No matter how cute they might be, an unwanted animal in your backyard is still that… unwanted. Animals large and small can spill your garbage, or damage your lawn, garden, furniture and pool. Finding the ideal solution is harder than it sounds; it should be safe for pets and kids, and able to keep out tiny bunnies or grown deer. This guide will help you find safe and friendly solutions for keeping critters out of your yard.
REMOVING WHAT ATTRACTS THEM
A good first step is to remove all food and water sources that make it tempting for a critter to move in. This means ensuring your garbage and recycling are fully covered with lids, or tucked away in the garage. Just remember, lids are still useful inside a garage or shed. Critters seem to be able to find their way in those areas as well.
Clean out your BBQ and store tools that may retain food smells such as your BBQ brush or tongs. If necessary, hose down the area around the BBQ to make sure there are no spilled juices. Additionally, if you enjoy dining outside, pick up food that’s fallen and wipe down the table after.
Fencing seems like a natural solution. A vinyl fence in particular is a good choice because of their height and durability. Even a deer can’t make it over a 6-foot-tall vinyl fence. There are options to ensure your fence remains level and close to the ground. But even just an inch or two at the bottom is all a bunny needs to contort itself into your yard, destroying your beautiful vegetable garden.
CRITTER GUARD FENCE
Specifically designed for the smallest visitors your yard will see. A Critter Guard fence is like a smaller, lighter version of a chain link fence. Designed to fit behind a hedge, or along the edge of a garden, there are a variety of colours available, in 10” or 26” heights. Even squirrels will have a hard time getting in.
TRY A PLASTIC PREDATOR
Many hardware stores offer plastic owls, or scarecrows. Most small animals can’t tell the difference between a plastic enemy and a real one, so they think twice before entering your garden. It’s helpful to change the location of your plastic predator, otherwise the critters will start to catch on.
MOTION SENSOR LIGHTS
Many animals are startled by and keep away from light, especially when it’s unexpected. Motion sensor lights are a great way to stop small animals such as skunks and racoons. If you’re worried about the light bothering you or your neighbours, position the spotlights towards the ground. This way they’re not shining in your windows and the animals are still startled enough to keep their distance.
Many gardeners have had success protecting their garden by planting marigolds. They don’t require much maintenance, are pretty, and keep bunnies and racoons away. Herbs such as lavender and mint are also unpopular amongst rodents, but a beautiful addition to our gardens.
TRY NATURAL REPELLENTS
There are a variety of solutions/ingredients that can work at keeping critters out of your yard. Depending on who’s sneaking in, you might find one of these solutions beneficial…
BUNNIES: You can find pepper sauces online, but you can also make it at home. Simply combine one ounce of hot pepper sauce, four drops of dish soap and a cup of water. The mixture can be sprayed on most plants, decks and other materials.
COYOTES: Predator urine (which is available online and, in many hardware, or garden stores) is a safe way to keep unwanted guests out.
DEER: Milk is a great deer deterrent. Any kind of milk will do, just mix ¼ cup with a few drops of natural dish soap, and spray once a week or after rain.
SKUNKS: Orange and lemon peels are a natural skunk repellent and pets aren’t usually bothered by them.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
We’re happy to help if you’ve still got critter questions. Call 613-736-1122 or hit the chat button on the right during business hours.