You’ve seen a few squirrels in your backyard and they were the most adorable thing ever. A few months have passed, and now you see a few raccoons, a couple of new bee hives, a lot more squirrels, two new snakes, and some bats. What is happening you ask yourself? It was acceptable at first, but now it’s becoming a nuisance. The new flowers you planted, and the open trash can you’ve now decided to keep outside may be contributing factors.
You have created suitable wildlife habitats in your backyard. A wide variety of wildlife all needs the same thing people do— fresh water, food, and a safe place to shelter. You can create a vibrant ecosystem in your backyard by planting native plants and native trees.
Backyard Wildlife Attractants
Excessive Amounts of Flowers – Flowers provide pollen for bees, monarch butterflies, and other insects that help with pollination. Cultivars that have been selectively bred with reduced amounts of nectar may be a good alternative
Excessive Amounts of Fruit Trees – While organic fruit is best, fruit trees provide food for critters like bats and squirrels. Too many fruit trees may make your yard a wildlife haven.
Landscaping Brush piles, dead trees, and shrubs are great hiding places for animals. Raccoons typically nest in dead tree cavities. Rodents like rats and chipmunks use brush piles for shelter. Shrubs can be a nesting site for snakes. If they have berries, they provide nectar and food for rodents, birds, bats, or raccoons.
Water Source – bird baths, standing water, pools, or pet water bowls provide water for all critters and are a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. If they’re not needed, remove them!
Composting – Composting in the garden is a great fertilizer for your yard but also provides shelter for small snakes, worms, or cockroaches who are attracted to the warmth. Composting in an airtight container will provide the needed fertilizer for your plants yet eliminate the critters.
Birdhouse– Put up a birdhouse (nest box) in your yard to encourage nesting. Some bird species that use birdhouses (nest boxes) are Bluebirds, Purple Martins, Tree swallows, and wrens. Make sure to clean out old birdhouses. Abandoned birdhouses can be used for critters like insects, spiders, snakes, and rodents.
Other food sources – Trash cans stored outside but not sealed tightly make any raccoon happy. Your backyard wildlife may also be attracted by your pet’s food bowl or bird feeders placed in the yard. Only put pet food bowls out when needed, and eliminate bird feeders unless absolutely necessary.
How to Keep Animals Out
You can create a wildlife-friendly backyard and avoid any nuisances. You’ll need to be proactive and protect the areas that need to be protected.
Install species-appropriate barriers to keep animals out. Make sure your chimney is capped. Install a protective skirt around decks, sheds, and porches. Install protective barriers around any areas you want to keep animals out like vegetable gardens and pools.
Trim branches away from your home. Animals like squirrels can use them to easily gain access to your roof.
If you feed your pet outside, bring everything inside after mealtime. Similarly if you barbecue, clean up after yourself. Secure your trash bins.
If you need any help preventing wildlife from becoming a nuisance on your property, call Critter Control Canada.