As Central Ohio experiences rapid growth, the abundance of wildlife that was here long before humans began changing the landscape has been adapting to dwindling natural habitats and even capitalizing on the new food sources and nesting opportunities brought about by human development. Most times we can coexist peacefully and many enjoy seeing and teaching our children about the beautiful array of birds, rabbits, squirrels and other creatures that take up residence in our yards and public parks.
Some wildlife can become unwelcome “tenants,” causing destruction to property and, in some cases, posing a health risk. Some of these species face dwindling numbers as the result of various environmental pressures. Some play a positive role in the suburban wildlife environment, helping to keep mosquito and rodent populations at bay. For these reasons and others, when faced with a wildlife nuisance situation, it’s important to address it in a way that adheres to the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s control laws and recommendations.
It’s often the case that issues with wildlife are the result of human oversight, so the City advises all residents to take the following measures as a matter of routine practice:
Correct Management of Trash and Recycling
- Place trash and recycling out weekly for pickup. Do not allow trash to accumulate on your property.
- Bag your trash and don’t overfill your trash container to be sure the lid is securely closed.
- Place containers at the curb no sooner than the evening prior to your regular collection day.
- Once collected, return trash containers to an enclosure, such as a garage or shed.
The Correct Way to Compost
- Pick a compost bin made of hard plastic with a secure lid.
- Rodent proof your enclosure or compost bin.
- The compost bin should be the furthest distance possible from your home (taking care not to place it close to a neighbor’s home).
- Follow recommended practices for effectively maintaining a compost bin.
Maintain Your Yard
- Don’t let yard waste piles accumulate (leaves, branches, brush, etc.).
- Regularly cut grass and weeds in the growing season.
- Haul away any leftover building/project materials.
- Stack firewood on racks or pallets that are at least six inches off the ground.
Remove Possible Food Sources
- Clean up any pet waste daily.
- Store any food kept outside or in your garage in rat and mice-proof containers, such as galvanized cans with tight-fitting lids.
- Limit how much birdfeed you place in feeders. Put out only enough for the daytime and regularly remove any birdfeed that falls to the ground.
- If you feed pets outside, only leave the food out for as long as it takes for your pet to finish eating.
- Pick up any fallen tree fruit or garden vegetables.
Explore tips on recognizing the various signs that different species may have taken up residence on your property and what to do to solve the issue.