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Living with wildlife

Wildlife advice: 

* Know what animals are local in your area and their habits. 

* learn breeding times (mainly spring) 

* Look for potential entry points. Look for chewing, digging, tracks, scat, and urine marks 

* Make repairs to entry points in your home during fall and winter when there are no young. In the spring, call a professional like Critter Care. Never seal any entry point until you are positive there are no animals inside. 

* Secure lids of trash cans

* Secure any food, human or animal in metal containers with lids. Bring in pet food and water bowls at dusk 

* Close and lock et doors at night 

* Store firewood in your garage or shed. Outside, it's a perfect habitat for wildlife 

* Check for loose and missing vents around your home 

* Pick up fallen friut from frees daily

In nature, babies are born in the spring because the weather is mild, days get longer and resources are plentiful for mother and baby. 

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Wildlife provides valuable ecosystem benefits.

Many "nuisance" species are harmless and may be managed to reduce conflict. Safe co-existence is possible.

  • Contact the UC Agricultural & Natural Resources Integrated Pest Management Program(opens in new tab) for assistance.

  • Wildlife cannot be trapped and released elsewhere.

  • Wildlife may be "removed" through non-lethal deterrence or lethal methods like trapping.

Fish & Game Code § 4152

  • Nongame mammals, black-tailed jackrabbits, muskrats, non-native red foxes, and red fox squirrels found to be injuring growing crops or other property may be taken at any time or in any manner in accordance with this code and regulations Inspection and removal shall be done by the person who sets the trap or the owner of the land where the trap is set or an agent of either by the owner or tenant of the premises or employees and agents in immediate possession of written permission from the owner or tenant thereof.

We have received reports of coyotes in the Hayward Area. Sulphur Creek Nature Center and the Department of Fish and Wildlife advised us to leave the animals alone, as they do not pose a threat. Coyotes are smart and have learned to live comfortably alongside us in our residential neighborhoods.

For more information about coexisting with wildlife, please visit the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s website at:

* Residential neighborhood coyote sightings can be emailed to the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's Environmental Scientist at

Common snakes in the bay area 

Pacific Gopher Snake 

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Adults are typically 4 to 5 ft. long.
Hatchlings are around 15 inches long

Probably the most commonly seen snake in our area.

Found in many habitats - grassland, chaparral, agricultural, riparian, woodlands, from sea level to the mountains. Often confused with rattlesnakes, but the tail is long and thin with no rattle

Garter snake 


18 to 43 inches long.

Diurnal. Common in wetland areas.

Common and conspicuous. Abundant in some areas.

Found in grassland, mixed woodland, forest, dunes, and brushland. Most likely to be found near water.


Northern Pacific Rattlesnake 

Rattle snake.jpg

Adults are typically 3 to 4 feet long.

Nocturnal and crepuscular in hot temperatures, and also diurnal during moderate temperatures.

Common and conspicuous.

Found in many habitats, including seaside dunes, scrub, grasslands, rocky hillsides, chaparral, open woodlands, and agricultural fields.

No longer present in most developed areas.

Although most snakes found in California are harmless, the northern pacific rattlesnake can deliver a venomous bite if provoked. Its coloration allows it to blend in with the soil, providing excellent camouflage. Rattlesnakes and gopher snakes have similar coloration, therefore rattlesnakes are often mistaken for its harmless cousin. Therefore, use caution and avoid any snake you see in the wild.

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Hayward Animal Services does not go out for nuisance wildlife, but here are a few companies that do:


Humane Wildlife Control

1-855-5-HUMANE or 1-855-548-6263


Oakland Critter Control



All N One Pest Eliminators



Allstate Animal Control


Vector Control

Other Resources for wildlife 

East Bay Regional Park District 

1-888- EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757


Ohlone Humane Society 



California Department of Fish and Wildlife 


Sulphur Creek Nature Center


Lindsay Wildlife 



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