Co-Existing With Native Wildlife
Coexisting with indigenous wildlife (coyotes, raccoons, skunks, foxes, opossums, etc.) presents challenges, however since these animals are native to the area, interactions are possible. Sightings of animals, including coyotes, are common in the Lombard area, especially forest preserves and conservation areas.
It is against Village Code to leave food out for wild animals. Doing so emboldens animals and may lead to unnecessary and unsafe human/animal interaction. To keep animals and people safe, do not feed wild animals.
Coyote Safety Reminders
Sightings of coyotes are quite common throughout the region. Coyotes may be more active in the spring when protecting their pups, and in the fall when older pups begin to search for their own territory.
Coyotes may also be more prone to approach people that are walking dogs, which coyotes view as a threat to their territory. Encounters may occur in wildlife/conservation areas, as well as urban areas, including yards. If you encounter a coyote, experts recommend:
- Make yourself as big as possible and make loud noises. Do not run or turn your back.
- Wave your arms, clap your hands, and shout in an authoritative voice.
- Use what you have available to you to make loud noises. These sounds can also alert neighbors.
- Throw small stones, sticks, or anything else you can lay your hands on. Remember the intent is to scare and not to injure.
- Carry a “coyote shaker," a can filled with pennies or pebbles, when entering wildlife areas.
- Spray with a hose, if available, or a squirt gun filled with water and vinegar.
Informational Resources Related to Coyotes
- Coyote Hazing: Guidelines for discouraging neighborhood coyotes from the Humane Society
- Coyote Encounters: What To Do
- What To Do If You Encounter a Coyote While Walking a Dog
Removal of Wild Animals on Private Property
The Village of Lombard/Police Department does not have an animal control department and therefore does not remove wild animals from private properties, trap coyotes, or respond to wild animal calls.
Lombard Police Officers are not licensed, trained, or legally allowed to intervene with a wild animal population, per restrictions set in place by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In the rare case where a wild animal poses a direct threat to residents in that the animal is sick or unwell, any reported situation will be individually addressed. Residents should dial 9-1-1 if they feel threatened or unsafe. Residents may also choose to hire a private company that maintains a Commercial Wildlife Removal Permit issued by the State, to remove nuisance animals from their private property. Information on contractors that are permitted to trap and relocate coyotes can be found on DuPage County’s Wildlife Animal site.
Deterring Wild Animals
You can deter wildlife 3 different ways: sight, sound, and smell.
Most wild animals are nocturnal. They naturally prefer darkness and avoid light. Motion detector lights, flood lights, or Christmas lights could help deter wildlife from approaching your property.
Willowbrook Wildlife Center suggests that a radio could be used deter wildlife. While you are in your yard, or if your dog is in your yard, a radio could deter interactions with wildlife. Wild animals tend to avoid humans and a radio (in combination with light) will add to this deterrent. Additionally, wind chime could also be used an another preventative measure.
From August to May, ammonia soaked rags or tennis balls (please use with caution in areas where dogs or children might ), or red pepper flakes as a scent deterrent. The ammonia will deter animals, but only when they are right up next to it. Which is why the site & sound options are a good idea to keep the animals at a farther distance. Willowbrook suggests that using a smell deterrent in addition to the site or sound options above. Please note: scent deterrents could cause irritation to baby animals. From May – August, scent deterrents should not be used, due their potential to irritate baby animals.
The best way to prevent a wild animal from establishing a den in your yard is to make your property less attractive to animals by following these tips:
- Use welded wire to block access to crawl spaces and areas under decks, sheds, patios and porches.
- Never feed wild animals.
- Keep pet food and water dishes inside.
- Keep grills and barbecues clean.
- Keep garbage cans inside. If this is not possible, pour 1 cup of ammonia inside each can, sprinkle black pepper on the top bags, or place ammonia-soaked rags on top of the lids and secure them with bungee cords.
- Use closed compost bins.
- Keep the ground below bird feeders and fruit trees clean.
- Install a 3-foot-high chicken-wire fence around your garden. Bury an additional foot underground to discourage digging.
- Spray plants with a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of hot sauce or garlic puree. Reapply after a heavy dew or rain.
- If skunks are digging up your lawn in search of grubs, place cayenne pepper and ammonia-soaked rags in the area, or spray it with a mixture of 8 ounces of Dawn dish soap, a handful of chewing tobacco and water.
If a wild animal has already established a den, try the techniques below, preferably two or three at the same time. After a few days of trying these techniques, pack crumpled newspaper into the entrance. If the animal is still there, it will pull the paper out. If the paper stays in place for a few days, repair any openings. USE CAUTION AND DO NOT APPROACH A WILD ANIMAL.
- Place flashlights, flood lamps, blinking holiday lights or a constantly noisy device such as a radio, alarm clock or toy in the den. Leave them on day and night — or at least during the day to disturb the animal’s sleep.
- Place ammonia-soaked rags in the den for one week. Re-soak the rags daily, and pack crumpled newspaper in the entrance to hold in the fumes. Never use ammonia between March and August; it can harm infants too young to escape.
- If you have a skunk trapped in a window well, place a rough board at a 45 degree angle inside the well. If you do not have a rough board, wrap a towel or carpeting around a board to provide traction. (Skunks aren’t good climbers.) Make sure it’s long enough to reach the top. Place fish-scented cat food or cheese at the top of the ramp to entice the skunk, which may not leave until night.
- Trapping and removing an animal is not always the solution to the problem. Removing the animal is illegal without the proper permits and only creates an open space for another animal to inhabit. A trapped adult may also leave young behind to die of starvation. Focus on removing the attraction, not the animal.
- Never move young from a den.
- Never use poisons. They’re inhumane and may be illegal. They can also result in secondary poisoning of other wild animals or pets.