Keep Wild Things Out of Mischief
Cheery goldfinches flitting among trees and vibrant butterflies floating over wildflowers are joyful rewards for creating wildlife habitat. But when wildlife oversteps its welcome by invading homes or devouring plants, even nature-lovers can lose patience.
Here are some ways to discourage wild things from becoming pests:
- Fences are the most effective, but expensive, solution for keeping out large mammals.
- Plant barriers allow you to protect vulnerable vegetation from grazers.
- Repellents play on animals’ keen sense of smell, taste, hearing, or sight. Use a variety of repellents, changing them often to prevent wildlife from adapting to them. Repellents that work on smell are probably the most effective. Try bloodmeal, baby powder, old nylons filled with dog or human hair, garlic, chili powder, or rotten eggs. Reapply often, especially after rain. Ensure that repellents are child- and pet-safe.
- Remove or make inaccessible whatever is attracting pests. Secure garbage cans and composters. Keep the ground clean under feeders. Do not leave pet food outside.
- Trapping and relocating pests js not recommended, as transplanted animals have a lower survival rate, their young may be left to starve, diseases can spread to new areas, and vacancies are soon filled by other animals.
For suggestions on dealing with specific pests check out Dealing with Problems.