Urban Wildlife

Creatures Among Us

Coralville is home to a variety of wildlife species, including species you may see during the day and others which are active only at night. While some types of wildlife may be welcomesuch as attracting birds with a birdfeeder—we must deal with urban wildlife even when our interactions with these animals are unwanted.

Wild Animals in Your Neighborhood

The Coralville Police Department receives reports and requests to remove wild animals from residential areas of the city—including raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, opossums, deer, cougars, coyotes, and bobcats. These reports increase in the spring and through the fall and winter when the animals become more visible. During these seasons they move into urban areas to take advantage of the food, warmth, and fresh water not always as readily available in the wild as in neighborhood backyards.

Balancing the Human-Wildlife Equation

It is the philosophy of the Coralville Police Department to respect the balance of the human-wildlife equation in urban areas and to foster practices which reduce the need to actively manage wildlife. Often, the beauty and natural features that draw us to a particular neighborhood are the same features that provide native wildlife with the food, water, and shelter they require to survive and flourish. As long as these conditions exist:
  • Removing an offending animal creates an opportunity for others to migrate into the vacated area.
  • Trapping and relocating wildlife is seldom successful and often leads to the needless suffering and death of the animal. 
  • It is our desire to prevent the unnecessary destruction of wildlife when it serves no sustainable purpose.
If you are dealing with an urban wildlife issue, please try the prevention, deterrent, and maintenance tips below. Contact Coralville Animal Control at 319.248.1800 for consultation or concerns about wild animals.

Contact Us

  1. Animal Control Officer

    1503 5th St.
    P.O. Box 5911
    Coralville, IA  52241

    Ph: 319.248.1800
    Fx: 319.248.1888

Dealing with Urban Wildlife

  1. Prevention
  2. Deterrents
  3. Home Maintenance
  4. Removal, Traps & Control

Preventing Urban Wildlife

Preventive tactics are the cheapest, most practical, and best long-term solutions when dealing with wildlife. By making your environment as unattractive to wildlife as possible, they will quickly move on. 

People often create habitat for animals that eventually become a problem:
  • Piles of brush, wood, rocks, dense tall grass, and shrub areas provide cover for many species of wildlife. 
  • Exclusions such as fencing, screening, and repairs to existing vents, woodwork, chimneys, or foundations are very effective at keeping wild animals away from areas in which they are unwanted.  
  • Any food source left outdoors, such as garbage, pet food, or grill drippings provides a strong attraction for a number of wildlife species. Bird feeding stations also entice animals if the lure of a free handout is not properly managed. 

Problem Animals A to Z

  1. Bats
  2. Beavers & Muskrats
  3. Bobcats
  4. Cougars & Bears
  5. Coyotes
  6. Deer
  7. Ducks & Geese
There are several types of bats commonly found in Iowa. Bats are nocturnal mammals that typically roost in natural areas like caves, rock overhangs, loose tree bark, tree cavities and foliage, but also utilize buildings and man-made structures.

Most bats in North America eat insects of various kinds and sizes, while some types of bats eat fruit and nectar. Bats are a beneficial part of the environment by providing insect control and pollination. Nuisance bats may roost inside a variety of commercial and residential spaces and will enter structures through holes and entry points. Bats commonly follow air currents and may be found in attics, chimneys, vents, soffits, flashing, siding, roofs, and loose shingles and shutters.

Avoid handling or direct contact with bats. If you find a bat within your home, contact Animal Control. If you discover a bat colony within your home, you will need to contact a wildlife removal service. Bat colonies must be handled by professional. 

For more information, see Bats Around and in the Home from Iowa State University Wildlife Extension and Outreach.
  1. Feral Cats
  2. Groundhogs & Woodchucks
  3. Insects & Pests
  4. Opossums
  5. Raccoons
  6. Skunks
A feral cat is one of the domestic cat species that has been living outdoors to some degree and is not socialized to people. Feral cats are seldom truly “wild” as most still rely on people for food sources, whether it is intentionally placed for them or from an unsecured garbage can. They will also hunt birds, rodents, and other wildlife. These cats will often be seen near backyard bird feeders and restaurant dumpsters, as it provides a continual parade of food opportunities. They commonly seek shelter under porches, in sewer openings, and abandoned buildings or structures.

Please do not feed. Food left out for stray cats will also attract other animals, insects, and create a nuisance for those around you so we advise against it.  If you need help with a feral cat, please call Animal Control 319.248.1800. The Iowa City Animal Center provides resources for stray cats including the Barn Cat Program.