All five Animal Humane Society locations will be closed September 1 in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

Nuisance Gophers & Moles

Gopher and mole deterrents

Odor deterrent
1 tbs. oil of peppermint (not peppermint extract)
1 tsp. chili powder
½ oz. Tabasco Sauce™
1 pt. cold water

Mix ingredients together and dip cotton balls into the solution. Drop the cotton ball down a gopher or mole hole.
*You can also place drops oil of peppermint or citronella on cotton balls and place into holes as well.

Rodent Rocks
This commercial product is lava rocks that have been treated with a garlic and onion solution that produces an offensive odor to the gophers and moles. Bury the rocks about 6 inches down in areas where they have been feeding on your plants. Rain amounts may affect the product’s efficacy.

Pepper based deterrent
Cover all holes with a rock. Mix 1 lb. cayenne pepper with ¼ lb. garlic powder. Lift each rock, spray mixture into hole, and recover with rock. Do not water the area for 24 hours after the treatment.

Colored Bottles
Burying colored glass bottles around a garden has been effective in deterring gophers and moles. They apparently see their reflection and get scared away. Bury the bottle about 6 inches underground.

Sound Waves
Moles and gophers are sensitive to sound waves so placing a radio underground playing hard rock music very loudly will assist in getting them to vacate your yard. You can bury the radio in a plastic bag — be safe regarding rain and the use of electrical appliances! There are also commercially available poles you can insert into the ground that emit sonic tones.

Used kitty litter
Try placing used kitty litter into a mole tunnel. The scent will deter them.

Control the Grubs
Grubs are the main food source for moles. If you take action to curb your grub population the mole population will follow.


We strongly discourage live trapping for the following reasons:

1. It is futile. Studies have found that an area or habitat will hold a limited number (carrying capacity) of any one species of animal. It will hold no more than that because the over-abundant population is reduced by food scarcity and predators. But the fact that is even more significant is that the area or habitat will also hold no fewer than the established number. So, by live trapping and taking some animals from the area other animals of that species will move in.

2. Live trapping frequently results in the death of a trapped and relocated animal due to the stress and trauma of the situation, carrying capacity of habitat introduced to, resident animals defending their territory, and food scarcity. Also, another special concern is the spread of disease by unnaturally relocating animals. Add to that death count the fact that the trapped animal may be a lactating female who leaves behind babies to the painful death of starvation and dehydration.

3. We have seen an increase in animals that injure themselves frantically trying to escape live traps. This injury is not the intent of the trapper and often that animal then needs medical attention, rehabilitative care and occasionally surgery to repair the injury.

Nuisance Deer

Deer deterrents

Listed below are a variety of non-toxic methods that will assist with deterring deer. Any solution that is applied or sprayed on an area will need to be reapplied after rain. These recipes should also not be used on plants used for human consumption as they will affect the taste, hence why they deter the deer!

Fish based deterrent
3 tbs. finely ground kelp
1 c. fish emulsion
3 tbs. Ivory™

Mix the above together and add enough water to make spraying easy. Apply directly to plants and trees.

Blood based deterrent
1 tbs. dried blood (garden stores)
4 cloves powdered garlic
2 gal. cool water
Mix ingredients into water and spray onto desired areas. Use sparingly as this recipe may burn plants due to its high nitrogen content.

Pepper based deterrent
1 tbs. cayenne pepper
3 tbs. kelp
3 tbs. liquid hand soap
½ tsp. oil of peppermint (not peppermint extract)
1 pt. warm water
Mix ingredients together and spray onto desired areas.

Plants that naturally deter deer:

  • Rotunda Chinese holly
  • Foxglove
  • Mexican oregano
  • Mint
  • Wormwood
  • Spearmint
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Madagascar periwinkle
  • Artemisias
  • Variety of thorny bushes

Nuisance Coyotes and Fox

Nuisance coyotes and fox

Coyotes and fox can be beautiful yet intimidating animals to have in your area. Over the past few years there has been an increase in these animals inhabiting urban neighborhoods due to the destruction of their habitat by the ever increasing number of housing developments in the suburbs and farther out. Due to this habitat loss these animals are forced to learn to live around human developments and our activity.  Although they rarely will pose a threat to humans unless approached, coyotes can pose a threat to small dogs and cats that are outside unmonitored or free-roaming. If you have a fox or coyote in your neighborhood it is best to alert your neighbors to their presence, teach children to respect wildlife, never approach or harass them, and follow the tips below.

To discourage coyotes or foxes from coming around your area:

  • Do not feed the coyotes or fox.
  • Keep all dog/cat food inside, especially at night.
  • Secure garbage cans with tight fitting lids; preferably keep them in a garage or enclosure so they cannot be tipped over.
  • Keep compost in a fenced area or a large secure container, not open piles.
  • Clean up around bird feeders — coyotes will eat spilt bird seed.
  • Don’t let your pets free roam outdoors; occasionally coyotes will eat small dogs or cats. Also watch your pets while outside if you know coyotes are present in your area.
  • If you see a fox/coyote make lots of noise and scare it away — do not let them become habituated to people.
  • Fences greater than 6’ tall with no gaps at ground level (they are good diggers) will help keep them out of your yard.

We strongly discourage live trapping for the following reasons:

1. It is futile. Studies have found that an area or habitat will hold a limited number (carrying capacity) of any one species of animal. It will hold no more than that because the over-abundant population is reduced by food scarcity and predators. But the fact that is even more significant is that the area or habitat will also hold no fewer than the established number. So, by live trapping and taking some animals from the area other animals of that species will move in.

2. Live trapping frequently results in the death of a trapped and relocated animal due to the stress and trauma of the situation, carrying capacity of habitat introduced to, resident animals defending their territory, and food scarcity. Also, another special concern is the spread of disease by unnaturally relocating animals. Add to that death count the fact that the trapped animal may be a lactating female who leaves behind babies to the painful death of starvation and dehydration.

3. We have seen an increase in animals that injure themselves frantically trying to escape live traps. This injury is not the intent of the trapper and often that animal then needs medical attention, rehabilitative care and occasionally surgery to repair the injury.

Nuisance Wildlife

Nuisance wildlife

Animal Humane Society does not trap and remove nuisance animals. Please review our nuisance wildlife library for tips on how to deter specific nuisance wildlife from your property.

Resources for dealing with nuisance wildlife

General tips for evacuating nuisance wildlife

You have several options when managing wildlife that has nested in your house. One option is to let the mother raise her young and after they vacate, clean out the area and seal the entrance (chimney cap or carpentry work) to prevent other animals from using this area in the future. 

If you need the animals vacated, the next two ideas should be used in conjunction with each other for optimal success. Place a radio as close to the inhabited area as possible and tune it to a talk radio station. Turn the volume up as loud as possible. Leave the radio going for 72 hours straight. This noise sends the message this area is unsafe for a mother and her young. 

The other method, to be used in conjunction with the radio, is to place ammonia soaked rags in tin cans in and around the inhabited area. The ammonia creates an unpleasant smell and atmosphere and the mother will want to raise her young elsewhere. Again, clean out the area and repair the entrance. 

Your last option would be to hire a humane pest resolution service. It is of utmost importance that you choose a service that will reunite the young with their mother and offer solutions to your particular situation. See our recommended questionnaire for choosing a pest resolution service.

We strongly discourage live trapping for the following reasons:

  • It is futile. Studies have found that an area or habitat will hold a limited number (carrying capacity) of any one species of animal. It will hold no more than that because the over-abundant population is reduced by food scarcity and predators. But the fact that is even more significant is that the area or habitat will also hold no fewer than the established number. So, by live trapping and taking some animals from the area other animals of that species will move in.
  • Live trapping frequently results in the death of a trapped and relocated animal due to the stress and trauma of the situation, carrying capacity of habitat introduced to, resident animals defending their territory, and food scarcity. Also, another special concern is the spread of disease by unnaturally relocating animals. Add to that death count the fact that the trapped animal may be a lactating female who leaves behind babies to the painful death of starvation and dehydration.
  • We have seen an increase in animals that injure themselves frantically trying to escape live traps. This injury is not the intent of the trapper and often that animal then needs medical attention, rehabilitative care and occasionally surgery to repair the injury.

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