Wildlife Proof Your Home and Lawn
- Balcony – Clear balcony of all debris and garbage. Repair broken windows and screens. Close accesses to storage areas. Use wire mesh, plastic netting, pull-down blinds or a commercial barrier.
- Barbecue – Keep clean and free of grease.
- Chimney – Have it capped and check the cap annually. Check flashing around chimney.
- Decks and stairways – Enclose any areas that are open. Make repairs to enclosures when necessary. Fill any holes under stairs with clay or concrete.
- Eavestrough – Clean out regularly to prevent a build-up of debris to avoid nesting birds.
- Garbage and green bin – Containers should be kept in an enclosed area. Place at curb on day of pick-up.
- Garage – Keep closed up and sealed as described for house exterior. Never leave open overnight or for extended periods.
- House exterior – Inspect all siding and general exterior for weak, damaged or rotten areas. Make the necessary repairs
- Lawn – Begin a good treatment program to eliminate grub larvae.
- Lighting fixtures – Keep in good repair and seal as birds will nest in and on them.
- Pets – A pet that is fed outdoors may attract unwanted guests. Have your pet vaccinated yearly for rabies, etc.
- Pool – Unless raised or fenced around the exact perimeter, any animal may fall in. Muskrats and ducks will use pools as ponds.
- Roof area – Inspect shingles to make sure they are in good repair and secure. Inspect all roof vents to make sure they are in good repair and are secure (screen vents where necessary).
- Shed – Enclose area beneath structure using a prevention skirt.
- Soffit – Inspect from ladder all around the house. Repair or replace any loose or rotten soffit.
- Tree wells – Enclose and keep free of debris so animals do not fall in and become trapped.
- Windows – Check for any holes or openings in windows and seal them. Window boxes should be filled with dirt or screened over.
- Window wells – Clean out and secure screen over top.
- Clean up all debris in yard, including leaves, garbage, etc.
- Avoid using woodpiles, if possible. Many animals, such as skunks, rats, opossums, snakes, etc., choose these as ideal nesting sites or hideouts. Try to keep woodpiles in an enclosed like as a garage or shed.
- Cut down or remove any over-hanging branches or old TV antennas around the home.
- Animals can eat grubs and larvae are near the surface after a rainfall. Use natural lawn and garden care methods to kill the grubs. Deterrents can include:
- Sprinkle pure soap flakes on the lawn and watering thoroughly.
- Mix bone meal in garden soil.
- Sprinkle diluted tabasco sauce over fruits and vegetables (wash before eating).
- Light up the area where animals are a problem. Use one 100 watt bulb for every 15 square metres of garden (50 ft. by 50 ft.).
Prevention Skirts for Skunks and Foxes
A “prevention skirt” encloses areas underneath patio decks and sheds and other places where animals may make a dens. To keep animals from burrowing under these sites, dig a trench around the base of the structure and use galvanized heavy wire screening as a prevention skirt.
The screening should go at least 20 to 30 cm. straight down and 20 to 30 cm., angled 90° outwards underground so the screen forms an “L” shape. Backfill the area with dirt. If you pile rocks or other items over this area against the structure, the animal can burrow around the wire mesh barrier.
When Skunks Spray
A skunk can spray up to 10 feet with great accuracy from the two ducts located under its tail. Skunks are placid creatures and will only spray when they feel threatened. It provides advance warning by stamping its front feet, raising its tail and turning its rear end toward the threat.
To remove skunk spray from:
- Flush with large quantities of clean water. The painful irritation that occurs when the spray gets into the eyes will soon pass. Consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- Consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Non-living objects
- Use dilute chlorine bleach, ammonia or vinegar. Do a test spot to make sure these do not damage the material.
- Wash with carbolic soap.