Animals can be a pleasure to watch from afar, but when they invade your yard or home without permission, that often means war. Let’s face it, animals can be pests requiring removal. They gobble up the fresh veggies and berries in your garden. They chew on the bark of your ornamental trees, sometimes to the point where the tree dies as a result. And they dig up the gorgeous flowers you slaved over in your front yard. Then, to add insult to injury, you’ve found little furry beasts (err, mice) in your attic. What’s a person to do? This will help.
Identify the wildlife (invader!)
Until you know exactly what species of beast is messing with your home and garden, you’ll have a hard time preventing the trouble they’re causing. So the first step is to look carefully at the type of damage you see, and research the most likely culprits. Here are a few possibilities to consider:
- Squirrels are not only getting in your garden, but in your house!
- Rabbits could be eating the produce in your garden.
- Birds could be chomping on the organic strawberries you’ve grown.
- Deer could be a problem in rural areas when it comes to ornamental trees and shrubs.
- Voles could be making those weird little paths and holes that appeared in your previously perfect lawn.
- Raccoons love to make a mess of the trash in your garbage bins as they search for kitchen scraps.
- Mice might be the ones responsible for those little holes leading into your attic and the sound of tiny scampering feet you’ve been noticing. Squirrels sometimes do that too.
- Skunks…well we know what they do!
There are usually only a limited number of potential culprits that would be causing your issues. If you’re lucky, you can keep a watchful eye on the problem area and catch them in the act, thus leaving you certain of what species is to blame. If in doubt, talk to your neighbours – odds are some of them have had similar issues and can share what they learned in the process. Finally, it never hurts to ask a professional wildlife removal expert to diagnose the problem – their experience with these matters can save you a lot of time compared to guessing.
Block their access
Block the animals in question from accessing the things you don’t want them to get into. However, a key part of this approach is to make sure you don’t trap said animals somewhere that you don’t want them to be. For example, if you suspect mice are in your attic, merely blocking off all of their entry points won’t be enough because you’ll also have to get them out of your home in the first place.
Gardens can be protected from animals such as rabbits via a fence. Many homeowners put a chain link fence around vegetable gardens for this purpose. Chicken wire of varying heights can be purchased as a more discrete option for front yard gardens.
Berries can be protected from birds via specialty netting that can be purchased at home improvement stores or garden centers. The trick to success is to make sure the netting is high enough above the berries that the birds can’t stand on it and nibble at the fruit through the little holes in the net.
If raccoons are digging through your trash, invest in bins with tight fitting lids, put a heavy rock or bricks on the top to keep them from lifting that lid, or store your trash inside a raccoon-proof garage or shed until the morning of trash day arrives.
Carefully inspect your home to make sure there aren’t any holes or cracks that will allow animals to get inside.
Yes, you can keep animals out of your home and garden
It sometimes takes a bit of creativity, and definitely takes some persistence. But that, combined with the right knowledge, will put you in a good position to get these unwanted creatures off your property – or at the very least, under control.