croll down for common problems answered

Occasionally you can run into problems. Such as attracting things you don't want to. I had just finished putting out deer food and wait till this picture loads to see what happened. You won't believe it!!!!!


As you can see by this picture, sometimes you get more than you were asking for. These feeders we made me and my Dad. We had just filled them and this giant flock of blackbirds ate everything. There were thousands they were everywhere!!!

Commonly Asked Problems

Real questions written by real people  to my Dad with his answers

Just check here and on the Wildlife Forum before you write him. His name is Kevin by the way. He gets a lot of mail and spends a lot of time answering the letters . Please let him know how you made out, not that many people do. He likes to know if his tips help, so he can improve and add to them. Thanks Lindsay









Chipmunks Problems

  1. Question- Help ! my garden is over run with chipmunks..though I do enjoy their scampering about. my home is for sale and a potential buyer was quite concerned and expressed her concerns by saying .. "If I do buy this house the Chipmunks must be gone!"
    So what advice can you offer ?

    I am in Central New Jersey and my back is sort of lightly wooded..but these little guys are in my front pachysandra also..
    Please Please send me any hints you may have in your bag of magic tricks

    • Answer

      • First you should get rid of as much food, that the chipmunks might be eating. Chipmunks eat a wide variety of things, if you have bird feeders, empty them and clean up underneath. Rake up acorns and other nuts and berries if you can. Chipmunks will also eat pet food, so if you are feeding your pets outside stop. Chipmunks can be caught pretty easily with live catch box traps the more traps you have the better.

      • Also, you might have better success with box traps if you leave the door wired open so the chipmunks can go in and out without getting caught for a while. This will get the whole colony used to going in and they will feel safe, once they are going in regularly, remove the wire that holds the door open. When you catch a chipmunk either remove him from the trap as soon as possible or move the whole trap, chipmunk and all into your garage or basement, someplace where the other chipmunks can't see him. Might sound a little crazy but you don't want the other chipmunks to see the trapped animal. You sound like you have quite a few to catch and this really helps.

      • Here is a good chipmunk bait recipe for you to try, mix together some chunky peanut butter, chopped pecans and strawberry preserves. Try to put out bait and traps in a few different areas. I am working on a home made repeating chipmunk trap, but it is not ready yet. I'll let you know as soon as it is.

      • I hope this helps, let me know how you make out or if you need further assistance.
        Thanks and good luck,


>I read your answer to the Central New Jersey person who was trying to sell

>their house and had too many chipmunks. Interestingly enough, I also live

>in Central New Jersey! Here's our problem

>On the first warm weekend in spring, we decided to grill out. When we took

>off the vinyl cover and opened up the gas grill, we discovered many many

>many sunflower seed shells all over the inside of the grill! As well as a

>soft little bed made from the inside of our grill mitt! Considering the

>maneuvering that an animal would have to do to get inside the grill, we

>figured it was a chipmunk. Plus we often see a little chipmunk scurrying

>across our back patio (where our grill is kept). We cleaned out the grill,

>but he keeps making visits (evidenced by more sunflower seed shells)!

>Unfortunately, we cannot get rid of the food (your first suggestion) as we

>live in a condominium complex of townhouses and our next-door neighbors have

>multiple birdfeeders -- his source of sunflower seeds. Regarding your

>second suggestion, where would we buy a live catch box trap? And where

>would be the best place to take the little guy if we do catch him? I really

>don't mind having him around, I am just getting tired of cleaning up after

>him every time we grill (which is quite often now that summer is almost


>Thanks for any insights you may have!


You can get a Havahart box trap in the Home Depot. I think the chipmunk size trap costs $20.00 You can make a simple chipmunk trap yourself. All you need is a bucket, some string, a small stick, a piece of plywood, a little peanut butter and a strawberry.

All you have to do is put the plywood on the ground, put the bucket upside down on top of the plywood. Next tie a short piece of string to a strawberry, tie the other end of the string to a small stick, the stick should be no bigger than 3". Dip the strawberry in peanut butter, prop up the bucket with the stick, put the peanut butter strawberry under the bucket, it should go in the center of the bucket, it the string is too long, just wind it around the bottom of the stick until it is the right length.

Now your trap is set, make a trail of sunflower seeds leading under the bucket, when the chipmunk sees or smells the strawberry and tries to take it he'll pull the stick out and you got him. Now just turn the bucket over with the plywood on top for a cover and you can transport him to his new home.

If you put some weight on top of the bucket when setting the trap it will close faster.

I think you should release the chipmunk in an area where you have seen other chipmunks.

Good luck in catching your barbecuing chippie, let me know if you catch him. Chipmunks usually like to live underground so I think it is a possibility that you have a mouse living in that grill. I hope not.

Hey, have you got any nestboxes set up for bluebirds? I would like to see more people setting up bluebird boxes in NJ.

Hope this helps



Fox Problems


we have a problem. there were some red foxes living in an empty lot next to our house. one got hit by a car and died during the late summer. there is still one back there, as far as we know there is only one more. our problem is that someone bought that property and is building apartments on it. they have lots of dirt already. they are starting to do work on it today. we would like the fox to come live in our yard where it will be safe.

we need some ideas to help it know we would like it to live on our property. we have a lot of room in our back yard. I saw it just last week at night going in front of our house and into the neighbor's driveway.


You can try attracting the fox to your yard by leaving out food for him. Foxes love fresh fish but will eat a wide variety of food, including table scraps. Feeding will probably get him to visit your yard but if you want him to stay, your yard will have to be a habitat which is suitable for him to live.

Don't worry about the fox losing his lot, I'm sure he has a few other places already picked out that he will use when the lot is no longer available. Maybe he is already using your yard more than you realize. Foxes are most active at night.

A foxes home range is fairly small, about 1 sq. mile. So even if he has to move out of the lot, he will still be close by. The best way that I know of to attract fox is to have a lot of mice around. The next time you see that fox, and you want to get him to come closer, try making a squeaking noise by "kissing" the back of your hand.

Anyway, try not to get too friendly with the fox, and don't worry too much about his safety. His survival instincts are among the best and he is able to adapt to his changing surroundings, usually with great success.



We hear this God offal sound in the middle of the night, it sounds unnatural.

It sounds like a child screaming for its life. I know it is not a cat, I

was wondering if it was a fox. It usually happens between 1am and 5am. My

neighbor has seen a fox in his yard and we think that is it. What do you

think? We have dogs, is a fox a threat to a dog? I would appreciate an

answer. Thank you.



You are correct, what you are describing sounds like a Red Fox to me, they make a blood curdling scream. There is a site on the web where you can download fox sounds it is Adam's Fox Box.

The foxes are not a threat to your dog. The foxes diet consist of mainly insects, small mammals, like mice and voles and berries. Don't worry about the dog, a fox would most likely run away if he sees your dog.

On the other hand a rabid fox would be a threat to both humans and animals.

Good Luck with the fox, .

Kevin, Lindsay's dad


Squirrel Problems

  • Question- We have a terrible problem with squirrels living in our attic. We can't get them out . Do you have any ideas?

  • Answer

OK, I think the safest way would be to trap them with live traps from the ground. Sometimes towns and animal shelters have traps that they will loan you. If you catch some squirrels make sure you release them far away, like maybe 10 miles. Working from a ladder can be dangerous, especially if a squirrel comes running out when you are on the ladder. I have stabilizers on my ladder that I got from the Home Depot. If the squirrels have made holes to get in the eaves you have to cover them with metal, make sure there are no squirrels inside or they will make a new hole to get out. If there are other spots where the squirrels can get in you have to cover all of them with metal because the squirrels might chew the wood to get in again.

If you don't make it really hard for the squirrels to get in you might have to keep on trapping them because new squirrels might come after you have caught the ones that are living there now. If you set up some nest boxes in the trees, hopefully the squirrels will move in there instead of your house. They are fun to make and you can get the wood for free if you go to where a new home is being built and ask for some plywood or pine from the scrap pile. We enjoy our squirrel nest boxes tremendously , especially watching the babies.

You can also try putting a radio in the attic tuned to a talk show playing really loud and lots of animals move on.

Most important make sure there are no baby squirrels in the attic also. You can't relocate the mother with her babies because she will have no nest to bring them to and they will die. Here you have three choices.

1. Wait for the babies to be grown on their own

2. Lure the mom out with a nest box and food

3. If you can't wait your only option is to catch the mother and release her and get the babies to a squirrel rehabber

If you can reach the nest in your attic nock it   with a broom or some kind of a pole, after that you have to keep bothering the squirrels each time you see them trying to make another nest.  You might just be in for a lot of work huh? You might even have to hire a professional


-Baby Squirrels

Hello! We have three abandoned baby squirrels in our yard. Their mother was hit by a car. Could you give us some advice on how we can care for and feed them? Any input you might have would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks for your time


A squirrel lover


If the baby squirrels are outside in a nest you should get them inside and warmed up. Put them in a box with some towels and maybe a hot water bottle under the towels. Keep them in a warm spot away from drafts.

I have had some experiences with raising baby squirrels and I can tell you it is not easy. They take up a lot of time, need a lot of care and they die rather easily if not cared for properly. The younger the squirrel, the harder it is.

I have successfully raised a few squirrels to adulthood but I am by no means an expert on the subject. Here is a link to some people who are A squirrel-rehabber . There are also a few links Lindsay has put on her animal links page

These people can help you better than I. If you really want to raise the squirrels yourself, it can be done but it is probably illegal, it is a lot of work and there is a pretty good chance the babies will die.

Good Luck to you and your baby squirrels,

I hope I have been some help to you,

Squirrels in my garden digging up my bulbs help

My suggestions to you would be this. Get some mouse traps. Anchor them solidly to the ground in the area that the squirrels have been digging. Cover them with newspaper paper and sprinkle a little dirt on top. When   he comes to dig, he  will still set them off.  The snap will scare him as well as the dirt getting thrown at him. Once he is scared enough of times  he will find another digging area. Please be sure to anchor the traps just incase the wind blows the newspaper off the trap, or he will be hurt walking with the trap on his foot and might not be able to get it off. If the trap is anchored even if the newspaper blows off the squirrel will not be hurt and can pull out of the mouse trap.

As for the ultrasonic devices I don't have much experience with them for squirrels although I have heard some work.. We have one for moles which worked for about a month then they came back.

Hope this helps



               .   If you have skunks under your porch you can put some rags soaked in ammonia under there and they will leave because they hate the smell. Once they are gone seal the entrance that they were getting in. If it is spring make sure you leave the mother enough time to move the babies. Moth balls work too but you have to use so many to get the right amount of smell and also they are flammable and are carcinogens. So I don't like to use them. Remember that skunks are nocturnal.

I forgot to tell you, put the radio close by the entrance hole. You don't have to play it that loud, just play it continuously.

Put flour on the ground outside the hole and check each morning for skunk tracks. When you don't see any tracks entering for a few days, then it is safe to close up the hole.

Good Luck with your skunks!


PS. At this time of the year there is a good chance momma skunk has babies under there, it may take her awhile to decide it is time for her to find a new home for the family. Keep playing the radio, make sure not to play music. It is believed by some experts that some animals may enjoy music as much as humans.




Check under a piece of siding if possible. The woodpecker may be trying to tell you that you have a bug problem. If there are no bugs and he is trying to make a hole in your house so he can live there, try knocking on the wall on the inside of the house at the same approximate spot where he is pecking at. He may think it is another woodpecker that is already living there and go to look for a new place to make his home. You could also try hanging a mirror on the house at the spot where he pecks. When he sees himself he will think it is another woodpecker that he can't scare away. This might make him go look for some new territory of his own.

I hope this helps. Let us know how you make out.


We have unwanted deer that have literally eaten everything in our garden--do you have any suggestions? We would be gratefully thankful!!


We have a fence around our garden and the deer leave the garden alone. I know they could easily jump over the fence but they don't. We also have a small meadow where we plant white clover and corn for the deer, they love it. We have some apple trees also and the deer eat the apples that fall on the ground.

Maybe you could plant a small patch of clover for the deer, that would help to keep them out of your garden. You could also plant some giant marigolds all around the garden and you can spray the plants in the garden with a solution of rotten eggs and water, some people also mix up a solution of cayenne pepper and water and spray the garden with that.

Good luck with your garden, I hope this helps.


  • Question

hi there...hope you can help with deer eating my garden..( they love lettuce,strawberries, green pepper plants!!!) I wouldn't mind feeding them if they would agree to stay out of my veggies!!!! we also have a cherry orchard and they are awful about eating cherry blossoms!!!! thank-you..


Yeah, seems like those deer really want to try a taste of everything! We have a fence around our garden, I know the deer could easily just jump over it but for some reason they just don't. We plant white clover in the back and I have read that some farmers plant clover around their fields to minimize crop damage. This doesn't keep the deer totally out of their crops but it helps.

Sorry to hear about the deer eating the cherry blossoms too. I know there are some sprays that the deer don't like the taste of , you could try spraying the blossom with one of those commercial sprays. Some people have home made recipes for deer repellant. Some use hot cayenne pepper and others use a rotten egg and water mixture. You have to re-apply the repellant after a rain.

Here is a link to a company that sells Ropel, i have heard it works well for repelling deer but the co. doesn't list deer as one of the pests it works on. Maybe you can give them a call, they have a toll free number. http//

I hope this helps. Let us know how the fruit and vegetable harvest is this year.




  • Question

Dear Kevin,

I just clicked onto your daughter's website and was hoping you could help. I

found a den (?) of very young baby rabbits yesterday by accident (it is in a

flower garden and I ran across it while I was weeding). I did disturb the

den by accident. I've been watching and have not seen the mother rabbit

return. The babies are very young, their eyes are still closed, but they do

have a little fur. I do not know what to do. I'm afraid if I just leave

them they'll die (there are 7 babies). Do you know if there are times that

the mother is most likely to return? I could watch at these times and see if

she is coming back. In my little village (Kendall, New York) there is no

leash law and I'm afraid that the mother may have been killed by a dog,

making these very helpless babies orphans. If you have any words of

suggestion or help I would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely,


Hopefully Mom is close by and she just saw you so she did not return to the nest for a little while. She should be with the babies quite a lot at this young age. Look for Mom in the early morning and at dusk, she should be feeding close by the nest. If the babies in the nest are not wiggling around and crying then they are probably being fed. If they look like they are starting to get skinny and you hear them crying then Mom may not be around anymore. If this is turns out to be the case, call your local wildlife rehabber.

I hope by the time you get my response you have already seen Mom back at the nest and everything is all right.

Let us know how you make out.


Lindsay and Kevin

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