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San Diego Humane Society

Rodents: Coexisting with Wildlife

What to do if you find:

While we continue to accept and work with many species of rodents, please review the Hantavirus information. Hantavirus vector species will only be accepted for euthanasia.

Put the rodent in a closed escape-proof container with a soft ravel-free cloth. Put the container half on and half off a heating pad set on low. Monitor it so the animal is warm to the touch, but not hot. Even adult rodents may require heat if they are in shock and cold to the touch.

Put the container in a quiet place away from children and pets.

Coexisting with rodents:

Domestic breeds of rodents can make great pets but wild rodents should never be considered as pets.  Unfortunately there are very few humane ways of dealing with rodent populations once they take over an area.  Prevention is the key!


  • Rodents will readily take up residence in a building if access is available. It is important to block all holes with wood or wire mesh to prevent entry.
  • Prune overhanging tree limbs, shrubs, and vines that may provide access to attics and other areas. Also cover telephone and electric wires near the house with long plastic tubing.
  • Rodents are excitable and can cause severe damage if trapped inside a home. Quickly and quietly open a door or window to the outside and leave the room.
  • A rodent may fall in a chimney while climbing on the roof. Secure a heavy rope from the top of the chimney and drop it down to the fireplace. After the rodent has exited, remove the rope and properly cap the chimney.
  • Do not feed pets outside.
  • Secure garbage cans.
  • Clean up spilled bird seed and fallen fruit from your yard.
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