How to Get Rid Of Bobcats? (3 Removal Ways)

How to Get Rid Of Bobcats in House

While previously seen as endangered species, bobcats are now enjoying a rapid increase in population, often becoming a menace to many families. Bobcats destroy livestock and our pets. Rabid bobcats can get aggressive and attack you and your loved ones hence the need to get rid of them.

You can get rid of bobcats by luring and trapping them while making your home less comfortable for them. This involves clearing excess vegetation from, ensuring they don’t readily see food around and further scaring them off with a combination of air and motion-activated sprinklers.

Bobcats are intelligent and persistent animals. Trapping them is not enough; you have to make your property less habitable for them. You must also be careful when you approach them; a rabid bobcat will attack you and harm you. There is so much you should know about getting rid of bobcats.

Using Humane Traps (Step-by-Step Guide)

A humane cage trap is both effective and ethical for catching and safely removing a bobcat from your yard.

Choosing the Right Humane Trap

Steel construction – High quality steel traps are more durable for large animals like bobcats, unlike plastic traps which bobcats can destroy easily.

Larger sizing – Choose a trap for a bobcat that’s at least 10 feet long, 3 feet high, and 3 feet wide. This size ensures they have enough room to move while inside.

Easy to set door – Look for traps with a rear door designed for remote release using a stick and string, which can be opened once the bobcat is inside.

Safety features – Choose traps with safety features like padded jaws or rubber-tipped cage wires to prevent harm to the bobcat.

Weatherproof – Select traps made of rust-resistant and waterproof materials, as they may be left outside overnight.

Well-known brands like Havahart and Tomahawk Live Trap make quality traps that meet these criteria. Purchase from a reputable dealer and read all safety instructions before setting up your trap.

Choosing the Right Location

Place the humane trap where you’ve recently seen bobcat activity for the best chance of success. Look for signs like:

  • Tracks or paw prints
  • Scat/droppings
  • Scratch marks on trees
  • Damage to gardens, sheds, or outdoor structures

Set the trap near dense vegetation, brush piles, or creek beds, since bobcats use these spots for shelter and hunting.

Place the trap on flat, stable ground to avoid tipping, which can harm or kill a trapped bobcat. Also, check that the trap door is level upon release.

Baiting the Trap

Use raw meat as bait to attract and safely contain the bobcat inside the trap. Choose fresh, strongly-scented meats such as chicken, fish, turkey, venison, or beef, and avoid processed meats like sausage or lunchmeat.

Put the bait at the far end of the trap to ensure the bobcat fully enters. Attach a string to the trap door’s prop. This allows you to release the door from a safe distance once the bobcat is inside.

Regularly check and refresh the bait for effectiveness. You might also lay a trail of bait leading to the trap. Be sure to wear gloves when handling raw meat bait to avoid contamination.

Catch and Release Procedures

When the bobcat is in the trap, pull the string remotely to close the door and secure it inside. Call animal control or a wildlife relocation service promptly to retrieve the trapped bobcat.

In most states, relocating wildlife without permits is illegal. Professionals will relocate the bobcat to a remote, uninhabited area.

Do not try to handle a trapped bobcat; their sharp teeth and claws are dangerous. Bobcats risk injury from stress in a trap, so reducing their time confined is essential.

Before animal control arrives, minimize noise and disturbances near the trap. Offer fresh water and observe from afar without approaching.

Repellents and Deterrents for Keeping Bobcats Away

Using repellents and deterrents, in addition to trapping and removing them, effectively prevents bobcats from entering your yard and claiming it as their territory.

Homemade Repellents

Ammonia – Soak rags in ammonia and place them around your property’s edges; the strong smell repels bobcats.

Mothballs – Place mothballs in problem areas; their scent irritates bobcats’ sensitive noses.

Citrus peels – Use citrus peels from oranges, lemons, and grapefruits; their oils deter bobcats. Scatter them around your yard.

Cayenne pepper -Sprinkle cayenne pepper powder on bobcat trails and near gardens to deter them.

Human hair – Gather hair from your brushes, put it in mesh bags, and hang them near potential bobcat hideouts.

Reapply repellents every 2-3 weeks or after heavy rain as the scents fade. Always ensure they are safe for animals and the environment.

Physical Deterrents

Motion-activated sprinklers – These sprinklers, when triggered, shoot a sharp burst of water that startles bobcats. Position along property borders or dens.

Ultrasonic devices – Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that only bobcats and certain other animals can hear. Place around yards.

Predator urine – Use predator urine from animals like coyotes or mountain lions; bobcats avoid areas marked by these territorial competitors. Apply these scents around your land.

Contacting Wildlife Removal Professionals for Bobcats

Why Hire Professionals?

Wildlife professionals possess specialized training, knowledge, and experience in handling bobcats and understanding local regulations.

Professionals have access to advanced equipment and methods not available to the public.

Trapping and transporting wildlife by untrained individuals is often illegal. Professionals are permitted to do so legally.

Removal services will find and permanently seal a bobcat’s entryways to your home.

These services offer tailored solutions after inspecting the unique issues of your property.

Finding Qualified Experts

Make sure you select reputable services with demonstrated bobcat removal experience:

  • Licensing – They should have all needed state and local wildlife handling permits and licenses.
  • Experience – Select a service with over 5 years of experience and multiple successful bobcat removals.
  • Methods – Ensure they emphasize humane trapping and relocation as well as exclusion tactics. Avoid lethal control.
  • Availability – Select a service that offers 24/7 bobcat removal services for rapid response.
  • Reviews – Check online reviews and testimonials to verify satisfied customers. Avoid companies with complaints.

Removal Process

A typical bobcat removal process includes:

  • Onsite inspection to find entry points, dens, and attractants.
  • Humane trapping and extraction of bobcats from your property.
  • Blocking all possible entrances and bobcat shelters on your land.
  • Cleaning bobcat scents and removing food sources.
  • Providing maintenance and follow-up to ensure bobcats stay away long term.

Costs

Professional wildlife removal services average $200 – $500 per bobcat removed and excluded from a property. More complex jobs are higher. Obtain detailed quotes from at least three services before making a choice.

Signs of Bobcat Presence on Your Property

Tracks and Paw Prints

Bobcat tracks are distinct from domestic cats and dogs. Key features:

  • About 2-3 inches long, not counting claw marks. Larger than house cat tracks.
  • No toe pads visible like dogs. Direct register walking pattern.
  • Asymmetric oval shape with 4 toes visible. The heel pad is faintly visible.
  • Claw marks are sharp since bobcats have non-retractable claws.

Bobcat paw prints are found in muddy or soft soil. The hind tracks print almost exactly on top of the fore tracks in an overlapping pattern.

Scat

Bobcat feces are segmented into well-formed sections. They are tubular shaped, pointed on the ends, and about the thickness of a cigar. Bobcat scat is commonly found along well-traveled trails on the property.

Territory Markings

Bobcats mark their territory by scraping and clawing tree trunks, leaving 3-8 inch long vertical scratch marks. Look for them on trees near dense brush, creek beds, or hunting trails.

Den Sites

Bobcats use natural shelters like hollow logs, thickets, or under rocky overhangs for dens, and may also nest under porches or sheds. Look for signs of flattened grass, matted vegetation, and bobcat trails leading to and from suspected shelter spots.

Dead Prey Remains

Partly eaten carcasses of birds, rabbits, or other small prey, covered with leaves or debris, indicate bobcats feeding on your property.

Howling, Yowling, and Marking Noises

Bobcat sounds, especially during mating season, include howls, yowls, hisses, growls, and unique screaming noises. Listen for these late at night when bobcats are most active on your property.

Prevention Techniques to Keep Bobcats Away

Removing Potential Food Sources

Bobcats are attracted to yards and gardens when looking for food. Eliminating all potential food sources can help deter bobcats from taking up residence on your land.

Keep pet food inside, especially overnight when bobcats hunt. Feeding pets indoors is ideal.

Secure garbage cans and compost bins. Pick up any fallen trash that could attract rodents, which are preyed on by bobcats.

Remove fallen fruit, bird seed, open compost, and pet waste, as these attract animals that bobcats hunt.

Installing Fences

Properly constructed fences provide an effective physical barrier preventing bobcats from entering your yard.

  • Bury fencing 1-2 feet underground so bobcats cannot dig underneath. Extend the fence at least 5 feet above ground.
  • Use solid wood, masonry, or wire mesh fences with tiny gaps, or electric fences, to block access.
  • Clear vegetation away from fence boundaries so bobcats have no cover.
  • Install coyote rollers along the top of fences to prevent bobcats from climbing over.
  • Surround gardens, play areas, pools, and chicken coops with fences to keep pets and farm animals safe.
  • Monitor fence lines for gaps or breaches and repair immediately.

Are Bobcats Dangerous?

Bobcats are naturally shy and don’t enjoy the company of humans. Therefore, it is improbable that a bobcat can get aggressive enough to attack humans. Humans are far bigger than bobcats are – and they rightly identify humans are predators.

Bobcats can, however, get aggressive enough to attack you if they have rabies. You can tell if the bobcat is foaming at the mouth or if they seem quite tattered and sluggish.

Bobcats will also attack you when it has something to defend – its very life or that of her kittens. Female bobcats are known for their aggression and would attack even supposed predators who try to touch her kittens.

Sadly, these kittens weighing barely 13 pounds can be so small to be mistaken for normal house cats by your little ones. Be sure to keep your family away from bobcats to avoid such attacks. Properly educate your little ones on the dangers wildlife like bobcat pose so they can maintain their distance from them.

Except for finding food into your home, bobcats will not launch an affront attack on you unprovoked. If you keep your home free of rodents, diligently maintain your garden and safeguard your pets and chickens, it is very rare for you to come across a bobcat in the first place.

Can You Kill Bobcats?

Bobcats are protected species in most American states. With a healthy increase in the population of bobcats, many are proposing a reversal of their status as endangered species so they can be hunted freely. While you can kill an aggressive or invasive bobcat (on the ground of self-defense) on your property, sport hunting of bobcat is very regulated in most American states.

Most states, according to their department of game & inland fisheries, operate open and closed hunting season. For example, approximately 3,000 bobcats are hunted and trapped in Missouri. Missouri itself boasts a healthy population of bobcats numbered at about 18,000 – and they are yet increasing rapidly.

This hunting (bound by the Wildlife Code for regulations) is done during the official bobcat hunting and trapping season. In Missouri, this season starts from November 15 each year and ends February 15. The firearm you use is also regulated, just like your choice of bows and slingshots. It is strictly prohibited during the hunting season to kill bobcats with fully automatic weapons.

During November, if you must use a shotgun, it shouldn’t be bigger than a No. 4 shot or better still a lesser caliber rimfire rifle. In the hunting season, hunting starts 30 minutes before sunrise, and it is illegal to hunt bobcats any later than 30 minutes after sunset. Similarly, in Massachusetts, you can only hunt bobcats after you have procured your permits and licenses from MassFishHunt.

Do Bobcats Carry Diseases?

Bobcats are famed for the Bobcat Fever. This is caused by a deadly parasite called Cytauxzoonfelis for which bobcats are the natural hosts. This is spread to them from ticks.  The protozoa are transferred from the tick to bobcat when it bites the bobcat.

The dominant tick responsible for this is Amblyomma americanum, famously known as the lone star tick. Bobcat fever is widespread during April to September, where the vector is more active. Now once the parasite penetrates the system of the bobcat, it attacks the immunity of the bobcat via destroying its macrophage cells.

Upon successful infestation by the protozoa, these macrophage cells unnaturally expand, thereby overloading the blood cells and clogging free blood circulation. This can result in organ failure, and if contracted by your domestic cat can kill it.

Bobcat fever has been reported in domestic cats in American states like Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

How Can You Tell Bobcat Fever?

Your house cat can show symptoms of the bobcat fever within an average of 7 days after being bitten by the tick. If this tick successfully passes this protozoan parasite to your cat, you will notice acute depression in your cat (your once energetic and vibrant cat can suddenly experience a behavioral shift and get so gloomy), acute fatigue, dehydration and loss of appetite.

If unattended to, an advanced bobcat fever can kill your cat within three days. If the cat survives the bobcat fever infection, it is most likely going to retain the disease for much longer.

Medicinal diagnosis of bobcat fever is done by PCR testing where the blood parasite is closely observed from a microscope to know the state of the piroplasms.

How Do You Treat Bobcat Fever?

If your cat has bobcat fever, a veterinary doctor will prescribe anti-parasitic drugs for it. It can be complemented with supportive care procedures like blood transfusion and intravenous fluids. Also, for the fact that the cat could lose appetite, the cat will be given nutritional support. Survival rate is low if the bobcat fever is advanced.

There is no vaccine at present to prevent bobcat fever. There has however been some encouraging research in the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine spearheaded by the illustrious researcher Dr. Leah Cohn. Dr. Leah Cohn is working alongside Dr. David Bird and Dr. Adam Birkenheuer to unveil new remedies for bobcat fever.

These researchers are carefully studying previous medicines that have shown impressive success in treating protozoan infections. Updates from the North Carolina State website reveal that the research has “raised the Cytauxzoonosis survival rate from less than 25 percent to 60 percent.” This strengthens the possibility of the collaboration between Dr. Birkenheuer and Dr. Cohen to produce a vaccine for preventing bobcat fever.

While a concrete vaccine is yet to be discovered, on your own, you can significantly reduce the chances of your cat getting infested with the bobcat fever. This is by preventing your cat from roaming aimlessly about outdoors. By being indoors more, the chances are lesser for the protozoan carrying tick to bite them.

You can also use a feline tick preventative product which your veterinary doctor has approved for you to take your cat outdoors. As said, make sure your home is less conducive for bobcats by clearing up excess vegetation and keeping rodents far away. Also, if you have your dogs and cats living together, make it a regular practice to detick your dogs.

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