Avoided Methods

Control Methods Best Avoided

This page has techniques and methods that should not be used to manage wildlife damage. Everyone loves home remedies. When it comes to wildlife damage management, many are not only ineffective, but can be dangerous. A technique may not be the best option if it:

  • doesn’t work.
  • is dangerous to the user.
  • is dangerous to the environment.
  • is dangerous to non-targets.
  • is illegal.
  • is unnecessarily cruel.

The following techniques should be avoided.

Vehicle Exhaust

As a Control Technique: Piping any gas into a burrow system, particularly a long one like mole or pocket gopher, is very difficult. It is like trying to push air through a 50-foot long straw. Animals will likely outrun the fumes. A device that pumps exhaust into burrows may be safer and more functional than using one’s vehicle. However, we would like to see more research on its safety and efficacy.

As a Euthanasia Technique: On its face, using carbon monoxide from the exhaust of internal combustion engines to euthanize nuisance wildlife sounds like a reasonable idea. Unfortunately, it is isn’t – exhaust from an engine is so hot that you basically cook the animal. Furthermore, modern engines emit far fewer pollutants like carbon monoxide so they are less effective than old engines.

Gasoline-soaked Rags Stuffed into a Hole

Gasoline is environmentally hazardous. It also poses the immediate risk of starting a fire.


As a Repellent: Mothballs have a number of safety-related issues, such as their potential risk to human health and flammability.