Wildlife management

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), homeowners throughout Illinois have seen an increase in wildlife entering their homes and damaging their property. Since 2005, instances of nuisance wildlife invasion have nearly doubled for animals like chipmunks, coyotes, and muskrats. Skunk issues have tripled, topping out at 15,355 skunks captured in 2017 alone, IDNR reports. 

IDNR Wildlife Biologist Nicky Strahl explains why we are seeing such an increase: "Conflicts between humans and animals are likely to increase in areas of urban sprawl. As humans build out, we're removing natural habitat and displacing more wildlife, which leads to more wildlife nuisance problems. The animals have learned to take advantage of the human conditions; there is an abundance of trash and living spaces provided by humans for the animals to take advantage of." 

It is illegal to live-trap or kill most wildlife animals without appropriate permits from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Furthermore, trapping does not always resolve wildlife conflicts.


You can help deter wildlife three different ways: light, sound and smell. 

Light: Most wild animals are nocturnal. They naturally prefer darkness, so motion detector lights, flood lights or string lights could help deter wildlife from approaching your property. 

Sound: According to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, a radio or other noise machine could be used to deter wildlife. Wild animals tend to avoid humans, and a radio or other sound such as a wind chime, can be used. 

Scent: From August to May, ammonia soaked rags or tennis balls, or red pepper flakes can be used as a scent deterrent. The ammonia will deter animals, but only when they are in close proximity. Please note: scent deterrents could cause irritation to baby animals. From May – August, scent deterrents should not be used, due their potential to irritate baby animals. 


Willowbrook Wildlife Center- Living with Wildlife