Nuisance Animals

RabbitWild animals (not domesticated animals like dogs or cats) that cause property damage are nuisance animals, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). For complaints involving nuisance wildlife, contact a pest control agency. If you are interested in a live trap, contact the City’s Animal Control Unit at 952-949-6200 and they will help determine if a live trap is necessary.

Click here to learn about capturing, relocation or killing a nuisance animal from the Minnesota DNR.

For state laws on taking animals that cause damage, see Minnesota Statute 97B.655.

It’s a myth that all bats carry rabies or will fly into your hair or attack you. Plus, the enormous quantities of mosquitoes and other insects that bats consume each year make summers in Minnesota more livable. Although the percentage of bats infected with rabies is very small, less than one percent, always protect yourself by wearing leather gloves when you handle a bat. Any bat bite or scratch should be considered serious. If someone has been bitten or scratched, attempt to capture the bat without damaging its head, so that it can be analyzed for rabies. Any wound should be thoroughly washed. Then contact county health officials or your doctor immediately to determine how to have the bat tested and what medical treatment might be needed. The most common bat/human interactions involve a single bat that has found its way into a house or a colony of bats that has taken up residence in an attic, chimney or other structure. If you have a problem bat, click here for information about repellants, removal, permanent exclusion and cleanup methods from the Minnesota DNR.

Minnesota is known for its deer, and we have plenty in Eden Prairie. They love to eat our trees and damage our gardens. Energized fences are effective at reducing deer damage to gardens. To learn more about energized fences to exclude deer from your garden, visit the Minnesota DNR's website.

Ducks and Geese
If a duck or goose builds a nest in an inconvenient location, keep in mind that their nesting phase lasts only 30 days. You cannot relocate a nest and successfully get the mother to roost. The U.S. Migratory Bird Act protects all migratory birds and prohibits disruption of a nest site, as well as a duck or goose that’s nesting. You may report violations of this federal law to Animal Control, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the Minnesota DNR.

Rabbits are important game animals. They are highly valued for food and sporting qualities. However, they cause considerable damage to ornamental plants, gardens, fruit trees and farm crops. Damage can be reduced by protecting valuable plants with wire guards and fencing, and/or by reducing the rabbit population. Minnesota law allows landowners or occupants to take rabbits that are causing damage. In such instances, rabbits can be taken without a license and in any manner except by poison or artificial lights in the closed season. For the full law, see Minnesota Statute 97B.655 and Minnesota Statute 97b.601(4)(c).

Do not approach raccoons, even if they appear tame. Raccoons are normally not aggressive, but will defend themselves if captured or cornered. If you are bitten by a raccoon, attempt to capture or kill it (without damage to the head) so that it can be tested for rabies by the Minnesota Department of Health. Although rabies in raccoons is rare in Minnesota, seek medical treatment and advice. Raccoons will raid garbage cans or roll up freshly laid sod in search of food. They also may damage gardens or truck crops, particularly sweet corn. Click here to learn how to deter or prevent damage caused by raccoons on the Minnesota DNR website.

In the spring, you may find a raccoon in your fireplace, chimney or attic. That usually means babies are there too. Encourage the raccoon family to relocate by playing talk radio (music won’t work) in the area as loudly as you can tolerate for up to three days, 24 hours a day. The mother needs time to find another den and move the babies, which she will do only at night. Do not live trap the mother and leave the babies behind.

Although the majority of Minnesota snakes are harmless, most people don’t appreciate having snakes in their homes or yards. The snake that most often appears in homes and yards is the common garter snake, which is harmless. Click here for information on deterring or removing unwanted snakes from the Minnesota DNR.

Wild Turkeys
Wild turkeys are active during the day and roost in trees overnight. They nest on the ground and the young turkeys are able to leave the nest shortly after hatching. They immediately begin foraging for insects, but stay in a brood with the hen until their flight feathers have developed. Because turkeys are large and active during daylight hours, they are often observed foraging for insects, grubs and seeds, their primary food sources.

Some wild turkeys that reside in urban areas have become acclimated to humans, which can create problems. At first, the appearance of turkeys is usually novel and welcome. Property owners often regrettably feed the birds to encourage them to stay. It is only after the droppings accumulate, property is damaged or residents are chased by aggressive jakes, that they are considered a nuisance. They may not be wary of humans and may become a nuisance by roosting on roofs, in trees near homes and on decks. They are known to occasionally damage painted automotive surfaces. If this behavior persists, these birds may need to be removed and destroyed by special permit. Click here to earn more about how to avoid common problems caused by wild turkeys from the Minnesota DNR.

Woodpeckers peck holes that range in size from a quarter inch hole to a cavity big enough for a nest. Homes made of wood siding or stucco often receive the most damage because they’re fairly easy to penetrate. Before attempting to scare woodpeckers from your home, cover or repair any existing holes that may attract other woodpeckers looking for food. For small holes, you can squirt a small amount of linseed oil into the hole to kill any insects that may be attracting the woodpeckers. After repairing holes, try a visual deterrent and move it once a week to keep the birds from becoming habituated to it. Click here to learn more about preventing and controlling property damage caused by woodpeckers from the Minnesota DNR.