Any habitat altering methods must be employed consistently for 7 to 14 days and monitored closely. Below are common wildlife nuisances and how you can humanely and permanently address them.
Under the Deck, Shed or Other Areas
If you are having problems with animals burrowing under a structure, it is most likely a skunk or a fox. In either case, a couple of methods can be implemented to deter the animal from living in and around your area.
- Ammonia-soaked rags placed in or around the "den" is an inexpensive way. Since ammonia is a liquid, it will evaporate in the warm weather and wash off in a rain storm. It is important that you check the rags daily and refresh the ammonia, as needed.
- Moth balls are also an effective, inexpensive deterrent. They can be thrown or placed around the hole. Rainstorms can wash them away so you might need to sprinkle them around dens multiple times.
In the Chimney
The inside of a chimney resembles a hollowed out tree trunk, which is the perfect habitat for squirrels, raccoons, and birds. DO NOT open the damper to look at or attempt to remove the animal if you hear it crawling in the chimney. This can cause additional issues if the animal is to become loose in your house. They become frightened and can cause damage in their attempt to find an exit. It's best to leave the animals alone. The majority of cases, they can climb out the chimney on their own, though they might need a little encouragement to do so.
- A bowl of ammonia placed in the base of the fireplace is an effective tool to discourage raccoons or squirrels from continuing their stay. The odor of the ammonia is unpleasant and will encourage the animals to move to a less-fragrant dwelling. If the ammonia is bothersome to you, close the doors to the fireplace or use an ammonia-soaked rag, which is less potent than the bowl of ammonia.
- Shine a light up the fireplace. The light diminishes their peaceful habitat. If you apply all methods concurrently, the faster the pests will leave.
- Often during the spring, animals will quickly nest to provide shelter for their babies. If your new tenant has already nested and has a family of babies in the chimney, don’t panic -- they will relocate the family to a less disturbed area. Mothers are not inclined to abandon their young and they are able to move their young when necessary.
- Once you are sure the animal has left your residence, immediately secure a fitted chimney cap to the entrance of the chimney to prevent future problems.
In the Attic
Much like the chimney, the attic provides a safe, comfortable, undisturbed dwelling for animals such as raccoons and squirrels. The first step is to locate the point where the animals are entering. Check all soffets surrounding your home, and look for weaknesses or holes in the roof and the siding that surrounds your attic.
- Ammonia-soaked rags or moth balls in a sock or panty hose placed in the attic will encourage the animals to relocate.
- Shining lights in the attic
- Once the animal is effectively deterred from your home, you will need to repair the entrance point immediately. One-quarter-inch hardware cloth can be used to cover holes or entry points.
In the Garden
Gardens are the number one attractant for all wildlife including raccoons, skunks, bears, deer, squirrels and birds. Gardens provide a wonderful, readily-available food source for nearly every species of wildlife.
- Netting over fruit trees helps protect them from birds, squirrels, deer, and other omnivores.
- Electric fencing surrounding the garden will discourage the animals. Other fencing methods are less effective because they allow the animal to crawl through it or under it.
- The “Scarecrow” is a water sprayer with a motion detection feature. It attaches to a hose in the yard and when it detects movement, it sprays the area, scaring the wildlife away.
Bird deterrents are altered to fit the unique ability that birds have to avoid the usual mammal deterrent. Although birds can provide the same type of nuisance within a house or garden that mammals do, they are not affected by ammonia, moth balls, or the consistent noise from a radio.
- Models of owls, hawks and snakes scare away pigeons temporarily. They must resemble their living counterpart and must be positioned in a manner that is natural for the actual predator. It is helpful to relocate them frequently.
- Mylar tape/streamers, old CDs, balls of aluminum foil, or aluminum soda cans secured to trees, the side of the house, or roosting site reflects light that proves to be an annoyance.
- Balloons filled with helium and have an "eye spot" (black dot) painted on one side (to emphasize movement) can be tied near the roost side.
- Kid's pinwheels may also deter birds.
- Noise making, with firecrackers, wind chimes, or a can of rocks is effective as long as the noise is loud and sudden. Noise repellents must be used frequently to be effective.
These deterrents can be used in and around gardens, the perimeter of property, or in other areas where wildlife is unwanted.
Ingredients: one whole Spanish onion, one jalapeno pepper and 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Directions: Chop up the onion and pepper. Mix all ingredients together and boil in 2 quarts of water for about 20 minutes. Let cool, and then strain water through a cheesecloth, into a container.
Using a garden sprayer, spray any area outside that wild animals or even neighborhood pets are bring a nuisance
This mixture is non-toxic and safe, it will not harm the animal but will succeed in keeping mammals away.
Ingredients: 8 oz of any liquid dish soap, 8 oz of castor oil and 1 gallon of water
Directions: Mix the castor oil and soap well then add to the gallon of water and spray entire area.