USDA Wildlife Services Integrated Wildlife Damage Management Program

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – Wildlife Services (WS) Integrated Wildlife Damage Management Program (IWDM), is a Federal program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

The Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s Department contracts with Wildlife Services, through a cooperative service agreement, to provide technical assistance and damage control caused by human-wildlife conflict. 

Along with the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County, the following cities are provided Wildlife Services through individual agreements with the Agricultural Commissioner’s office; Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt and Rancho Cordova. 

Wildlife Services is contracted to provide the following general field services: 

  • Technical assistance through demonstration and instruction of wildlife damage prevention and/or control techniques.
  • Predator identification and removal when livestock, crop or natural resource damage is verified.
  • Nuisance wildlife exclusion/removal when property damage is identified.
  • Removal of wildlife displaying aggressive behavior or causing actual injury to county residents. 

Wildlife Services provides one full-time and one part-time Wildlife Services Specialist. Wildlife that may cause damage to agricultural resources, property, or cause human health and safety concerns include, but are not limited to Coyotes, Raccoons, Skunks, Opossums, Fox, Bobcats, Feral Swine, Deer, Ground Squirrels, Wild Turkey and Mountain Lions.

A depredation permit, issued through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is required prior to the removal of the following wildlife; feral swine, bobcats, bears, mountain lions, beavers and wild turkeys. They can be reached at (916) 358-2900. 

For Wildlife Services, call the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s office at (916) 875-6603 and press option 5. Calls are received between 7:30 and 8:30 am, Monday – Friday (Federal holidays excluded). For emergencies, call your local law enforcement.

Please note: As of January 1, 2020, Wildlife Services will no longer service traps that are owned by a property owner, resident or business. All traps must be owned by the USDA and placed and serviced by the Wildlife Services Specialists. 

Wildlife​ Damage Prevention Tips 

All wildlife species require four resources for survival – food, water, shelter and space (different wildlife species have differing space requirements for breeding, loafing, foraging, etc.). Make any one of these resources unavailable, and chances are the wildlife will seek harborage elsewhere. Here are some general prevention techniques that you can use to help yourself out of a wildlife damage situation. 

​​Exclusion is one of the most effective techniques to keep damaging wildlife away from their required resources. Here are some exclusionary devices and techniques that you can use to effectively exclude injurious wildlife.

  • Fencing – Consider the size of the wildlife species when deciding on wire mesh size. To ensure that burrowing species cannot dig under fences, secure the bottom of the fence to the ground and use an L-shaped wire mesh skirt at the bottom of the fence line. Don’t forget to skirt under those gates!
  • Pet doors - Manual pet doors are inexpensive, but you must remember to lock them at night. Automatic pet doors are a better “set-it-and-forget-it” option.
  • House vents - Inspect your house vents regularly and replace any vent that is damaged or missing. 

Habitat/vegetation manipulation plays a big part in reducing sheltering areas. 

Remember, if they don’t have a place to sleep, they will not take up residence on your property.

  • Cut back vegetation overgrowth away from your house perimeter. 
  • Remove lumber piles, dead vegetation and other debris from your property. Remember, the more places animals have to hide, the more animals your property can harbor! 

Change your living habits to accommodate wildlife behavior and effectively reduce wildlife damage. 

  • If you have pets (dogs, cats, pet livestock, etc.), bring them indoors or pen them up at night. 
  • Exclude wildlife from your pet’s food by placing food/water receptacles indoors before nightfall. 
  • Most nuisance mammalian wildlife species (skunks, opossums, raccoons, coyotes) are nocturnal, so make sure to close garage doors, doorways and windows in areas of your home where it is accessible to wildlife while you are sleeping. 

Skunk Odor Removal (Source: Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management - University of Nebraska Publication - (https://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/g2100.pdf​

In the unfortunate event that you or your property has been sprayed by a skunk, here is a home remedy technique for skunk odor removal. 

  • One quart 3% hydrogen peroxide 
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 
  • 1-2 teaspoons liquid dish soap 

Ingredients must be mixed in an open container and used immediately. Never mix the ingredients in advance because oxygen released from the hydrogen peroxide may cause a closed container to explode. The solution can be used on people or pets; avoid splashing the product in the eyes or mouth. Allow the solution to remain on hair for five minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat as needed. Do not use this solution on clothing – it may discolor the fabric.