i have relocated sign

How to relocate pests safely

After you have caught a pest and it is in a live trap, cage, box or snare, the next step is the relocation of the pest to its new place where you have decided it should live…and it will no longer be a pest to you (maybe to others, but not you anymore).


  • DISTANCE: For animals that wander such as fox or birds that fly, a great distance is important, and beyond a river or mountain or city will help assure they will not find that bridge to cross and return to say hello.
  • SORRY BUT NO RELOCATION FOR YOU: For other animals like bats and pigeons, relocation is not successful because of their homing instincts.
  • RELOCATION IS NOT LEGAL: Some animals like skunks are often not permitted by local laws to be relocated because of rabies or other health related issues.
  • RELATION TO A SHELTER: Other animals you should and will take directly to the local pet shelter or humane society for adoption or disposal.


  • STOP ESCAPES: Caged animals are frightened, mad, or scared. They can be stronger and quicker than you might think. Be certain that the doors of the cage are fastened tight so that it cannot escape the trap while you are driving…as that could be a horror show.
  • THEY WILL PEE AND POO: A frightened pest will urinate and or defecate in the trap. Place a liner or blanket or anything as a barrier to stop their stuff from fouling your floor or seat or whatever the cage is sitting on. Failure to do that has caused many folks to spend hours cleaning up a stinky mess.
  • SOME SPRAY: Skunks will spray uncontrollably when caged. Placing a blanket over the cage so they cannot see you sometimes helps, sometimes not. Relocating a skunk may be best left to a animal control officer.
  • THE BIG AND THE DANGEROUS: Transport of big animals like bobcats and dangerous reptiles like very long or poisonous snake should be left to the professionals. Call the animal control officer to do it.
  • THE RELEASE: Think about what will happen when you release the trapped animal. He may or may not run out of the cage. If he does, be certain the door you will open is aimed where you want him to run. If the animal will not leave the cage, are you ready to prod them or lift the cage and shake them out until they leave it and scamper off into the wild. Can you do all of this without being bitten? Think first. Then be cautious and as the Boy Scouts say “BE PREPARED”.

It is comforting to believe that relocation works for any pest caught.

Sadly that is not true.

Research has shown that most of these released pests will die very quickly because they are unable to adapt to the new environment you have forced them into. Survival is almost impossible because they are unable to defend themselves against natural predators or they start a territorial fight that they will lose which will send them to another area to fend off others again. This is especially true for those that are social like chipmunks, squirrels, and mice…and that isolation as well as other many other reasons will cause their death.

Are you sure you want to relocate a wild creäture in a trap?

We humans continue to believe that we are doing the humane thing when we relocate a pest because we set it free and do not have to see the consequence of that action. Out of sight is out of mind.
The last thing we remember is seeing it scurrying out into the wild…and we believe we did a good thing. And we can live with that. But sadly are we kidding ourselves.