3 Tips to Outsmart Backyard Critters

No matter where you live, you’re probably familiar with backyard critters. These squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and more tend to invade yards in both the city and the country. There’s nothing worse than having to defend your yard from these invasive pests, especially when you catch them trying to eat the crops growing in your garden. Thankfully, there are a few different ways to outsmart them!

Stop Attracting Them

Outdoor critters want three things: shelter, food, and water. If you have even one of these three things in your yard, you’ll attract some unwanted pests. The shelter could be anything from a doghouse to a backyard deck. Even the shade and protection from something like a hot tub can provide a good hiding space for a raccoon or squirrel. The food comes from your garden, in the form of the crops that you grow. Other sources include trash cans full of kitchen scraps and even compost bins. Finally, if you have birdfeeder or a pet dish full of water, you’ll no doubt see some wild critters drinking from them. The best way to keep from attracting these animals is by limiting their access to these things. Bar off any covered sections of your yard, fence in your garden, and don’t leave your pet’s water dishes outside, unless your pet is present.

Scare Them Off

If those methods don’t work, or are unfeasible for one reason or another, you need to scare them off. Since these backyard animals tend to be afraid of humans, this is fairly easy to do. You could set out aluminum pie tins filled with ammonia. This works great if you have raccoons living under your front or back porch. Don’t block off any of the exit routes, since that will trap the animals in and cause an entirely different problem should they expire under there. You need to be humane and give them a chance to escape. However, a small tin with some ammonia in it will annoy the animals, and they’ll leave on their own. The chemical in ammonia irritates their respiratory system.

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Another method involves placing a radio outside. Since many squirrels, raccoons, and skunks, (not to mention other pests) are afraid of humans; this works quite well. Set the radio to a talk station at a fairly low volume. It should loud enough to scare off the animals, but not so loud that it irritates your neighbors. Leave the radio running as much as you can, especially at night.

Bright lights make up the third method of disturbing these critters. They want dark, quiet spaces to hide out in, particularly when they’re giving birth to their offspring. Shining spotlights, setting up motion detector lights, or just leaving outdoor lights on in the areas where they tend to hide will deter them from setting up a habitat in your yard.

Tailor Your Methods to the Animal

Finally, once you determine which animals have been frequenting your yard, you can completely outsmart them. Some of them, raccoons, for example, have sensitive paws. Sprinkling some dried pepper flakes over your rock borders or fences will keep them at bay. They’ll go elsewhere permanently once their paws begin to sting. Squirrels, on the other hand, like fruit trees and birdfeeders. If it bothers you that you’re constantly chasing them away, think about whether you really want those things in your yard. You could always get rid of the tree or empty the feeder and place it in storage. Other critters, like skunks and moles, like to tunnel under the ground. Setting up your landscaping to block off their access will work well.

As you can see, there are numerous ways to prevent wild critters from taking over your yard, it may take a little bit of thought but you can definitely outsmart them.

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