Using strategies and tools for home safeguarding can help prevent damage, improve safety, and enhance property values. These strategies range from modern technological solutions to simple everyday practices.
Cultural carrying capacity is the amount of animal damage people are willing to tolerate based on the benefits they receive from animals and their environment. Population reduction by lethal control methods (trapping, shooting, or toxicants) often fails to reduce long-term damage.
Keep Your Yard Clean
To prevent the need for animal removal, it’s essential to keep your yard clean. Mice, rabbits, and voles can girdle shrubs and trees by chewing through the bark, eating stems, and nipping off terminal buds. They can also dig through snow-covering twigs and branches to get food underneath.
Clear away leaf piles and thickets, and remove brush from beneath and around your home. Keep woodpiles away from the house and store firewood in a shelter that deer and bears cannot access. Hang bird feeders in a location that does not draw bears and other wildlife.
Close crawl spaces and openings under porches, decks, and sheds to prevent animals from using these areas as hiding or nesting spots. Screen window wells, chimneys, and vent pipes with wire mesh or commercially made grates.
Install a Fence
A fence is the best animal prevention to prevent animal damage and keep your pet safely contained. You can opt for an underground fence made of metal mesh hardware cloth buried 18 inches below ground level and works well for moles and voles or a chain link fence with vertical pickets spaced close enough to prevent rabbits and squirrels from crawling.
A wooden fence is another option, but it can be expensive and doesn’t offer little privacy. If you opt for a wooden wall, choose weather-resistant wood treated with galvanization or rust-proof paint.
Install a Gate
It’s essential to make a habit of inspecting your property regularly and closing up any entry points you find. It will help keep your home secure and prevent unwanted visitors from gaining access. You can also use deterrent devices to prevent animal damage, like a motion-activated spray of water that scares animals away.
To protect plants from animal browsing and girdling, which is when animals chew through the bark and cambium layer of a tree or shrub, it is recommended to fence them. A minimum of 4 feet of fencing, such as wire mesh or hardware cloth, is recommended for this purpose.
Store garbage securely so that raccoons, bears, and opossums don’t raid it for food. It’s better to avoid attracting these animals to your property in the first place than to trap or remove them once they have entered. This is especially true in urban areas, where these animals are more common.