Believe it or not, even living in a highly populated area in Southern California, keeping wildlife out of our yard can be difficult. Luke and the squirrels have an on going battle to see who can get the ripened fruits and vegetables from the garden first. When the squirrels win, they like to sit on the fence and eat their ill-gotten gains where Luke can see them. LOL Well, regular contributor, Megan Wild, has some ideas that may help Luke’s dilemma. Check out her great tips on humane ways to keep unwanted animals out of your yard.
Humane Ways to Keep Animals Out of Your Yard
One of the best parts about summer is being able to go out and tend to your yard and garden. However, many stray animals also enjoy using your yard during these warm months, especially if you have lots of tasty plants for them to snack on. It’s pretty aggravating trying to get rid of these animals to keep your yard in good condition, but if you’re an animal lover like me, you also don’t want to harm these animals.
You have plenty of humane and effective choices for getting rid of backyard pests. By using one of these options (or a few), you should be able to decrease the number of stray animals that decide to visit your yard this summer.
Remove Food Sources and Shelter
Many stray animals wander into your yard because it provides shelter from rain and has a steady food source. Normal places that animals seek for shelter are inside window wells and under porches. Feral cats are especially known for making their homes in these areas. Blocking off these entrances with chicken wire is an affordable option. Just be sure there aren’t any animals hiding before you patch up the holes.
It’s also possible that animals are digging through your garbage cans because they know they can get food from them. Make sure you have lids that can be locked down or tightened to keep animals out of them. By removing the food source, the animals should be less motivated to keep coming.
Use Human Hair
Some animals, such as deer, prefer going through your garden to get food. Perhaps you have a vegetable garden or a flower patch. Either way, you don’t want to stop growing these plants simply because the deer have the same taste in vegetation as you.
A deer’s natural reaction when they see or smell a human is to run away. You can use this to your advantage by placing human hair around your garden. Another option is putting some hair in a sock and hanging that in your garden. You’ll need to add new hair every couple of days, but you should be able to drop by a barber shop and ask for some of the hair clippings.
Use an Animal Repellent
Many gardening stores offer animal repellents that you can use in your garden. Animal urine, specifically fox or wolf urine, is a natural enemy to garden pests. If you have a large dog, let him or her mark the area around your garden as that can also help keep animals away.
You can also make your own hot-pepper repellent and spray that on your plants. The animals don’t like the irritation the peppers cause and will be less inclined to munch on your yard. Remember that you’ll need to reapply these repellents every few days or after a rainstorm.
Use Loud Noises or Lights
You can use motion-sensing lights to help scare away stray animals, especially those who scavenge in your yard at night. Some electronic repellents use motion sensors to spray water at pests that try to eat your plants. The best part with motion sensors is that they go off after a certain time period and will only go back on if movement triggers them. Another option is to simply set a radio play at random intervals to scare off any potential pests.
However, if you also have shy or elderly pets or animals at your home, this might not be the best option for you. Shy pets may become increasingly skittish around these new sources of light and sound. If you have an elderly pet, they may start to eventually exhibit cognitive problems similar to what those with Alzheimer’s experience. These new lights and sounds could potentially be confusing and lead to disorientation.
While fencing is the most expensive option, it’s also one of the most effective. It keeps the animals out and your yard in an enclosed area. You’ll want to have a fence that is at least eight feet high to prevent animals from climbing or jumping over it. You don’t want to have a lot of space between each slat, since smaller animals can squirm through the spaces.
If fencing off your whole yard is too expensive you can also confine small areas, such as your vegetable garden, with fencing.
Keep the Animals Out, and Your Yard in One Piece.
Stray animals love scavenging through residential backyards because they have many choices for food and shelter. Eliminating these options and using humane repellents will help protect your yard from these animals for the rest of the warm season.
Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!
Please leave any other humane ideas you have for keeping animals out of your yard in the comments.
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