Publications are available for many of Kentucky's wildlife problems, including coyotes, moles, deer, chipmunks, rabbits, native mice, bats, snakes and woodpeckers. These publications provide details on life histories and methods for recognizing, preventing and controlling damage. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office, located in every Kentucky county, for more information.
The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage Control (USDA / APHIS / ADC) is the agency that provides most of the on-site assistance with bird damage control in Kentucky. APHIS is responsible for all major migratory bird problems, waterfowl including Canada geese and some resident nongame and non-furbearing animal problems. APHIS personnel also provide information and advice to people who have other wildlife damage problems.
Field representatives of APHIS responsible for Kentucky are located in Louisville. Other field representatives who may work in Kentucky are located in eastern, central and western Tennessee. People who have wildlife damage problems (including those from beaver) within a county which has a cooperative agreement may be eligible for on-site assistance from APHIS personnel. Contact the USDA/APHIS/ADC office in Louisville for more information.
The primary responsibility of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) is to manage and preserve wildlife and their habitat in the state. The KDFWR provides information and advice on managing wildlife populations and preventing damage from resident wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, coyote and beaver. The KDFWR also issues permits to kill nuisance animals when other appropriate control methods fail.
Some commercial pest control operators may assist people in urban areas with managing problem wildlife species. Many pest control operators will handle problems with Norway and black rats, house mice, pigeons, starlings, house sparrows, raccoons and squirrels for a fee. These companies are listed in your local telephone directory.
Commercial pest control operators must obtain a license from KDFWR for controlling vertebrate wildlife populations. This permit, along with appropriate certification and licensing through the Division of Pesticides in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, allows the use of any chemical or device approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for controlling wildlife damage.
Other sources of information and assistance include the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the
Health Department. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is responsible for consultation and technical assistance with controlling late spring, summer and early fall small (one or two trees) residential blackbird and starling roosts.
Larger bird-roosting problems must be referred to the USDA/APHIS/ADC office in Louisville. The Health Department is responsible for problems associated with commensal rodents and situations involving public health nuisances.

Laws and Regulations
Wildlife is a public-owned resource protected by federal and state laws. Before beginning any wildfire damage control program, you should determine the legal status of the animal, because laws will influence which wildfire damage control techniques can be used. The KDFWR and the U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service are responsible for laws related to wildlife protection, management and animal damage control.

Federal Agency Regulations
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended), the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (as amended) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (as amended). Because of these laws, it is illegal to kill, destroy or harm any endangered or threatened wildlife species or any migratory bird except the feral pigeon, European staffing and English sparrow.
A federal permit must be obtained before any federally protected migratory species may be taken, possessed or transported. This includes whole birds, any bird part, eggs or nest. This permit is not required only when the following conditions are present under the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act:
"Yellow-headed, bi-colored and tri-colored, red-winged, rusty and Brewer's blackbirds, cowbirds, all grackles, crows and magpies when committing or about to commit depredation upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance."

Federal permit application form requests and a $25.00 processing fee should be made to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Law Enforcement Permit Office
P.O. Box 4839
Atlanta, GA 30302
Telephone (404) 331-3555
State Regulations

The following Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Statutes (or laws) are related to wildlife damage control:
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the commissioner may, with the approval of the commission, authorize conservation officers or any other persons to destroy or bring under control in such mariner as he deems necessary any wild animals, fish or wild birds, protected and unprotected, which are causing damage to persons, property or other animals, fish or birds, or spreading diseases, and which in his judgment should be eliminated or controlled to prevent further damage.
Resident landowners, their spouses or dependent children who kill or trap on their lands any wildlife causing damage to such lands or personal property situated thereon, shall not be required to have a hunting or trapping license. Tenants or their dependent children residing upon said lands shall also have the same privilege. Upon destruction of any wildlife by the above-specified individuals, such act must be reported to the department or the resident conservation officer for the proper disposition of the carcass.
(1)No person shall take any wild bird except game birds or live raptors for which there is an open season, either under the laws of Kentucky and the regulations of the department or the laws of the United States, except those birds mentioned in subsection (2) of this section.
(2)This chapter does not protect or in any way limit the taking of the crow, the starling or the English sparrow, but any persons taking any of them must have a hunting license.
(3)No person shall take, disturb or destroy the nest or eggs of any wild birds except for raptors as prescribed by regulation.

No wildlife may be taken as the result of a fire or any type of explosives or with the aid of any mechanical, electric or hand-operated sonic recording devices, except as specified by regulation. No persons shall use smoke or gas or in any other way molest or destroy the den, hole or nest of any wildlife, nor shall any person burn a field for the purpose of driving game, except employees or agents of the department in carrying out investational,research or improvement projects.
(1)No person shall set, use, or maintain, for the purpose of taking wildlife, any steel trap unless the size and type of the trap hav been approved by the commissioner and the commission by regulation.
(2)The commissioner may approve, by regulation, any commerically manufactured trap which is designed to take wildlife alive and unhurt or to kill instantly.
(3)Subject to the provisions of KRS 150.410, it shall be lawful to use snares, deadfalls, wire cage or box traps, but no person shall set, use or maintain a snare large enough to take deer, elk, or bear.
(4)Any manufacturer designing a new trap may send a sample to the commissioner for approval or disapproval

(1)No persons shal set, use or maintain a trap for the purpose of taking wildlife unless there is attached thereto a metal tag giving the name and address o fthe person setting, using or maintaining trap. The commission may furnish a tag, at cost, to applicants therefor.
(2)Each person who sets a trap for the purpose of taking wildlife shall visit the same at least once every twenty-four (24) hours and remove any wildlife found therein.
(3)No person shall set a trap in such manner as unreasonably to endanger the life or safety of any domestic animal.