Identification and Management Strategies for Nuisance Wildlife with Dr. Mike Mengak

As this is a two hour session all CEUs awarded for watching this archive in a County Extension Office are doubled to two (2) CEUs.

‘Identification and Management Strategies for Nuisance Wildlife with Dr. Mike Mengak’ provides key insights on effectively managing nuisance wildlife.

About Dr. Mike Mengak

Dr. Mike Mengak is an expert in wildlife management, with a background in forestry and wildlife from Virginia Tech and Clemson University. He currently serves as an outreach specialist at the University of Georgia, focusing on training landowners and county extension staff on wildlife damage management.

The Importance of Wildlife

Wildlife has both positive and negative values. On the positive side, wildlife enriches our lives through sport, hunting, fishing, and ecological roles like pest control and seed spreading. On the negative side, wildlife can cause damage to crops, buildings, and landscapes, and transmit diseases like rabies and Lyme’s disease.

Defining Nuisance Wildlife

Nuisance wildlife refers to animals causing damage to valuable plants, structures, cars, houses, landscapes, or yards.

The HURL Model for Managing Nuisance Wildlife

The HURL model (Habitat, Environment, Resources, and Legal) provides a framework for addressing nuisance wildlife issues. It emphasizes the need to balance human needs with wildlife needs, considering habitat, environmental impacts, resource availability, and legal considerations.

Legal and Regulatory Aspects

Wildlife management varies by state, with different laws and regulations governing the control of nuisance wildlife. Permits may be required for certain actions, and there are federal laws protecting migratory birds.

Nonlethal Control Methods

Before resorting to lethal methods, nonlethal control options should be explored. These include habitat modification, feeding programs, and using traps or repellents.

Professional Help

For complex issues, professional help from extension services, state wildlife departments, or USDA Wildlife Services is recommended. These organizations can provide advice, technical assistance, and sometimes operational control.

Homeowner Solutions

Homeowners can manage nuisance wildlife by removing food, water, and shelter, treating the problem rather than just the symptom, and using diagnostic signs like tracks, droppings, and damage types to identify the culprit.


Managing nuisance wildlife is a complex task requiring a balance between human needs and wildlife conservation. It involves understanding the local laws, using nonlethal methods when possible, and seeking professional help for complex issues.

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