skip to main content
The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Wildlife in DuPage County

DuPage County Animal Services provides the following services pertaining to wildlife to residents of UNINCORPORATED DuPage County: 

  • Removal of sick or injured wildlife from residential property.
  • Removal of wildlife from inside the living area of a residence (the living area does not include chimneys, attics, crawl spaces or under stoops or decks).
  • Removal of wildlife that has become trapped or entangled in a manner in which it cannot free itself (examples: trapped in a fence, etc.).

Residents with wild animals in chimneys, attics, crawl spaces or under decks should contact a licensed animal trapper (link below) or removal service. 

Nuisance wildlife is not handled by DuPage County Animal Services. Examples of nuisance wildlife are: 

  • Squirrels nesting in an overhang of a house
  • Skunks building a den next to the foundation of a home
  • Raccoons building a nest in the attic of a home
  • Seeing a wild animal on one’s property
  • Animal in a window well or garbage can.

Nuisance wildlife that has taken up residence on a person’s property can be removed by a licensed wildlife trapper. This service is not provided by DuPage County Animal Services. It is illegal for residents to trap wildlife. A permit may be acquired through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources dependent on the situation.  

If an animal is in a window well, place a thick branch or roughed board at a 45° in the well.  This will allow the animal to crawl out.  Please remember that skunks/raccoons/etc are nocturnal and may not leave the window well until night.  

Coyotes: 

Coyotes are a permanent fixture in Illinois’ rural, suburban, and urban areas. Seeing a coyote does not constitute a problem or a dangerous situation for humans or domestic animals. As the human population expands coyote’s natural territories decrease. Due to our population growth, it is more common for people to see coyotes. Some of the coyote population have become accustomed to human activity and may approach buildings, pets, or people. If you see a coyote that is actively acting aggressively towards a human (charging or trying to bite) call DuPage Animal Services at 630-407-2800 x 0 if you reside in unincorporated DuPage County; or call your local police department if you live within the city limits.

To learn tips to minimize potential problems with coyotes, read Urban Coyote Management (PDF)

Behavior, Food Sources, and Longevity

  • Coyotes are usually active from dusk to dawn but are sometimes seen during the day.
  • Breeding season for coyotes begin late February and into early March.
  • Coyotes are the largest predators in Illinois and usually hunt a variety of small mammals.
  • A recent study conducted in Cook County found that small rodents were the primary food source for urban coyotes and domestic animal remains were found in less that 2% of the coyotes studied.
  • Urban coyotes typically live for less than 2 years while rural coyotes can live on an average for 3 - 4 years. 

Strategies for dealing with coyotes:

  • Store garbage securely
  • Keep bird feeding areas clean of debris.  Even well maintained feeders can attract rodents which in turn may attract coyotes. 
  • Use squirrel-proof bird feeders.  Squirrels visiting bird feeders attract coyotes. 
  • Feed pets indoors. 
  • Do not leave small pets like rabbits, cats, or small dogs unattended, especially at night. 
  • If you see a coyote, face it, make loud noises (clap your hands, bang pots and pans, yell at the coyote) and toss stones or sticks at it.  Do not run away from coyotes. 

Additional suggested resources for information on wildlife/coyotes:

For after-hours emergency animal related issues in UNICORPORATED DuPage County, call the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department at 630-407-2400.