Nuisance Wildlife

Skunks and raccoons and woodchucks, oh my!

Some animals thrive when living near humans but they often don’t make very good neighbors.

What to do if an unwanted guest has taken up residence near your residence
  • Stay away and don’t touch! Leave them alone! Hands off wildlife
  • Wildlife can carry diseases such as rabies, distemper, mange, etc…
  • If an animal is not leaving and is acting dangerous or aggressive and you need immediate help; contact your City, Town or Village to request assistance from the Animal Control Officer or a Police Officer.
  • If an animal has set up residence on your property and won’t leave, you may need to hire a nuisance wildlife trapper.  A list of licensed Wildlife Control Officers is available here or you may call the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation at 716-851-7000.

From the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation:

Nuisance Wildlife Species - Controlling Problems with Wildlife
  • Encounters with wildlife have become more numerous as a result of urban growth into an animal's natural habitat. Seeing an animal in the woods can be fun, but having a skunk under the porch or a woodchuck digging up your yard, is not. Information on the following pages are intended to help landowners find out how to prevent and control negative encounters with wildlife. 
Resolve Wildlife Issues
Feeding Wildlife…A Wrong Choice
  • Numerous problems arise when we feed wildlife. The intention may be to have a closer encounter with wildlife, to help animals in the winter, or to increase the number of available game animals. However, feeding wildlife interferes with a natural healthy balance between wildlife populations and their habitat. For this reason, and for many others identified on this page, wildlife biologists suggest to "just say no" to feeding wildlife. 

From the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

To protect yourself and your family from getting sick
  • Avoid hand-feeding wildlife. 
  • Avoid playing or working in areas where there are wildlife droppings.
  • Leave orphaned animals alone. Often the parents are close by and will return for their young.
  • Always wash your hands and the hands of children with running water and soap after working or playing outside, especially in areas where wildlife have been spotted.
  • By following some simple health tips, you are less likely to get sick from wildlife in the United States.
Additional Information
Related Programs

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations