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We have both good and bad news for you, if you're on the hunt for a way to permanently remove wild animals from your garden.
We’ll start with the bad news — there is NO foolproof way to get these animals out, and then keep them out. You would need to build yourself one mighty high and thick wall, and that wall would need to have barbed wire and electric fencing on it also. Most wild animals are well equipped to climb, jump, and run into almost any place they want to. Somehow these critters always find a way.
Now it's time for some good news — although you can't keep wild animals out of your garden for good, you can make it less attractive to them. This means the wild critters will be less inclined to take a peek. Isn't that what you want?
How to make your garden look less attractive to wild animals
A wild animal will come into your home for one of three reasons — food, water, or shelter. Now take a good look around your garden. Are you providing these three things? Let's break them down …
Most of the animals that come into your garden will be a scavenger — rats, mice, raccoons, skunks, opossums, etc. This means that they will feast on ANYTHING that can be classed as food - that offers them some nutritional value. Although not all critters are quite as bad, rats have been known to eat feces in sewers, because the feces still contained some nutritional value to them. Opossums have been known to get hit by vehicles, trying to get to carcasses of other animals that have been hit by vehicles also. These animals will do ANYTHING in the hunt for food.
Food can come in many forms, in your garden. Worms can be dug up from beneath the ground. Tomatoes can be eaten from plants grown in a vegetable garden. Nuts and seeds can be devoured, after they've dropped from the bird feeder hanging from the tree. If the branches lead to the feeder, you may even notice a raccoon or squirrel hanging from the bird feeder from time to time. Cat and dog food left out is food for these critters, as is anything left on the BBQ, or on the garden table, leftover from some garden party. Garbage bags can be torn apart. Kitchen windows left open lead animals right to the food you've left on the side. Your home is covered in food, from the stuff in the cupboards, to the crumbs you accidentally drop on the floor. That food is just enticing wild animals in.
If you have water in your garden, animals are going to come closer. There's not much you can do about that. If you have a pond, however, you can protect it, and the fish / wildlife within it. Chicken wire covers can help protect it from passing stray cats and raccoons.
You do need to remember that certain viruses and animal-borne diseases can be spread via contaminated water. If a rat has been drinking from a water source, you wouldn't want your kids to play in the same water. You also wouldn't want your pets too either.
Piles or rocks, wood, and general home and garden debris are commonly used by passing wild animals. A tree hollow also makes the perfect home for a night or two. If there are a number of animals well known for invading homes in your area, find out where they live — burrows, dens, tree hollows, piles, etc., and then make sure all of those things are removed from your garden.
In short, you will want to remove everything and anything these animals could be looking for, in your garden. Those three things — food, water, and shelter — are easily spotted once you know what you're looking for. They're also easily reversed, if a problem had become apparent.
It all starts with a home and garden inspection. When are you doing yours?
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
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