Food Source Management
- Manage food sources around your house: Secure garbage cans; fasten lids with rope, bungee cords or chains and tying handle to a stake driven into the ground. Don’t leave dog or cat food outside.
- Consider what you plant: Native plants are typically more tolerant of browsing by native herbivores. Selecting plants that produce less fruit and/or seeds that are particularly attractive squirrels, skunks, opossums, rats and mice may also aid in reducing food availability, thereby reducing your home and garden’s attractiveness to animals. A list of deer- and rabbit-resistant plants is available on line from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
- Remove natural food sources: Milky spore (available at most garden stores) contains a natural bacterium that gets rid of grubs in the yard, which skunks and raccoons are looking for when they dig. Repellents: Repellents include chemical substances, visual displays, and sonic and ultrasonic deterrent systems.
- Use taste repellents on plants: Examples of taste repellents that can be applied directly to plants include those made from denatonium benzoate; putrescent whole eggs, capsaicin, and garlic; castor oil and capsaicin; and Siberian pine needle oil (commercially-made sprays are also available).
- Use repellents as digging deterrents: Another way to deter lawn/garden digging is to spray hot pepper oil or bittering agent onto the lawn or digging area. Pesticide pump sprayers work well to spray inexpensive red pepper oil (found in Asian food markets).
- Install motion-detection sprinklers: The Scarecrow motion-detecting water sprayer operates on a 9-volt battery, attaches to a water hose, and scares away wildlife from your yard by spraying water at them. Available in most gardening stores or online from www.RealGoods.com.
- Build physical barriers: It’s been said that good fences make good neighbors; this is true for living with nonhuman as well as human neighbors. One of the most effective ways to mitigate wildlife damage to landscaping is to exclude animals from the area via physical barriers.
- Fence off garden areas: Garden fencing should be buried at least six inches under the ground. To exclude rabbits, fence in garden areas with one-inch wire mesh (“chicken wire”). Make sure it is at least three feet high and buried one foot below the ground.
- Use tape or mesh around trees: Protect trees with commercial tree tape or by surrounding the tree base with wire mesh.
- Install strobe lights: You thought strobe lights made you crazy? Evictor Products Inc.designs and builds high-intensity strobe lights used as visual repellents on squirrels, roof rats, Norway rats, raccoons, and other rodents that occupy attics, crawlspaces, wall voids, and other darkened areas.
- Use a daily dose of ammonia: Place rags soaked with full-strength ammonia or open containers of ammoinia in problem areas such as attic entrances and burrows. Ammonia will evaporate, so check and replace rags often. A total 7 to 14 days of consistent methodology is required to be effective. The Humane Society of Boulder Valley has specific recommendations for using ammonia as a deterrent.
The Skunk Whisperer Includes info on relocation disadvantages, effective products and technology, company philosophy. Ned, the Skunk Whisperer has Twitter, Facebook and YouTube adventures. He’s the man!