Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

WDFW Help



How do I get rid of nuisance wildlife like raccoons or skunks on my property?

  • The first step to discouraging nuisance wildlife on your property is to remove the source of attraction, which is usually food. Never leave pet food out, secure garbage and compost piles, and protect gardens and small livestock such as chickens. Prevent wild animals from taking cover on your property by sealing off spaces like porches, garages, attics, etc.
  • Methods to discourage and physically remove wild animals vary by species and their protected classifications. In some cases like Eastern gray squirrel, opossums, or raccoons, you may live-trap and release animals on your own property, or euthanize certain species of problem animals yourself. It is not legal to transport wildlife without a permit from WDFW to do so. For detailed information see WDFW's “Living with Wildlife” fact sheets.  For a detailed list of animals that you may live trap, see WDFW's Trapping Wildlife website.
  • In some cases, you need to work with a licensed Wildlife Control Operator (WCO) who can trap and remove or humanely euthanize nuisance wildlife.    A complete list of WCOs can be accessed on the department's website.


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Last Updated
24th of May, 2011

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