Manage Urban Pests and Wildlife

There are many types of pests and wildlife that could live in and around your home. Part of urban living is learning how to handle and manage this situation.

Pest control

Pests or unwanted animals usually enter yards, homes, or buildings looking to meet their basic needs for survival. Some tips to prevent or stop a pest problem are:

Eliminate food and water

  • Store food, seeds, and pet food in reusable, airtight containers
  • Put trash in tightly covered, heavy cans
  • Fix leaking pipes, faucets, and roofs
  • Reduce humidity in bathrooms and kitchens

Eliminate shelter 

  • Seal any openings more than a quarter inch in exterior walls or foundations
  • Keep vegetation trimmed away from buildings
  • Cut high grass and weeds and remove lawn clippings
  • Remove clutter and debris from your yard
  • Use door sweeps under doors

Mice and rats​

Both mice and rats mature quickly and reproduce at a high rate. These rodents carry diseases that pose a risk to humans and other animals.  Mice can fit through a hole the size of a pencil and rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. They are nocturnal, feed on all types of food or garbage, and eat up to 20 times a day. You can follow the steps above to eliminate these vermin or use common traps. If you need additional assistance, call an exterminator.  If you have problems with rodents entering your house from the sewer system, call a plumber.

Feral cats

Feral cats are born in the wild and are not used to human contact. Sometimes they exhibit nuisance behaviors such as digging in your yard or disturbing your pets. They can also carry rabies.  Overpopulation of outdoor cats is a serious concern because of their capacity to reproduce. If you have feral cats in your area and are looking for help or resources, contact the Marion Polk Community Cat Program. This program uses the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) strategy, which helps reduce the number of free-roaming cats in the community and the number of cats taken to shelters, by neutering stray or feral cats and returning them to their home.


Nutria are large, semi-aquatic rodents that eat plants. They can cause damage to your property by digging burrows in river banks and causing erosion, by consuming plants entirely, or by eating bark off of trees which kills them. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife provides more information about nutria characteristics and ways to control them on your property.

Yellow cat on roof.

Overpopulation of outdoor cats is a serious concern because they can carry rabies and disturb pets.