By Nick Kratsas- KDKA Morning News

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – It’s spring time, and that means critters and varmints are up and active- maybe even in your yard. Raccoons, groundhogs, rabbits, and other rodents are making our home their home, but how do you get rid of them?

KDKA-AM’s Larry and John talked to Pennsylvania Game Commissioner Officer Gary Fujak about how we can get rid of these creatures and keep them away.

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One of the big problems are raccoons, which can be damaging and dangerous- especially rabies. Most repellents will discourage raccoons, but will not necessarily keep them away, says Fujak. The best way to keep them out is deprive them of a food source.

“The first thing you have to do is don’t put food out,” says Fujak. “They’re foragers anyway, so they’re looking for anything that is a natural food source like seeds and  fruits. If you don’t have a food source, you don’t want to encourage them to be there.”

Fujak also talked about baby animals. If you come across abandoned baby animals, leave them alone. Despite how cute they might be, they can still be dangerous or carrying rabies.

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To get rid of them, Fujak suggests animal control services. In the South Hills, residents there already pay for a service.

“You have South Hills Cooperative Animal Control. You can call the police department to have an officer respond from animal control. They can lend you a trap and once its trapped, they’ll remove the animal for you.”

For other communities, Fujak says you can call a call a pest control agent that has a state permit.

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For the do-it-yourselfer, most hardware stores carry humane traps- just make sure you take them far away to relocate them.