Bears are foraging and deer are grazing again in Rappahannock County as we move into April. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries explains how property owners can best prevent or resolve conflict with wildlife through these easy techniques:
— If you are feeding wildlife, stop. This will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.
— Keep trash inside or else place trash in an animal proof container, such as a metal trash can with latches on the lids.
— Do not leave pet food outside; keep pet feeding areas clean.
— Remove bird feeders when species, such as bears, have been seen around them.
— Close up all openings under and into buildings. Animals look for places to den and raise their young don’t give them that opportunity.
— Clear overhanging tree limbs and branches that may be providing wildlife access to structures.
— Clear fallen fruit from around trees.
— Reflective tape, lights, or noise sometimes works in keeping animals at a distance, but they will eventually grow accustomed to these methods, so this is only a temporary solution.
— Electric fencing can be very effective in keeping wildlife out of crops, beehives and structures.
— It is illegal in the State of Virginia to trap and relocate an animal to another area.
If these techniques do not solve the problem, you can contact a licensed trapper or critter removal service that you can find in your local phone directory.
Pass along this information to your neighbors. If anyone in the neighborhood is feeding wildlife directly, or indirectly, it can cause trouble for everyone.
If you are experiencing a problem with wildlife, please dial the toll-free Virginia wildlife conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003.