IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: Tuesday January 3, 2012
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Questions and Answers: In-Depth Responses

Please can you tell me of an effective way to discourage otters from using my boathouse as a bathroom...? The smell is unbearable even after I clean.

Ruth Wicklund, British Columbia, Canada, 31 July 2009

Collected Responses from Various OSG Members

  • She can try placing a radio in the boat house for a few days, on a timer might make it variable. I assume the animals are accessing it through the water so blocking access is probably not an option (Jan, USA)
  • In my experience, PineSol or other pine-scented bathroom cleaner works well – both in cleaning up the messes and making the area odor-aversive to otters. (Scott, USA)
  • Unfortunately I think the only way to keep the otter away from the boathouse is to take away the opportunity for the otter to get under the house... (Mia, Sweden)
  • Try building a "rock' or something for them to poop on outside the boathouse and instead of throwing the faeces away, put it on the new 'rock'.  Otters use established latrines, so they should transfer to using that instead, especially if you use lemon or pine disinfectant inside the boathouse itself (Mordi, Kenya)

Response provided 4 August 2009