Nuisance Wildlife

What is Considered Nuisance Wildlife?Racoon

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commision (FWC) defines nuisance wildlife as wildlife that causes (or is about to cause) property damage, presents a threat to public safety, or causes an annoyance within, under, or upon a building.

Examples of wildlife that could be a nuisance to residents are:

  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks
  • Snakes 

Removal of Nuisance Wildlife

Animal Services (AS) generally deals only with domestic animals. Domestic animals exclude wildlife and exotic animals in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Sumter County Code. AS works cooperatively with the Sumter County Health Department and FWC to educate the public regarding nuisance wildlife.

Contact the local FWC office located in Ocala at 352-732-1225. Referrals to private trappers are provided to residents who report nuisance wildlife in most situations.

Visit the FWC website for a listing of trappers.

AlligatorSpecies Dealt With
FWC will respond to situations involving alligators (4 feet or larger), deer, bears, bats (non-human exposure), most migratory birds or eggs, state or federally listed species of special concern, and threatened or endangered species. View the Threatened / Endangered Species Listing for more information.

Investigating Calls

Animal Services will provide field support upon the request of the Sumter County Health Department in a nuisance wildlife situation determined by the Health Department to be a public health risk. Public health risk is usually defined by exposure.

If you or your pet has been bitten or come into contact (exposure--see below) with wildlife, report it immediately to the Sumter County Health Department at 352-569-3131.


According to the Sumter County Health Department exposure is generally defined as follows:

  • Bite from feral dog, coyote, fox, skunk, or otter
  • Bite or scratch from a feral cat, bobcat, or raccoon
  • Bat discovered in indoor living area or any human physical contact with a live bat
  • An unprovoked bite or scratch from an opossum (opossums are marsupials and are not high-risk animals for rabies)