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Signs of Spring: Raccoons, Bears & Bats

Got raccoons under the front porch.? Bears in your back yard at the bird feeder, or maybe even bats in the attic?

It's the time of year when nuisance animal complaints spike far beyond the recent black bear sightings in backyards of Lancaster and West Seneca earlier this week.

Bears | Raccoons | Deer VIDEO | Animal Control Tips

Find a wildlife control officer in Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus,  & Wyoming Counties

SHARE YOUR WILDLIFE PHOTOS: at or via e-mail to   (At Left, listener photo courtesy Tim & Margaret Terrill) MORE PICTURES AND VIDEO HERE

On The WBEN Liveline Jack Juran, Nuisance Wildlife Control Officer Tim Spierto, Biologist, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation The Buffalo Zoo's Vicky Hodge

"It can be anything," says Nuisance Wildlife trapper Jack Juran, who has been working 12 to 15 hours a day each spring for approximately. 15 years.

  How to remove a bat from your home:

little brown bat roosting in a caveDo not attempt to handle a bat under any circumstances. If provoked or threatened, just like any other animal, bats will defend themselves typically by biting. In general, bats are not dangerous animals and are very beneficial to our environment, so harming or killing these animals is wrong and unnecessary.

A bat in flight in your home: Turn on some lights in order to see the bat. Close doors to other rooms of the home in order to restrict the bat's access to a small area. Open all exterior windows or doors in the room.

Bats roosting (resting) in your home: The best solution is to contact
a wildlife damage control company. Do not attempt to exclude bats during the winter while they are hibernating; instead wait until the spring and summer when they are active. Make sure the site is clear of any hibernating bats before sealing all potential entry points into your home spaces.
     -- Source: NYS DEC

"This year there seems to be an enormous amount of raccoons, skunks, squirrels, any sort of wildlife," says Jack Juran, the owner of Jack's Nuisance Wildlife Control in Clarence Center.

Juran says animal populations typically rise and fall on an approximately 4 year cycle- with some pests being more prevalent than others each year. This year is the raccoons turn.

"It just seems as if this year the raccoon is the biggest one. The calls about bats, that's pretty level," he says.

Raccoon populations often are more dense in large cities than in the wild, but abundance varies widely in different types of habitat and different parts of the state, environmental officials say.  They can be attracted by food available in gardens, fish ponds, pet feeders or garbage, or by cavities that might offer shelter.

RACCOON CONTROL TIPS from the NYS Dept. Of Environmental Conservation

Do not leave pet food outside. Feed pets only as much as they will eat at once, and remove all leftovers. If necessary, place pet feeders in an enclosed area such as a porch, garage, or barn.

Keep garbage bags in an entry-way or garage, and in a metal can. Run a rubber strap, rope or soft wire through the lid and attach to the can handles. To make it hard for raccoons to remove lids, hang the can one foot above the ground, or use a rack and secure the cans upright.

Surround gardens with an electric fence made up of two wires attached to an insulated post, one wire four inches and the other eight inches above the ground. Install the fence before vegetables ripen.

Block the openings raccoons are using to get into your attic, porch or other location. Place a temporary cover when the raccoons leave on their nightly search for food, and make a permanent seal later. To check if the raccoons have really left, sprinkle twigs, grass or flour in the opening and watch for tracks. Caution: do not permanently seal entrances without first verifying that all animals are out of the den. Especially in the spring, look and listen for animal noises.

Nuisance wildlife control persons licensed by New York State can be hired to deal with problem raccoons. Injured and "orphaned" raccoons should be left alone. Animals actually in need of assistance may be cared for by licensed wildlife rehabilitato

On Monday evening, Lancaster police issued alerts about bears sighted near the Fox Valley Country Club on Genesee Street, and later in people's back yards, at bird feeders.  

In New York State, people and black bears often find themselves living nearby. Forests and natural areas are a bear's normal habitat. according to the DEC.

(At left, Lancaster. PD Photo, earlier this week)

Black bear populations in the state are increasing and bears occasionally wander into populated urban/suburban areas looking for unoccupied habitat and attracted to abundant food sources such as bird feeders and garbage.

"In the spring of the year you will have dispersal of animals, such as bears. They are grown up and on their own., so they are either looking for their own territory or a mate," Juran says.

The state  has adopted a regulation prohibiting the deliberate and intentional feeding of black bears. The incidental, indirect feeding of black bears also is unlawful after a written warning has been issued by the department.

"Good housekeeping" is a requirement wherever black bears are found. Simple sanitation measures can be the key to avoid attracting bears," the department says in one of their educational pamphlets.

From Facebook: Deer In John Zach's Backyard  SHARE YOUR PICTURES AND STORIES  AT  or e-mail pics to
From the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Tips on How to R-E-P-E-L  Nusiance wildlife

Below are general tips intended to help landowners REPEL or prevent and control problems with wild animals. The best way to reduce common wildlife issues is by eliminating access to food, water, and shelter, which is what all animals need to survive.

R emove food sources

  • Clean up food around bird feeders and remove all feeders and suet in the spring and summer
  • Secure or remove garbage immediately and wait until the day of trash pick-up to bring outside
  • Feed pets indoors
  • Use fencing to cover gardens and plants
  • Pick up dropped fruit on the ground
  • Use landscaping plants that do not attract problem animals

E liminate cover and shelter

  • Get rid of piles of brush, logs, junk, etc., and stash firewood away from your house or other buildings.
  • Mow tall grass near houses or other buildings. Wait until November to mow tall grass to ensure that nesting birds have left the area and that turtles near waterbodies have become fully inactive.

P ut up barriers

  • Use chimney covers and soffit vents
  • Fence in areas such as gardens and underneath decks
  • Seal entry holes that lead into the house. Ensure there are no animals inside as this can lead to worse problems.

E xcite or agitate

  • Use visual repellents such as scarecrows or lights
  • Create noise (i.e. yelling, noisemakers) - be sure to check noise ordinances in your area
  • Haze (i.e. chase away with dogs, remote control cars and planes, etc.). Do not haze a migratory bird that is nesting, as this is a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

L egally remove or "take"

Also from the DEC, here's a list of licensed nusiance wildlife control officers in WNY

Allegany County
City Name of Licensed NWCO Business Name (if applicable) Phone Number
Angelica Todd N. Dobmeier Abbe Freeland Animal Sanctuary, Inc. (716) 451-4954
Canaseraga Clarence T. Herington   (585) 610-3617
Cattaraugus County
City Name of Licensed NWCO Business Name (if applicable) Phone Number
Allegany Michael W. Howden   (716) 904-2978
Delevan John Syms   (716) 698-0159
Delevan Joseph Nowocien   (716) 492-3784
Franklinville Michael Hayden   (716) 676-9161
Hinsdale Robert J. Leonard   (716) 557-2109
Little Valley David Berg   (716) 938-6824
Little Valley Paul Hyson   (716) 945-8569
Machias Stephen K. Wedvik   (716) 597-6086
Randolph Kim Milford   (716) 358-2207
Saint Bonaventure Karen R. Miles St. Bonaventure University (716) 378-8189
West Valley Larry Frank   (716) 592-4868
West Valley Brian J. Wulff   (716) 821-9595
Chautauqua County
City Name of Licensed NWCO Business Name (if applicable) Phone Number
Cassadaga Andrew Straight Wildlife Control Solutions (716) 595-3586
Cassadaga Kevin Noody   (716) 679-8783
Dunkirk Kenneth Drummond   (716) 366-2120
Dunkirk David Wallace Sr.   (716) 366-3087
Dunkirk Scott Korzenski   (716) 366-7752
Dunkirk David Wallace   (716) 366-3231
Dunkirk Mark Dimmer   (716) 363-3445
Dunkirk Richard A. Crandall Comfort Pest Control (716) 366-2120
Dunkirk John H. Hill Comfort Pest Control (716) 366-1423
Dunkirk Thomas M. Rozumalski 1st Class Wildlife Solutions (716) 785-1793
Falconer William Kilmartin   (716) 665-4420
Forestville Charles Dillenburg Pro Tech Pest Control & W L Removal (716) 672-9431
Forestville Eric Krone   (716) 934-3362
Fredonia Steven Purol   (716) 785-5226
Fredonia Douglas Bunge   (716) 672-6006
Fredonia Joshua J. Cybart 1st Class Wildlife Solutions (716) 785-4800
Frewsburg Mark Boardman   (716) 484-3493
Jamestown Matthew Abbey   (716) 569-5400
Jamestown James Campbell   (716) 483-6603
Jamestown Trevor Mullard   (716) 450-1400
Jamestown Edward Pace   (716) 985-4166
Jamestown Timothy Mullard   (716) 664-3379
Jamestown Michael D. Baker   (716) 489-6590
Kennedy Richard J. Swanson Comfort Pest Control (716) 366-2120
Mayville William Blanchard   (716) 326-2983
Portland Robert Chesbro   (585) 202-8805
Erie County
City Name of Licensed NWCO Business Name (if applicable) Phone Number
Akron Russel E. Ribbeck   (716) 572-1487
Alden Lyle Bartlebaugh   (716) 937-9206
Alden William Weber   (716) 937-6682
Angola Mark Moser   (716) 626-2490
Angola John Stanley   (716) 549-8957
Bowmansville Gregory Sojka   (716) 683-2453
Buffalo Charles Buscaglia Ashland Pest Control (716) 990-4181
Buffalo Robert Licata City Of Buffalo (Exterminator) (716) 851-5790
Buffalo Thomas Gagliardo   (716) 686-3613
Buffalo David Lavango   (716) 880-5928
Buffalo Richard Penoyer   (716) 632-7236
Buffalo Mark Kubiczek   (716) 289-4247
Buffalo Timothy Michaels   (716) 823-3483
Buffalo William Schwartz Jr.   (716) 674-4850
Buffalo Brian J. Shiner Aquatech Environmental, Inc. (716) 983-6480
Buffalo David P. Lavango Ashland Pest Control (716) 903-6724
Buffalo John R. Kozlowski   (716) 864-5100
Buffalo Kim C. Condon   (716) 876-4643
Clarence Anne Cimato   (716) 583-6873
Clarence Center Jerome Schuler   (716) 741-4457
Derby Louis Danzi Jr.   (716) 947-2153
East Concord Elise Able Fox Wood Wildlife Rescue Inc (716) 592-1861
Eden Deborah Condon   (716) 992-3806
Grand Island Christopher M. Garcia   (716) 380-4681
Hamburg Brandon S. Ferris Suburban Pest Control (716) 646-9067
Lancaster Alfred Reigle   (716) 683-0419
Lawtons Patricia Wattengel   (716) 337-2556
Lawtons Rick Wattengel   (716) 337-2556
Orchard Park Margaret Hanrahan Messinger Woods (716) 857-7158
Orchard Park Eric Mulawka   (716) 510-5966
Orchard Park Wende Mulawka   (716) 573-2798
Orchard Park Ed Bokoski   (716) 662-0343
Orchard Park Adam P. Ziccardi, III   (716) 662-0343
Springville Charles Schweikert Jr.   (716) 725-2843
Springville Esteban Picazo   (716) 868-5499
Springville David Guadagna   (716) 627-3759
Springville Michael Pohl   (716) 867-1979
Tonawanda Jason W. Burns   (716) 432-3059
Tonawanda Charles Hulpiau   (716) 692-2121
Tonawanda John Weir   (716) 694-2814
Tonawanda David C. Wilkes, II Wilkes Wildlife Removal (716) 534-5696
Tonawanda Mark Ansel   (716) 694-2814
West Falls Kevin Kelly   (716) 984-8923
Niagara County
City Name of Licensed NWCO Business Name (if applicable) Phone Number
Gasport Jeffrey Cummings Buffalo Exterminating (716) 462-8128
Gasport Robert Johnston   (585) 735-5334
Lockport Robert Mccollum   (716) 308-8336
Lockport James Usiak   (716) 625-8093
Lockport James R. Diel Diel's Nuisance Wildlife Control (716) 392-7413
Niagara Falls Vincent Tripi Tripco (716) 863-8865
North Tonawanda Michael A. Harbridge   (716) 471-5715
North Tonawanda Nelson Schultz Jr.   (716) 853-2029
North Tonawanda David Muir   (716) 695-5552
Ransomville Aaron Swanson   (716) 465-1089
Sanborn Alan Besant   (716) 731-8041
Wilson Stanley Culverwell   (716) 751-9848
Wyoming County
City Name of Licensed NWCO Business Name (if applicable) Phone Number
Arcade Gregory Kibler   (716) 912-6163
Attica Derrick Joller   (585) 781-8284
Cowlesville William Rumley   (716) 903-0758
Java Village John Juran Jack's Nuisance Wildlife Removal Services (716) 208-5100
Pavilion Jason Franklin   (585) 303-4868
Varysburg Mark E. McGrath   (585) 969-0069
Warsaw David C. Tozier   (585) 319-9254
Warsaw Gerald L. Post   (585) 289-8989

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Locations : LancasterWest Seneca
People : Jack Juran
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