Instructables
Picture of How to get rid of unwanted animals - Updated
This is a complex question with many variables. I'm going to try to answer it as completely as possible, so it could be a little long winded at times. I plan on trying to name the steps in such a way that you can jump to the answer that best suits your situation without having to sift through extraneous information.

I'm going to attempt to cover domestic and wild animals as well as present lethal, non-lethal and preventative alternatives for dealing with them. This is by no means a definative or exhaustive list, these are just the methods that I've used or heard about being used sucessfully. I make no guarentees as to their efficacy in your specfic situation.

That being said let the lecture begin...
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Domestic Animals

When I say domestic animals I'm referring to dogs, cats and other pets. I'm going to make the assumption that no one is looking to kill a pet. If you are looking to kill your pet or someone else's (aside from valid medical reasons for euthanasia) I really don't want to associate with you. Before you do that, I strongly encourage you to investigate these options.

The best way to get rid of a pet you don't want is to take it to your local animal shelter. There are many non-profit groups that run shelters for animals you can no longer care for. By simply opening the phone book or doing an internet search you can easily find one. They don't charge to take the pet and are usually very sympathetic. Some are "no-kill" shelters, meaning they won't euthanize the pet if it isn't adopted within a certain period of time.

If you have a pure-bred dog or cat variety another option is breed specfic rescues. These are groups that focus on one breed of cat or dog. If there is a breed there is a rescue for it. These groups will take the animals, and work to find them good homes. My wife and I work with a greyhound rescue and find it to be very rewarding. (Check out the Grey Hound Connection to find a group near you.)

I don't know much about large animals (e.g. horses) but I'm assuming rescues that deal with them exist as well. I'm sure a little research can turn one up. My brother had the good idea of checking with 4-H or Future Farmers of America for large animal rescues in your area.

Like most things in life prevention is the best way to avoid the problem. In order to avoid having to make a painful choice like this there are a couple of things you can do:

1) Don't impulse buy. I'm guilty of it myself. The damn creature is just so cute you buy it without thinking or researching. This is how you end up with an animal that isn't right for you or your lifestyle. Also be sure to look at your finances ahead of time. To properly care for a pet is costly. I heard somewhere that for each pet you have your annual expenses increase by $1000 (U.S.). So you need to decide if you can afford another mouth to feed, vaccinate, and provide vet care for before you buy.

2) Have your pet sterilized. Dogs and cats give birth to multiple offspring at a time. Multiply that by the above figure and ask yourself if it is really too much trouble to have your pets spayed or neutered. It also relieves you of having to make the painful choice of which adorable fluff-ball to give to the shelter. And many shelters will spay or neuter pets at reduced rates.
1-40 of 78Next »
ncaroppi5 years ago
Does anyone have any recommendations for keeping deer out of a vineyard? My parents have a hobby vineyard of a couple hundred plants which is often harassed by a herd of about five deer. We are looking for a non-lethal option. I am aware that wolf urine is available on amazon, but it seems a little too far-fetched, does anyone have any experience in this area?

Try one of the motion activated sprinklers from my dog repellent instructable. I've heard that they work great for deer control

RadBear (author)  ncaroppi5 years ago
I have no direct experience but I've heard that sprinkling human hair and/or urine around the perimeter scares them away. An electric fence like those used for cattle might also deter them.
Get yourself a few coyote pelts and lay them across the fence or nail them to trees on your property. I have a wolf pelt I found hung on a piece of barbed wire at my cabin in Idaho and nothing at all will come into my yard.
sadben ncaroppi5 years ago
1)shotgun 2)machete 3)electric barbed wire fence
skl81012 months ago
Please investigate "Trap Neuter Return" as a solution to feral cats. Its humane, and it works.
i has a greyhound too :)
pegasus751 year ago
Man that's just plain MEAN! Look at the beautiful animals and birds nature gives you.Then u kill the animals!!! You are destroying the gift of life and nature. If u want an animal out just set a trap that won't kill it, like those cages animals can't get out of cuz the door only goes one way, and then grab the cage get in ur car WITH the cage and then drive really far from ur house. When u find the spot that's far from ur house, let the animal loose and go back home. THAT'S HOW EASY IT IS!!!!
The smell of peppermint oil for mice is a nice deterrent, i have used this before and it does work, i will try to plant peppermint around my home because, i hate mice there a menace to electrical cables = fire hazard, they carry disease's that can effect humans, they can even run under your covers when you sleep and that is disturbing for me.
I would have to say I not 100% with you on the poison as you don't know where it can die unless you put the poison in a cage trap thing but that is so much work, especially with my room mate. "who loves to leave food out for these things" But i do feel a warm fussy feeling when i see a mouse that is dead.
katz055 years ago
You should not recomment to kill as a method, unless your life is at risk. but not as a method to rid of "unwanted" animales Efective way to "deal" with an animal??? this is not effective, this is cruel irresponsible an violent-promoter. Are you assuming that any living thing is a "problem" that must be taken away just killing Instead this irresponsible recomendation you should do emphasis on avoid to do things that attract the animals, and to kill as a last resort and only in strict self-defense Remember that wildlife was there before we do. and lot of them are endangered species.
Unless you are going to eat them.
While I agree with most of your comments, I have to strongly disagree with one "Remember that wildlife was there before we do.". Humans are animals too and to varying degrees have co existed with other animals (in fact one of my best friends is not human - ( a dog )). I think we should always remember that even though we are the dominant species on the planet we are still flesh and blood like any other animal (at least until the cybermen come and upgrade us (lol)) and we evolved from the same enviroment. Totally agree that killing anything should be a last option but sometimes it is the only option.
cuzz I can2 years ago
I thought this was how to dispose of my murdered cousin*
* not saying I killed him. Its a mystery.
cops havn't even found the body yet.
hehehehehe!
First off, I think the author did a pretty good job covering the dangers and repercussions. I can also detect a hint of sarcasm. For those bent out of shape about killing an animal, become a vegan. I have a garden I work very hard on. I plant some sunflowers so the birds get theirs, and I put up a fence. I have an escalation of force policy with critters I catch looting my garden (or threatening). First time they get the airsoft machine gun. Next time the pellet gun, and if they come back again, the shotgun. It cracks me up how people have no problem setting a mouse trap to kill a mouse in the cabinets, but bleed their hearts out for an opossum. Same things, different size. We as humans should not go out of our way to randomly kill things for fun, but this is a little different.
legoman1113 years ago
my friend told me that u could also make a nice box that can go in the freezer and put it in the freezer.
weiblen.c4 years ago
Poison is not safe.  Period.  It is impossible to anticipate where it will end up.

Poison does not work instantly, so poisoned animals can travel quite far before they die and you can never be sure that you have found all of the corpses. (Sometimes they can even end up stuck inside of walls. Imagine one rotting in the wall behind your favorite chair.)

Unless you are able to find ALL of the corpses and dispose of them properly, poison always ends up getting ingested by secondary animals. ALWAYS.

Nature is full of opportunistic animals, large and small, that will scavenge a dead rodent or bird.  Foxes are one of the common animals that fall prey to secondary poisoning, not to mention your own cat or dog.  Eagles, hawks, and owls also die frequently from eating poisoned prey.

Traps are much safer.  If you feel you have to kill the pests, do so after you have trapped them, and be humane about it.  You can also use lethal traps that will do the job for you.

Poison is never the right answer.

Even our supposed wildlife experts have made this mistake.  I wonder if they learned their lesson:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=bald-eagles-succumb-to-poison-in-ra-2009-07-01
clzfishing4 years ago
i have got a vole / mole problem and i dont want to set traps or poisin them because i have dogs. I have been shooting some with my pellet gun but that isnt enough what else should i do ?
...keeping in mind that not all guns are intended to be lethal....paintball guns (or possible airsoft) would be a fine alternative....even if you just fire off a few warning shots... ....if you REALLY wanted to get clever, I guess you could plant some homemade paintball mines in the area....I don't think many trouble makers would try to return after setting off one of those
RadBear (author)  explosivemaker4 years ago
True. I saw somewhere a company is working on paintballs full of noxious chemicals that make people vomit when they are hit by them. They intend to use them for riot control. The same might work in this application.
popa272724 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
The electronic mouse repelents work gret I plugged one into an outlet and havent had a mouse in 3 years, Might work for chipmonks too. or perhaps an out door cat or two  may be the trick.
I had a raccoon problem once,They kept getting into the roof of my home, My first thought was shoot em but thats not the soulution, I tried putting pepper spray at the point of emtry and that didnt work I think they used it as flovoring for the garbage they were getting into. I got a humane trap and they were too smart for that. I finally analized the situation and realized they were getting on the roof via a tree branch close to the roof. I simply trimmed the branches back and they left peacfully. by the way thelocal trapper wants 500 dollars per animal. x 3 raccons that would have been 1800 bucks.
knex_mepalm4 years ago
 You are breeding a generation of trigger-happy posion-freaky morons, jk

Nice instructable, some of the pictures are not yours though.
RadBear (author)  knex_mepalm4 years ago
I wouldn't say breeding. Perhaps fostering as I have no kids of my own. :)

Yep. I freely admit I ripped off some pictures, but figured since it was free advertising they wouldn't mind.
 Lol.
hammer98764 years ago
Then there is birds-away.com - Attack Spider! (really worth watching!)
benthekahn6 years ago
There are also these little stakes that emit a noise every 50 seconds that rodents don't like.
There is a guy in Australia who makes those for snakes.  They are a bit expensive, but they WORK fantastically!  I bought two, and it was money well spent!
RadBear (author)  benthekahn6 years ago
I've seen them but never tried them.
pechka RadBear5 years ago
We tried the little stakes that emit noises. All they did was fascinate our cat into abandoning her gopher-hunting to wait for the "creature" making the noises to come out.... (Since gophers ate the two prolific mango trees which I grew from seed, my vengeance knows no bounds, few things are as sweet as stomping a gopher to put it out of its and my misery after the cat has partly killed it.) Interesting and humorous post; thanks!
RadBear (author)  pechka5 years ago
I've always been skeptical of the noise makers. It seems the creature you're trying to scare would just get used to the noise and continue about its business after a while. Just make sure your cat doesn't partly kill you for finishing of its prey. :)
AmyLuthien4 years ago
When you bury a pet who has shuffled off the mortal coil pour copious amounts pepper over them.

And in the year 3012, archeologists will ponder and great debates will be had as to why the ancient civilizations poured black pepper on their sacrificial animals . . . LOL!
RadBear (author)  AmyLuthien4 years ago
They will leap to the conclusion that we worship the Almighty Peppercorn and all his Zesty Goodness. :)
ooooom!  Mighty Peppercorn!  ooooom!  :D
AmyLuthien4 years ago
Some pet stores (particularly aquarium specialty shops) will buy the fish back, or extend credit.  I do not believe any of the big chains will do so, but it's worth checking. 

Often aquarium specialty shops can sell your unwanted fish for a nice profit  (except for foot+ long Hypostomus plecostomus, there is very little call for those, and a whole lot of them out there!)  But large healthy cichlids, koi etc. can be quite valuable and they'll gladly take them off your hands.

craigslist would be another viable option, just as long as you make it clear you are re-homing your pet, not selling it.  craigslist can be rather particular about that little detail.
sadben5 years ago
i think im a tad bit heartless, i shot a bird and laughed insanely while watching die from a ruptured brain.
twocvbloke5 years ago
I don't agree in the slightest about your method of euthanising an unwanted or ill pet fish. Freezing is very cruel and painful for the fish, imagine yourself being left in the arctic with no clothes to die, it would be horribly painful long before you pass out. The best way to euthanise a fish is with Clove oil, mix several drops with water in a jar and shake until it looks like a mayonnaise, then place the fish in a small container, then pour in the clove oil solution. This has the effect of anaesthetising the fish to the point where it is an overdose and the fish is put to death peacefully and painlessly. Also, for healthy fish, check with a local pet shop to see if they would accept a fish from you, either for free or for a small price, if it's a specific breed of fish you might get more money for it than you initially paid if you have had it for some time and it has grown... :) And also, advertise a healthy fish for sale, someone will always want to buy locally from an established tank (not the mass-grown and most likely Ich-ridden tanks in some pet shops)... :) Hope this helps... :)
diegolay5 years ago
if the animal is little I throw them spray pesticides or spray paint, then throw boiling water or disposing the body (dead or not) to the trash. if not dead the garbage truck will do the dirty job
thats mean even for me
RadBear (author)  fedecale5 years ago
Yeah. It definately wouldn't be my first choice.
1-40 of 78Next »