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How to Deal with Common Nuisance Wildlife Species in NY

Animals are majestic when admired from afar. But, when they leave their natural habitats and enter our homes, they cause problems, and a wild animal control operator may be required. They make noise, steal food, nest in your home’s structure, cause damage, and refuse to leave, even after you’ve given them notice of eviction. And some species are physically dangerous.   

The problem with dealing with nuisance animals is that many species are protected by law and require a license for removal. Though it is possible to obtain a removal license and remove the nuisance wildlife on your own (depending on the species and situation), you could cause more issues by trying to handle the problem yourself. For example, suppose you kill a raccoon nestled within your attic’s insulation and cannot remove the carcass. In that case, the carcass will stink up your home, and your house may require serious renovations to remove and fix the problems it has caused.  

If you doubt whether you are legally allowed to handle the nuisance yourself or prefer to take the easy route, you should contact a nuisance wildlife control operator. Trust the experts to handle the critters safely and humanely.  

In what follows, we discuss the most common nuisance wildlife in New York state, categorized based on whether a permit is always, sometimes, or never required for removal. 

Animals that Always Require a Permit for Removal 

These animals will all ALWAYS require a permit for removal. Though you could obtain a DEC permit and handle the nuisance wildlife on your own, calling a wildlife nuisance control operator will ensure the animal is dealt with humanely and safely and prevent further issues from arising. 


Bats can live in your attic and carry diseases in their droppings, which can be dangerous to your family’s health and the structural stability of your house. You should always contact a DEC office when dealing with bats.  


Beavers become nuisances when they destroy your beloved trees or set up dams in troublesome areas (like drainage areas), which causes flooding, ruins crops, and harms septic systems. If you have a nuisance beaver on your property, you must contact the DEC and explain the situation to obtain a permit for removal.   


When gulls nest in or on your roof, they can cause structural damage. Their droppings can reduce the lifespan of roofs, and their nest material can clog drainage systems. All gull species are federally protected, and it is illegal to kill gulls or disturb their eggs without a permit. You are allowed to herd the birds without physically damaging them. It’s best to contact a professional for gull nuisance control, especially if they are living in a hard-to-reach area, like your roof. 


As white-tailed deers have grown overabundant in the state of New York, problems in suburban and urban areas are now common. They eat crops in agricultural areas and destroy plants in residential areas. Whether they are a nuisance or damaging property, a DEC permit is required to remove them from your property. 

Canada Geese 

Canada geese are usually migratory, but they’ve become permanent residents in New York with increasing numbers in recent years. They ruin lawns, litter areas with droppings, contaminate drinking water and may act aggressively. Canada geese remain protected by law. You do not require a permit to scare or herd them, and you can destroy their nests or eggs if you register online. In all other situations, you must obtain a federal permit. 


Mute swans are an invasive species that may grow aggressive towards people when threatened. They can also displace native wildlife, degrade water quality, and destroy aquatic vegetation. Since New York laws protect mute swans, you must obtain DEC authorization to handle or harm their nests and eggs. 

Animals that Sometimes Require a Permit for Removal 

The following wildlife sometimes requires a permit for removal, depending on the time of year and whether they are causing damage to your property. 


Everyone knows skunks for their signature foul-smelling secretion. Skunks are often found nestled under porches and sheds. It is best to call in a nuisance animal control provider to handle skunks, especially if you want to mitigate the stench. Though it is legal to kill a skunk during hunting season, it is illegal to trap and release the animal in another environment without a DEC permit. 


Raccoons are often found foraging in dumpsters and trash bins for leftovers. Once they’ve found a steady food source, they may set up shop under your home or elsewhere on your property. A DEC permit for removal is required if the raccoon is a nuisance, and you are allowed to kill the animal if it damages property as long as you bury or cremate it immediately.   


Black bears are considered nuisances when digging around your garbage for food. If they find a consistent food source, they may settle nearby and return to your property when hungry. You are allowed to remove black bears yourself without a permit if they are killing livestock, but you must contact an ECO to remove the carcass. If the bear is a threat to public safety, or if it is merely a nuisance, a DEC permit is required for removal. 


When coyotes lose their fear of humans in residential areas, dangerous interactions with pets and young children can arise. If a coyote does not flee from humans, it should be considered threatening. You are legally allowed to remove coyotes if they are damaging your property, but a DEC permit is required if it is a nuisance or threatening public safety.  

Animals that do not require a permit for removal 

Eurasian Boar 

Now rarely seen in New York, the Eurasian boar is a destructive, non-native species that often destroys crops. They also harm native wildlife and domestic livestock. If you see a Eurasian boar (or any pig-like animal), you should report the sighting to the DEC. You are legally allowed—and encouraged– to kill Eurasian boars on sight.  

In addition to Eurasian boars, you are allowed to remove the following animals yourself without obtaining any permits: 

  • Shrews. 
  • Rats and mice
  • Voles. 
  • Squirrels and chipmunks. 
  • Woodchucks/Groundhogs. 
  • Porcupines. 
  • Moles. 

The Easy and Humane Route: Call a Nuisance Animal Control Provider 

If you need to remove a nuisance animal from your property in New York, you should call WNY Wildlife & Exclusion. Our expert technicians will remove those pestering species safely, humanely, and quickly.  

Why venture up on your roof to clean gull droppings when you could hire an expert who knows what they’re doing? Call us today on (716) 203-1166. 

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