The next door neighbor’s dog is barking like there’s no tomorrow. The last thing on your mind at two ‘o’clock in the morning is critter control. You have to go to work the next day, so your only option is to drag your body out of your nice warm bed and close the window. The next day you look out into your backyard and see large and small holes littering your flowerbeds, potted plants, and even the walkways. Your neighbor’s noisy dog was actually telling you something… that your backyard was being invaded by critters.
What kind of critters? It’s hard to say for certain. So many types of pests love to forage through gardens, looking for tasty worms or other bugs to munch on. If it weren’t for the digging and ruining of your property, this would be a good thing. Unfortunately, critters insist on ripping apart expensive landscaping to reach all of their favorite treats.
How can you prevent or stop this from happening? First, look around your property. Do you live near fruit groves or near the mountains? Different animals tend to live in certain locations. If you reside in an area with a lot of pine trees, for instance, you’re more apt to have squirrels. If you live near or have many fruit trees on your property, then you may have an issue with opossums. Raccoons… well, they live where they like. They’ve been seen both in the forest and popping up out city sewer drains. And that’s just a few of the critters that home and business owners have to contend with.
Each pesky critter has their own way of being dealt with. First, you have to have an idea what you’re dealing with.
Mice and Rats
Rats and mice enjoy causing havoc both inside your home and outside. They’ve been known to chew through wires and roofing, root up plants, and nest in attics. There are many ways to keep small critters like rodents from inviting themselves onto your property. To start, rodents don’t tend to go onto property where a dog is present. They are very sensitive to sound and the sounds of a dog, even their footsteps, tend to scare rodents away. You can also use poisons for issues with rodents on the outside of your house. It’s not recommended for problem critters on the inside of your house, because the rodent could eat it, return to its nest in a wall and die… leaving you with a rather foul smell.
Critter Control For Inside Critters
Another practice for critter control, try using a glue trap and a little peanut butter. Set the trap along the baseboards where rodents tend to travel, but not in a location you may bump into in the middle of the night. If you feel glue traps are inhumane, try using a standard metal trap you can purchase at your hardware store. When choosing a trap, keep in mind the size of the critter you wish to capture. Remember this also, just because the mouse you saw two weeks ago was small, doesn’t mean it hasn’t grown larger or has become pregnant. Choose a slightly larger trap, just in case.
Skunks and Raccoons
If you see holes around your yard, that aren’t tunnels, then you probably have an issue with a skunk or a raccoon. Skunks and Raccoons happen to love healthy gardens full of worms. Those wiggling earth miners are a delicacy to a hungry critter. Skunks have a rather keen hearing and can hear a worm or grub up to an inch underground. No stone will be left unturned in a garden with an abundance of worms.
One of the best ways to frighten these critters off is by using motion sensor lighting to startle them away. Or better yet, use a motion sensor sprinkler system to give them an unappreciated bath. If installing a motion sensor isn’t an option, you can also leave the lights on or try spreading a hot sauce repellent around your problem areas.
Are raccoon bandits breaking into your garbage cans? You can purchase special trash containers that are specially designed to keep critters from enjoying the garbage-bag meal. You could also use bungee cords to secure your trashcan lid so that critters can’t open it. If you’re tossing away food that’s rather scrumptious smelling, like fish (yuck!), freeze the leftovers, then throwing them away the night before your trash pick-up day.
Gophers and Rabbits
Rabbits are cute little critters up until you find them dining on your rutabaga. Gophers and rabbits love to burrow underground and nab the plants in your garden, especially root plants like carrots and flowers that sprout from bulbs. Keeping them from snacking on your landscaping can be a headache, but there are ways of making them move on to other food options.
When planting outside, incorporate plants such as marigolds, castor beans, and daffodils. Critters, especially gophers, hate these particular plants and will go out of their way to avoid them. Oleanders are another plant that many critters will avoid nearing. Electrified fences help in some cases, but with burrowing critters, they may not always be effective. Using vibrating stakes around your house is another deterrent for nearly all critters as well as using wind chimes to create noise.
If you’ve tried everything including these tips for critter control and they won’t leave your property alone, then it’s time to call a professional. The professionals at AIPM are trained in handling all types of critter or insect problems. Their talented team of professionals can eliminate any threats to your property, bringing it back to a peaceful environment once again. They can also set up a custom extermination plan to ensure that you never have to face the same type of problems again.
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