As Central Ohio continues to grow, the abundance of wildlife is adapting to dwindling natural habitats and capitalizing on the new food sources and nesting opportunities. Most times we can coexist peacefully with the beautiful array of birds, rabbits, squirrels, and other creatures that take up residence in our yards and public parks, but some wildlife can become unwelcome “tenants,” causing destruction to property and, in some cases, posing a health risk.
When faced with these types of nuisances, it’s important to address them in a way that adheres to the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s control laws and recommendations and for all of us to take the following measures as a matter of routine practice:
Avoid Intentional Feeding of Wildlife
- Do not intentionally feed deer. Fed deer can lose their fear of humans and lead to behaviors that may become aggressive. Feeding deer can also be deadly for the animals and altering their diet can upset their digestive system. Additionally, feeding can congregate deer near roadways, increasing the risk of collisions.
- Limit how much bird feed you place in feeders. Put out only enough for the daytime and regularly remove any birdfeed that falls to the ground.
- Avoid summertime bird feeding as some species take their newly fledged babies to feeders, leading them to not recognize the native foods that are needed to sustain themselves in late summer for migration.
- If you feed pets outside, only leave the food out for as long as it takes for your pet to finish eating.