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.
Never encourage wildlife to linger around human residences by
feeding or by allowing access to food sources, including garbage,
pet food, or fallen fruit.
San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District does NOT
provide wildlife trapping or removal. However, we can help you
determine what kind of animal is causing your problem and provide
suggestions for resolving it.
Never Feed Animals
Wild animals may visit your property looking for a handout, but
they don’t really need help from humans to find food. In fact,
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. In rural areas, feeding
smaller animals may attract larger predators to your property
that you do not want there, like coyotes and mountain lions.
Trapping and Relocation
Trapping and relocating individual animals 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
Instead, residents should make their 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
Removing Animals from Structures
If wild animals have already taken up residence inside your home
or another structure, it may be necessary to seek help from a
professional wildlife trapper to remove them. It may also be
possible to use noise or other disruptions to encourage animals
to leave on their own.
Once the animal has been removed, it is important to seal off all
access points to prevent it or other animals from re-entering,
and to remove any other attractants that may be drawing wildlife
to your property.
During spring and summer, animals may have offspring in their
dens. Before sealing off access to a structure, you should always
ensure that all animals have moved on. It may be necessary to
give an animal several nights to relocate its offspring. Animals
that have been separated from their offspring will go to great
lengths to get back inside, potentially causing damage to your
property. Even if they are unable to get in, their offspring will
die without parental care, potentially leaving you with an
unpleasant clean-up job.