What kind of wildlife do we have in San Mateo County?
Common wildlife include raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, deer, rats and mice, and coyotes.
Why is wildlife a problem?
Wild animals are a natural part of the environment in San Mateo County. It is normal for these animals to pass through properties as they go about their lives among the humans who have moved into their habitat. Some species may even be protected by law. However, wild animals that lose their fear of people can become a nuisance, destroy property, or even pose a risk to human health. This is called human-wildlife conflict.
Can you come trap a wild animal that’s on my property?
The District is not licensed to trap or dispose of wild animals at private residences. Further, trapping is not usually a good solution to problems with wildlife. When one animal is removed, another will quickly move into its territory and take up residence.
Is it legal to kill a wild animal if it causes a problem on my property?
It depends on the species and the circumstances. If you believe you need to trap or kill a wild animal, it is best to contact a licensed wildlife trapper. In some cases, you may need a depredation permit from California Department of Fish and Wildlife if you plan to trap or kill an animal yourself.
Can I trap and relocate a wild animal if it causes a problem on my property?
No. It is illegal to relocate wildlife – and with good reason. When one animal is removed, another will quickly move into its territory and take up residence as long as hospitable conditions remain. It is also not humane to relocate animals, since you will be moving them into another animal’s territory where they will not be able to find food, shelter, or safety.
In some cases it may be legal to trap and release (outdoors on the same property – not at another location) or trap and euthanize wild animals, but you may need a license or a depredation permit from California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Alternately, you can hire a licensed wildlife trapper to trap and euthanize a nuisance animal on your property.
Why shouldn’t I feed wild animals?
It is NEVER ok to feed wild animals. Animals that associate people with food may become aggressive toward humans, putting both their and our safety at risk. Animals that are fed by humans are also likely to congregate in large numbers, leading to increased disease transmission between animals and from animals to people.
For more information from Peninsula Humane Society on why it’s not a good idea to feed wildlife, click here.
Is it ok to keep a wild animal as a pet?
It is NEVER ok to keep a wild animal as a pet. If you find an orphaned or injured animal, please contact the Peninsula Humane Society at 650-340-7022. After hours, injured or orphaned wildlife can be brought to Coyote Point shelter at 12 Airport Blvd. in San Mateo.
Should I be worried if I see a wild animal on my property?
Not necessarily. Wild animals are a natural part of the environment in San Mateo County. It is normal for these animals to pass through properties as they go about their lives among the humans who have moved into their habitat. If the animal cannot find food, water, or shelter on your property, it will not linger there.
How do I keep wild animals from nesting in my attic or under my house?
The best way to keep wild animals from nesting in or under your home is to ensure they cannot get in. If you need help with wildlife exclusion, the District can provide a free inspection.
How do I keep wild animals from coming on my property?
You should make your property inhospitable to wildlife by removing attractants such as food, water, and shelter. You should trim vegetation, secure trash cans, bring in pet food and water bowls, and pick up fallen fruit. It is also helpful to use chimney caps and other methods to keep wildlife from entering. If an animal cannot find food, shelter, or water on your property, it will not linger there.