Why You Should Not Relocate Wildlife In California

Whether it’s a raccoon living in the attic or an opossum under the deck, at some point, you’re probably going to have to deal with a wildlife infestation problem as a California resident. When this happens, you might be tempted to trap and relocate it because you do not want to harm or kill the animal.

But despite your good intentions, relocation comes with deadly consequences. In this post, we explore why you mustn’t relocate wildlife in California.

  • It is illegal

Wildlife relocation is illegal in California, as well as many other states in the United States. State law stipulates that trapped nuisance wildlife such as skunks and raccoons must be released at the site of capture.

Violation of relocation laws is punishable by a fine of anywhere between $300 and $2,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail for up to a year, or both.

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  • It doesn’t solve the problem.

If you have a wildlife infestation, chances are it was attracted because of the availability of resources. This can be the presence of food or shelter. You can choose to capture and relocate the wildlife, but that doesn’t address the root cause.

Why? As long as those attractants are still available, the relocated wildlife is going to be replaced by other wildlife. When this happens, you’re back to square one.

  • Relocation increases the mortality rate of wildlife

Several scientific studies – like one conducted on raccoons in Toronto – have found that relocating wildlife significantly reduces their chance of survival by up to 50% in the first three months.

Think about this: a relocated wildlife is usually released in a new environment it doesn’t understand. Hence, it struggles to get all the resources it needs (for example, food and shelter) as it has to compete with native species. More often than not, they lose.

  • Risk of orphaning wildlife babies

Wild animals like opossums usually reside in attics, chimneys, and under houses because it makes for the perfect spot to build their nest: it is safe, warm, and comfortable. In addition,  If you need more specific information on how to control opossums? Visit opossumpestcontrol.com to learn more.

When you relocate wildlife, you risk separating a mother from her babies. When this happens, the babies are left without parental care, and in most cases, they do not make it. At the end of the day, you end up with carcasses of dead wildlife in your house, which is a bigger problem.

  • Risk of diseases

Wild animals are carriers of several diseases. For instance, from the raccoon information provided by wildlife removal companies, raccoons are potential carriers of rabies, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, and other deadly diseases.

When you relocate infected wildlife, you introduce new strains of diseases to the new environment. Native species that haven’t developed protective mechanisms against such diseases may suffer.

Since many of these diseases are zoonotic, humans are also at risk of contracting them.

Alternative Solutions

So, if relocation of wildlife is a terrible idea, then what should you do about your wildlife infestation problem?

There are two effective long-term solutions to consider:

  • Removing attractants

When you remove whatever is attracting wildlife to your property, you make your property less attractive to them. Eliminate easy access to food and shelter in your yard.

  • Exclusion

The Exclusion allows you to prevent wildlife from gaining access to select areas. For instance, if you have a squirrel in your attic, you can install an exclusion device in the entry hole. Once the squirrel leaves through the device, it is unable to get back in.