Love Your Wild Neighbor

Raccoons, groundhogs, and skunks are part of wild, wonderful Pennsylvania.

HAP is working on a campaign to educate residents of Allegheny County and beyond on humane harassment techniques that serve as an alternative to trapping.

Humane Wildlife Conflict Solutions

Trapping does not solve the wildlife problems Pittsburgh residents sometimes encounter, but by state law, rabies-vector species (raccoons, groundhogs, skunks) trapped by Animal Care and Control MUST be killed. So, let’s show some love to our wild neighbors; try these humane and effective tactics to resolve wildlife conflicts instead of trapping and killing!

Love Your Wild Neighbor-Raccoon trash lids bus sign

Meet HAP the Raccoon from our Love Your Wild Neighbor campaign.

Thank you to Fund for Wild Nature for their generous grant in support of this campaign

Conflict Solution Pages

Other Wildlife Resources

FAQs

  • What do I do if I have squirrels, opossums, or raccoons in my attic or under my porch?

    • Soak a few rags in ammonia and leave them around the attic for three nights in a row. Leave the lights on as well. They’ll be driven out by the smell and the light, taking any offspring with them. Once you think they’re gone, sprinkle some flour on the attic floor to show any new tracks. If none appear, be sure to seal any holes they may have entered through.
  • A bird built a nest on my porch. How should I remove the nest?

    • If you do not want birds nesting on your porch, you can either need to put up a barrier or knock the nest down as the birds are trying to build it.
  • Why is there a bird diving at me when I go outside?

    • This means there is a nest nearby. Make sure to walk outside with an umbrella. The problem will usually end within a month or two as the babies leave the nest.
  • How do I keep birds from flying into my windows?

    • This behavior is due to birds seeing their reflection and being territorial. Window decals will help distract the bird, or you may need to hang a branch in front of the window for a few weeks.
  • What do I do if I trap an opossum or a raccoon?

    • We discourage trapping because you are displacing an animal from their home and releasing them in an unfamiliar place, which can lead to death or the orphaning of babies. Here are some resources on finding a wildlife professional.
  • What do I do if I find a baby squirrel?

    • Leave the baby on the ground where you found them for a few hours to give the mother a chance to retrieve them. Once a mother squirrel realizes a baby fell out, she will come down and get them. If you have already touched the baby, don’t worry—she’ll still take them back.
  • What should I do if I find a squirrel that’s been hit by a car or is dragging its back legs?

    • Be very careful! Use gloves or a thick towel to get the squirrel into a secure box. They have very sharp teeth, and you do not want to get bitten. It is very rare for a squirrel to carry rabies, but you still do not want to put yourself at risk. Find a wildlife rehabilitator.
  • What do I do if I find an injured bird?

    • Put the bird into a box and bring them to a wildlife rehabilitator. If the bird is still able to hop around, try to corner them and throw a towel over the bird so you are able to scoop them into a box with the least amount of trauma to the bird.
  • What do I do if I find a baby bird?

    • Nestlings are small and typically naked. If the bird is a nestling, the best option is to return the bird to the nest if you see the nest. The mom will continue to feed them. If the bird is a fledgling, they will appear fluffy, with some feathers and some naked patches. They spend about a week on the ground and in low branches learning how to fly. The parents will feed them and try to keep them hidden in a bush or up against your house. There’s no need to do anything.
  • What do I do if I find a baby opossum?

    • Female opossums can carry roughly a dozen babies in their pouch. If one falls out, they don’t come back for the baby. If you find a baby opossum, they need to be brought to a wildlife rehabilitator. The same is necessary if you find a dead opossum on the side of the road with babies that are still alive
  • What do I do if I find a baby deer?

    • Leave the baby alone until you have talked to a wildlife rehabilitator! The baby deer’s mom may have hidden them and will return at dusk or evening to feed them. Do not attempt to feed the baby as it can make them sick. Take a look at our page about injured or orphaned animals.
  • What do I do if I find an injured deer?

    • Look at our list of resources for helping injured wildlife.

      You can also call the PA Game Commission: 724-238-9523.

 

Thank you to the Humane Society of the United States , Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh and Apple Pest Control for sharing many of the resources provided on these pages.

Please note, Humane Action Pittsburgh (HAP) is not a wildlife rescue and is unable to address concerns or assist with wildlife emergencies. Please utilize the resources on our website to find the appropriate organization to contact. Submissions to HAP through our contact form or email will not be able to be addressed.