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Solve a Wildlife Problem

Animal in my Window Well

Window wells without properly secured covers can become accidental traps for many species of wildlife. Snakes, toads, salamanders, turtles, baby birds, rabbits and raccoons, moles and opossums climb or fall into window wells and then cannot get back out.

Photo: Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Placing a board with a rough surface into the window well will allow a trapped animal, like this opossum, to crawl out.
Placing a board with a rough surface into the window well will allow a trapped animal, like this opossum, to crawl out.

It is easy to help wildlife out of window wells. If the animal is small, such as a toad, rabbit or turtle, you can remove the animal or bird by hand or you can use a broom to gently sweep the animal into a bucket. Release the animal on the property away from the window well. If the animal is larger, such as an opossum, raccoon or snapping turtle, place a rough board in the window well at an angle so that the animal can climb out on its own.

To prevent other animals from becoming trapped in the window well, install a plastic or metal cover over the well. If a metal cover is used, install one with a small grate so that smaller animals don’t fall in. Be sure the cover is flush against the wall and the well so that animals don’t crawl in through gaps or open spaces.

A plastic window well cover.
A properly secured window well cover will keep out wildlife.