University of Illinois Extension

Controlling Nuisance Mammals

Many of the mammals in Illinois are legally protected by the Illinois Wildlife Code. If you need help with mammal identification, visit our animal identification guide. The Directory of Illinois Wildlife provides information on how to prevent and solve problems with mammals.

If the mammal is a:

White-tailed Deer:

A permit is needed. Go to Controlling Nuisance White-tailed Deer for more information.

Small Mammal:

Most small mammals may be killed or removed without a permit. This group includes house mice, Norway rats, moles, voles, gophers, and shrews. Exceptions include the eastern woodrat and rice rat, which are listed as endangered or threatened species in Illinois. These two species may not be removed.

Squirrel:

Ground Squirrel

Thirteen-lined ground squirrels and eastern chipmunks may be removed without a permit. Franklin's ground squirrels are listed as threatened in Illinois and may not be removed.

Tree Squirrel

Tree squirrels include gray squirrels, fox squirrels, red squirrels, and southern flying squirrels.

In urban or suburban areas, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator to remove tree squirrels that are damaging property or causing risks to human health or safety.

Landowners and tenants who want to remove tree squirrels themselves should contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if they qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, gray squirrels and fox squirrels may be taken during open hunting seasons. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. Red squirrels and southern flying squirrels are protected by continuous closed season (i.e. these species may not be taken under authority of a hunting license).

For more information on hunting regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site.

Rabbit

In urban or suburban areas, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator to remove rabbits that are causing substantial property damage. Landowners and tenants who want to remove rabbits themselves should contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if they qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, rabbits may be taken during open hunting seasons. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. For more information on hunting regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site.

Furbearer

Furbearers include raccoons, opossums, skunks, beavers, muskrats, coyotes, red foxes, gray foxes, mink, river otters, badgers, weasels, and bobcats.

In urban or suburban areas, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (NWCO) to remove furbearers that are damaging property or causing risks to human health or safety.

Landowners and tenants who want to remove furbearers themselves should contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if they qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, the IDNR encourages removal of furbearers during open hunting and trapping seasons whenever possible. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. For more information on hunting and trapping regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site. Furbearers may also be taken under authority of a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit when causing damage to property or threatening human health or safety. Contact your District Wildlife Biologistto discuss options for resolving problems, including issuance of a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

Woodchuck

In urban or suburban areas, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (NWCO) to remove woodchucks that are causing substantial property damage.

Landowners and tenants who want to remove woodchucks themselves should contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if they qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, woodchucks may be removed during open hunting and trapping seasons. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. For more information on hunting and trapping regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site.

Bat

Contact your local animal control agency or the Illinois Department of Public Health if you find a bat in the living quarters of your home and think people or pets might have been bitten.

Bats inside rooms will exit on their own. Close off the room and keep windows open and clear of obstructions overnight.

Removal of bat colonies from buildings is best done by a licensed professional with experience.