Problem Wildlife is a charity run advice website which is part of the Starlight Trust

We live on a small island which is getting rather overcrowded. As we fight for space with other residents, it is inevitable there will be some clashes.

Traditionally the answer has been to shoot, gas, poison, hunt, snare or trap. But scientific studies are increasingly showing that methods which focus on removing individual animals, whether through killing them or through removing them by using a cage trap, are inferior. Quite simply, other animals remaining in the area will move in and breed to replace any killed or removed.

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to defeat, for it is momentary.

– Ghandi

Changes to the habitat are the key to humane and effective methods of wildlife control. Without removing the things which attracted the animals to the area in the first place, pest control cannot succeed as any removed individuals will be replaced by others attracted by those same things. Animals are attracted by food, shelter and by safe areas in which to nest. By identifying and removing those things, the animals can be discouraged from breeding and encouraged to disperse.

Making the habitat unsuitable to the species in question…is a much more…effective procedure for controlling the offending animals than just attempting to…remove individual animals.

– Biological control of vertebrate pests, Walter E Howard

Put simply, the ‘pest’ is a symptom, not the problem itself. Killing the pest is a bit like catching drips from a leak in a bucket. It looks like you’ve solved the problem because your carpet is no longer getting wet, but until you fix the broken pipe, more drips will keep coming.

Please follow the links in the menu above to read about how these methods can be applied to common problem species. We are happy to offer free, general advice regarding humane wildlife deterrence (just drop us an email) or we’ve gathered details of some companies which specialise in no-kill pest control here.