a tree in front of a house

Pesky Pests: 3 Critters That Are Protected

In Georgia, it's legal to trap or kill a variety of critters. However, some of them are protected by state or federal laws. Trapping or killing the wrong pest can be very expensive—so before you take action, ensure that your problem critter isn't protected.

Canada Geese

Canada geese are migratory birds that spend their winters in Georgia and other southern states. These large birds produce up to three pounds of feces a day, so your beautiful lawn can become a disaster in no time! They're also well-known for being aggressive. While you may want to kill them, this would be a very expensive mistake. Canada geese are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Thus, violating this federal law can lead to a fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment for as long as one year.

Scare devices like scarecrows or balloons can help to deter these annoying birds without getting you into trouble. Chemical repellents can also be spread on your property to make the area less appealing to Canada geese. If necessary, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may issue you a permit to destroy their nests and eggs.


When woodpeckers start pecking at your home's siding and leaving unsightly holes, you may be tempted to trap or kill them. Not so fast! These destructive birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They can only be lethally controlled if you have a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and these permits are only approved in extreme situations. To avoid getting a fine of up to $100,000 or spending a year in jail, don't harm these protected birds or any other birds that are covered by the treaty.

However, there are ways to protect your home without hurting the birds. When woodpeckers drill holes in wood, they're looking for tasty insects. Carpenter bees, termites or other pests could be attracting the woodpeckers, so it's a good idea to have a professional take a look. If there are no bugs, you can hang aluminum foil strips near the damaged areas of your home to scare away woodpeckers.


Bats are creepy critters that may opportunistically roost in your attic or shed. These animals are noisy, smelly and carriers of diseases, so trapping or killing them may seem like an ideal solution. However, this is illegal under Georgia state law (O.C.G.A. §27-1-28). This law makes it illegal to hunt, trap or transport non-game wildlife species—and all bats fall into this category. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, violators of this law may face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

The best way to get rid of bats without breaking the law is to use an excluder. An excluder is a one-way door that allows bats to leave your attic, but doesn't let them get back in. However, you can only use excluders at certain times. Between May 1 and August 15, flightless baby bats could be present. During this time, you can't use an excluder without a permit. This is because the baby bats will die if the adults can't enter the nest to feed them, and letting the baby bats die is illegal. Removing the baby bats is also a violation so to protect yourself, wait until after August 15 to set up your excluders.

Although these pests are protected by law, there ar plents of critters that Breda can get rid of for you. Request a consultation for more information.