Wildlife in Central Massachusetts can be beautiful. But wildlife can also wreak havoc if they take up residence on your property. If you're dealing with a wildlife problem, it's important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding trapping and removal.
Common Wildlife in Central Massachusetts
Wildlife in Massachusetts is diverse. Even if you live in an urban area, it’s not uncommon to see wild animals roaming around occasionally. According to the Department of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, common wildlife in the area includes raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, opossums, and so much more.
Laws and Regulations on Wildlife Trapping
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, also known as MassWildlife, oversees the management of wildlife in the state. MassWildlife has established rules and regulations for trapping and removing wildlife that must be followed.
Four important points to keep in mind:
- Protected Species: Certain species of wildlife are protected by law in Massachusetts. Check out the list of endangered or threatened species. These animals may only be trapped or removed under specific circumstances and with proper permits.
- Trapping: Trapping wildlife in Massachusetts requires a valid trapping license issued by MassWildlife. Only traps designed for the specific wildlife you're targeting can be used and must be checked at least once every 24 hours. Trapped animals must be promptly and humanely euthanized. Get more information on trapping in Massachusetts.
- Removal: Removing wildlife from your property in Massachusetts requires a permit. Permits are issued on a case-by-case basis and are only granted when there is a threat to public health and safety, damage to property, or a threat to endangered species. MassWildlife warns not to move wildlife — not only is it illegal, but it’s also ineffective as the animal could return, be in danger in their new environment, or cause problems to someone else.
- Exclusions: In some cases, exclusion techniques can be used to prevent wildlife from entering or damaging your property. Exclusion involves sealing entry points and using barriers to keep wildlife out. These techniques are often preferred over trapping or removal as exclusion takes care of the immediate problem, and solves future problems.
Tips for Keeping Wildlife Away from Your Home
As always, prevention is the best defense. When it comes to wildlife, it’s important to not entice them to your property. Most animals are looking for three main things: shelter, food, and water, so tips for keeping them away revolve around those elements:
- Don't feed wildlife – and maybe rethink that birdfeeder
- Keep garbage and compost in a secure container
- Don’t feed your pets outside
- Close off crawl spaces under porches, decks, and shed
What to Do If You Have a Problem with Wildlife
Even if you’ve done your best to not invite wildlife onto your property, they could still show up. If they are just passing by, just stay back and enjoy. But if they start causing damage or threatening the safety of your family, it’s time to take action.
While you may want to try to address your wildlife issue yourself, it’s best to call in the professionals. The safest option is to request advice or a home visit from a licensed Problem Animal Control (PAC) agent. Working with technicians like the team at Ford’s Hometown Services, who are State certified with PAC licenses, ensures all legal requirements are met when dealing with wildlife.
In addition, sometimes the wildlife takes up residence in high places. Our wildlife exclusion techs are certified with OSHA for fall protection, licensed for hydraulic lifts, and trained in ladder safety.
Why risk putting yourself in a dangerous situation when there’s a trained team at the ready?