Living with Wildlife

Having issues with wildlife?

We have effective, inexpensive, and humane solutions.

  • Always make sure your garbage is properly stored. It should be in a trash can with a lid this is Pittsburgh law! With the food source removed, the animal will move on.
  • Unwanted animals in your garden? Try humane harassment techniques, like a hot sauce repellant, sprinklers, or lights!

For more animal specific solutions, check out the Humane Action Pittsburgh's "Love Your Wild Neighbor" tips at then select the animal from the directory.

Nuisance Wildlife

Sometimes an animal has already entered your home or is causing damage to your property. Nuisance wildlife is defined as wildlife that causes, or is about to cause, property damage or that exhibits unusual behavior that may indicate a threat to the health or safety of the community by means of disease transmission or direct attacks. If there is an animal inside your home, please call the office directly for immediate assistance.

Trapping Doesn't Work and Should Only be Used as a Last Resort

It’s important to remember that live trapping wild animals only temporarily solves a problem. Many studies have shown that live trapping wild animals actually creates a vacuum that allows more animals to move into that now open area. Also, less competition for food among wild animals means that more offspring will be born each year.

There are many cities as large or larger than Pittsburgh with about the same wild animal population that do not allow their residents to live trap any wild animals. These city residents have learned how to live with the wild animals in their respective cities.

Trapping Nuisance Animals:

  • Understand that, due to state regulations, all groundhogs, skunks and raccoons that are trapped will be euthanized.
  • You can contact Animal Control 412-255-2036 to borrow a humane trap for up to two weeks in certain situations or use your own trap.
  • You must follow the rules of outdoor live trapping (see below).
  • Once you have trapped an animal simply call Animal Control at 412-255-2036. Morning calls are preferred as more officers are available to remove the animals. For urgent situations after office hours call 412-255-2935.
  • During peak season there may be a wait time of several weeks to receive a trap.

Wild Animal Outside Live Trapping Rules and Restrictions:

  1. No trapping is allowed on weekends or holidays
  2. Only one trap per property is allowed. The trap may only be set/animal picked up once a day.
  3. No trapping can occur if the weather forecast indicates there will be moderate to heavy rain, snow, or wind gusts of 15 mph or greater, at any time while the trap would be set
  4. No trapping is allowed when the temperature is forecast to go above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees.
  5. Once an animal is inside, the trap cannot be located in direct sunlight or on hot concrete, asphalt or other similar surfaces.
  6. Do not place traps on slanted roofs
  7. Live traps must be placed on the resident’s property only.
  8. Only live humane traps are allowed to be used. Leg hold, snare or traps that cause harm or kill the animals are not allowed.
  9. You must check the trap regularly. A live-trapped wild animal is only allowed to be inside of a trap for 24 hours at the most.
  10. While a wild animal is inside of a trap it may not be tortured or harmed in any way.
  11. Live traps are not allowed to be put on roofs, in trees or far underneath decks, patios or porches.
  12. Live traps are only allowed to be used outside to trap wild animals causing harm to foundations, walkways, sheds, etc.
  13. Residents that allow a wild animal to die inside of a live trap that is on their property will be referred to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and could face possible fines and/or jail time.
  14. Any violation of these rules may result in the animal being released on the property, a seizure of the trap, and the possible loss of trapping privileges with the city.