Monday, March 23rd, 2020

It’s one of those problems many people don’t think about until faced with the actual threat: wild animals getting into the trash and even into the house. Here are some simple and basic solutions to keep those pesky threats away.

Taking Out the Trash

Spring is approaching, and before you know it, raccoons, cats, opossums, and other hungry critters will be foraging in your trash for their next meal. To keep this from happening, it is imperative that you dispose of your trash properly. Proper disposal of garbage involves more than just putting it outside the house. A raccoon follows its nose. If it can smell food, it will set about finding a way to get to it. The first line of defense against raccoons or other critters rummaging through your trash is a good garbage can.

The can needs a secure lid. Raccoons are quite dexterous, and other animals can be equally determined when there is food involved. If your yard is prone to pests, weigh the lid down with a heavy object, and stake the can to the ground. Next, place the can away from your house. Animals scoping out your garbage, even if they are unable to breach the can, will sooner or later be curious about your house, especially if they smell food. Not even your chimney is safe from a raccoon determined to find entry.

The point is that taking out the trash is not just about putting it outside. It needs to be securely disposed of to present as little encouragement as possible to the nocturnal food junkies in your neighborhood.

Prying Paws Want to Know

There’s more to shooing off varmints than just taking out the trash. Besides a good can with a secure lid, there are a few proactive tactics to critter repellent. These include masking smells, using repellents, and installing lights. Wild animals typically have acute senses of smell. They can sniff out food in your trash from a surprisingly far distance away. There are a few things you can do to eliminate food orders or at least mask them. You can double-bag food scraps. Better yet, freeze food scraps and put them in the can on pick-up day to limit their scent.

There are various commercial animal repellents, like Bonide 871 Go Away and Tomcat Animal Repellent. Or, you can pour a little ammonia on the lid and the bags in the trash can or spray them with Windex to create an odor that keeps pests away. Solar powered lights activated by motion are inexpensive and have the added attraction of not only deterring common predators like fox, deer, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and the neighbor’s cat. They are good at scaring off two-legged critters who are up to mischief, too.

Check Your Roof and Ventilation

Replacing broken ventilation grates with critter-proof metal vents can prevent wildlife from entering your home. Not to pick on raccoons, but they are able to wiggle their way through small openings and invade your home. They aren’t unique in this respect, either. Squirrels, rodents, and birds come to mind as common home invaders. The best way to prevent them from taking up residence in your attic, basement, vents, and crawlspace is to seal up every possible passage with vent covers and wire mesh. The most frequent route for birds and rodents to enter your home is through the chimney. Besides preventing sparks from escaping the chimney, a chimney cap seals off this access to unwanted visitors.

Eliminate Shelters

Wild animals and rodents love to nest in wood piles, brush piles, dead trees, tall grass, and random yard debris. Remove these to eliminate the possibility of wildlife taking up residence near your home. Although having larger animals in your attic or basement, like squirrels and raccoons, may be easy to detect, you may not immediately notice the presence of rodents. Close inspection of baseboards may reveal mice droppings. Once you are suspicious that you may have rodents in the house, it is a good idea to hire a professional exterminator.

Your home is a valuable investment. You want to maintain its beauty and value. Ensuring your home is protected against wildlife, rodents, birds, and other critters helps to safeguard your investment.

Here’s another article you might like: What You Can Do to Make Your New House Feel Like a Home