Are deer foraging in your garden? Did you spot a rattlesnake while walking your dog? Has a raccoon made itself comfortable under your house? You must live close to the foothills! Due to urbanization, land development, and climate change, native animals have been displaced from their habitats and have adapted very well to living near humans. Pasadena Humane offers suggestions that will help diffuse conflicts and help us coexist humanely with wildlife.
There are many humane alternatives to trapping wild animals, and we are available to assist you. Check our events page to sign up for wildlife presentations and workshops.
If you believe you have found sick or injured wildlife, please call or text the wildlife helpline at 626.344.1129 (text is preferred) between the hours of 9am-5pm. Please note, this is not an emergency service and we will return your message as soon as we are able. General inquiries about wildlife can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has jurisdiction over all wildlife in California. Pasadena Humane does not tranquilize, trap or capture healthy wildlife. If requested, we will respond to calls only to assess the situation and consult the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for any further action.
Black bears are the only bears local to Southern California. They are typically timid and nonaggressive, unless defending their young, and prefer to avoid people. But certain conditions can drive them towards humans. When bears become “food conditioned,” they will seek human food out instead of finding their own natural foods. Fires and droughts can also force bears and other wildlife further in their search for food and water.
What do if you see a bear
The normal human reaction to encountering a bear is to freeze or run away, which actually sends the bear the wrong message; you need to let the bear know that it needs to leave! First, make sure the bear has a safe escape route. When you are a safe distance from the bear, make eye contact and yell at the bear. If you have bear spray, make sure you are upwind of the bear before using it. Download this PDF.
Tips to discourage bears from visiting your property
- Do not put out trash cans the night before pick up.
- Store garbage cans in a garage or closed shed.
- Keep garbage cans clean. Deodorize and disinfect them with bleach or ammonia.
- Promptly collect fruit that falls from trees. Harvest fruit as soon as it’s ripe.
- Remove plants that attract bears, including dogwood.
- Eliminate bird feeders during spring and summer when there are natural foods available for birds.
- Eliminate compost piles.
- Keep barbecue grills clean and free of drippings.
- Consider purchasing bear spray and keep it next to your front and/or back door.
Skunks are primarily solitary animals. Just like humans, they have five toes on their front and hind feet. They have elongated nails that aid them in digging for insects and grubs. Skunks are omnivorous and will eat a variety of insects, wild fruits, and small vertebrates, like mice and eggs of ground nesting birds. Their only natural predator is the great-horned owl.
Benefits of skunks
Despite their bad reputation, skunks do bring a few benefits. Skunks are excellent at rodent and insect control, including pests like black widow spiders and scorpions. Skunks also help to keep roadsides clean by eating carrion.
What to do if a skunk sprays you or your pet
You can buy a skunk odor remover or make your own at home. If you choose to purchase one, we recommend Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, available at the Pasadena Humane Society Shelter Shop.
This remedy can be used on both pets and humans that have been sprayed.
- One quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
- Rubber gloves
Mix all ingredients. Wearing the rubber gloves, wet down your pet and massage the mixture through the animal’s fur or on your own skin for three to four minutes. Rinse.
For more information on deterring skunks, download this PDF.
Peafowl are ground feeding birds with very strong legs. Their diet consists mostly of insects. During the summer breeding season, males will grow ornamental feathers and display themselves to females. One male typically lives with two to five females.
Since being introduced to California in the 1940s, peafowl have adapted to residential environments. Peafowl can be a nuisance as they can be noisy and messy. They can devour newly planted flowerbeds, soil lawns, driveways and destroy rooftops.
How to deter peafowl
- Avoid keeping compost on your yard
- Keep animal food indoors
- Landscape your yard with plants peafowl do not like
- If peafowl do show up, use sprinklers or hoses to scare them off your property
- For more tips on dealing with peafowl, download Deterring Peafowl and Deer
Plants peafowl dislike
- Birds of Paradise
- Painted Daisy
- Pink Lady
- Snap Dragons
Named for their large ears, mule deer are the most common type of deer in our foothills. Mule deer are herbivores. In spring and summer they feed on green leaves, herbs, weeds and grasses. In fall and winter they typically feed on twigs, various shoots and woody plants. They are especially fond of berries, grapes, mushrooms and alfalfa.
Deer are seasonal breeders, usually having one to four fawns in late spring or early summer. Mothers often leave their young while they go out and forage, so it is not concerning to see young deer by themselves. Mothers may aggressively attack if they see you with their young, and their fawns if they smells like humans.
How to deter deer
- Provide deer safe fencing around your yard. Fencing should be at least 8 feet tall, consisting of solid wood or openings no larger than 4 inches wide. The top surface should be flat (deer can become stuck in fences or impale themselves on top of fences).
- Stiff plastic netting can be used to cover individual trees and bushes
- Make your lawn “deer proof” by planting landscape deer do not like
- Use of motion detected lights and scarecrows can scare deer off
- Noise such as aluminum pie pans and tin cans rattling in the wind can scare them off
- Hang bars of soap, crushed garlic or human or dog hair in stockings from trees. Deer are very sensitive to smell
- Deer repellent formula: Blend 4 eggs, 2oz. of red pepper sauce and 2 oz. chopped garlic with enough water to make 1 quart. Spray plants with repellent
- Landscape with deer-deterring plants, trees and flowers
- For more tips on peacefully coexisting with deer, download this PDF.
Deterring Wild Animals
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