Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community title=
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community
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Source: Santa Barbara County Animal Services

Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS) advocates peaceful co-existence with our native wildlife population. Understanding the normal habits of your wild neighbors and the reasons they are attracted to your property are the key to avoiding property damage and unwanted nuisances. Most wildlife species are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. Without realizing it, you may be encouraging wildlife to visit or make themselves at home, in YOUR home!

SBCAS does not rent traps to capture wildlife and we do not recommend trapping as a solution. If your property is attractive to wildlife, trapping and removing one animal only makes room for another to move in, and does not resolve the bigger issue.

We recommend the following ways to discourage wildlife from inhabiting your property:

  • Don't leave pet food or water dishes out after dusk.
  • Secure trash cans with tight fitting lids, tied closed if necessary.
  • Keep garage doors and pet doors closed and secured after dusk.
  • Remove debris piles that provide shelter for wild animals.
  • Trim vegetation and tree branches that allow easy access to your roof and attic.
  • Pick up all fallen fruit from fruit trees.
  • Secure small domestic pets indoors and poultry in adequate outdoor caging, especially after dusk.
  • Seal entry holes in fences, under buildings, eaves, air ducts, and decks. Be sure to take precautions not to enclose adult animals or their offspring inside.
  • Don't feed wildlife.


Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN)

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN) has a team of rescuers that can transport animals if need be. Your safety and the animal’s safety are paramount.

Call the SBWCN Helpline during the hours of 9 am-5 pm at: (805) 681-1080

Please call the Helpline to speak to a wildlife representative for advice. If no one answers, please leave a detailed voicemail with your name, phone number, and the exact location and condition of the animal.

Please visit SBWCN's website for more information.

CA Department of Fish and Wildlife

Santa Barbara County Animal Services

Santa Barbara County Animal Services does not provide traps for capturing wildlife. SBCAS encourages finding ways to peacefully coexist with our native wildlife without trapping.

Prior to trapping, familiarize yourself with the State of California-Department of Fish and Wildlife Trapping Laws and Regulations. We recommend contacting a permitted trapping agency to assist you. If you decide to trap on your own, familiarize yourself with how to operate your trap and safely release animals from it. Animals must be released in the immediate area from which they were trapped. SBCAS is not responsible for releasing or relocating trapped wildlife.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services will assist with the removal of sick/injured wildlife when the animal is predominantly immobile and/or inside of a residence. To report sick/injured wildlife or if you have a related question, submit your request HERE.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services does not respond to calls for marine wildlife. Please visit the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife's website.

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biguglystick Oct 05, 2021 09:11 AM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

And PLEASE, never EVER use rodent poisons!! These poisons travel all the way up the food chain. Rat poisons are powerful and they don’t discriminate. If you don’t have children to worry about, you will still be putting your pets at risk. Dogs and cats can both be poisoned by accidentally coming in contact with rat poison.

Dogs are well known to eat almost anything and those little poison pellets just look like food to them. Pets also come in contact with dead poisoned rodents and may be exposed that way.

Rat poison kills many wild animals each year beyond just their intended rodent victims.

The most common unintended victims of rat poison are other mammals and birds such as bobcats, coyotes, foxes, hawks and owls. They can become poisoned either by directly feeding on poisons, or indirectly by feeding on rats and mice who have already ingested them. Rat poisons make it all the way up the food chain, even to mountain lions. Virtually every deceased mountain lion that has been tested in California has shown evidence of rodenticides in their systems. Some die from internal bleeding, a slow and very painful death that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.

Many of these animals are protected or even endangered species. You could be unintentionally killing wild animals and hurting our animal ecosystems. PLEASE DON'T USE RAT OR MOUSE POISONS!

SBTownie Oct 05, 2021 01:40 PM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

Thank you for this PSA. I cannot believe how often I see bait houses around town and in people's backyards I visit. So depressing. Especially when I tell them all about why it's so harmful to the environment and return a year later and the bait houses are still there. Ugh.

ParvoPup Oct 04, 2021 07:04 PM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

Raccoons and Roof Toilets - never could figure what the attraction is to pooping on a roof. I have been on the roofs of hundreds of house in this county and dang near everyone has a community pile of raccoon poop.

Maybe they appreciate a view with their number two?

MarcelK Oct 04, 2021 09:48 PM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

FondofSB Oct 04, 2021 03:01 PM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

Wildlife is a God's gift to life (and to us).
Wildlife was here way before all those "well meaning" people (who can't stand wildlife) came here.
If you are blessed (it is a blessing) with wildlife in your back yard : watch them, enjoy them, learn about their habits and leave them alone. It beats watching reruns on Netflix any time.
And while you're out there you can also watch and admire the night sky an ever changing , spectacular and awe inspiring sight !
All of this is free and available to all of us.

sacjon Oct 05, 2021 08:59 AM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

FONDOFSB - at last, I can agree. Nothing brings me more joy than talking to our squirrels and yelling at the crows (we have quite the banter). I wish more people would accept our animal neighbors instead of always trying to remove them or kill them. Leave the wildlife alone and enjoy!

Channelfog Oct 04, 2021 02:38 PM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

A note about raccoons: They are vectors for a number of diseases that can affect humans, particularly their waste. A construction worker, cleaning racoon feces from a roof before demo, went to the hospital with serious respiratory illness. As with rodent waste, spray with strong bleach/water solution and wait a while. Keep spraying while cleaning to prevent airborne dust.

a-1634220963 Oct 14, 2021 07:16 AM
Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community

You are, of course, correct, but I don't want people to freak out about raccoons. Diseases are not as dangerous to us humans as some might think, while using precautions and being educates is always the way to go. I'm glad you brought it up, ChannelFog.

There was a case of Baylisascaris (raccoon roundworm) in a child in Isla Vista decades ago but I'm not yet finding the report. The child contracted it in a sandbox or dirt playground at a kindergarten/pre-school.

"Fewer than 25 cases of Baylisascaris disease have been documented in the United States. However, it is possible that some cases are incorrectly diagnosed as other infections or go undiagnosed. Cases that are diagnosed tend to be severe.
Cases have been reported in California, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Washington and Pennsylvania. As of 2018, there were 23 published human neurological cases in the US; six of the infected persons died."

Raccoon latrines and feces:

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