We’ve put together this guide to help protect your property from any damages caused by wildlife. These helpful tips can be used by homeowners who want to minimize property damages and protect themselves and their loved ones from the dangers imposed by wild animals.
The #1 way we can prevent squirrels from causing damage to property and belongings is to stop feeding the squirrels.
“When squirrels are fed by humans, it encourages them to enter foundation openings, chew on window screens, fit into chimneys and gnaw into a roof’s overhang, shingles, gable and soffit areas and where the two roofs meet. Squirrels will also burrow under sheds, homes, businesses, porches, decks and crawl spaces and even chew and destroy electrical wiring. Squirrels have also been known to live in dryer vents. They have no problem climbing up the stucco or brick to gain access into your [home or balcony]. Once a squirrel is settled in they can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to fix.
Feeding them will no doubt overpopulate your community with squirrels but also other wildlife. Overpopulation occurs because humans teach the squirrels they don’t have to rely on their own hunting/gathering skills to find food.”
Additional steps you can take to prevent squirrel nesting:
- Don’t leave soft cushions out on furniture when not in use as squirrels like to tear the stuffing out to use as nesting materials
- Don’t leave items in corners of balconies that squirrels could potentially nest in or behind such as cardboard boxes, flower pots, trash cans, etc.
- Try placing a heavy object or rock on top of the soil in pots/flower boxes because squirrels likely won’t be able to get underneath it
- Use blood meal in the soil of pots/flower boxes
- Place a screen over flower boxes to prevent access
- If you have bird feeders please insure that the bird see doesn’t contain corn and that it is “unshelled”. Squirrels will take and hide shelled nuts or seeds.
Skunks & Raccoons
While skunks are docile and passive animals, we all know the strong odors that can result when a skunk is crossed! Raccoons are more tenacious and will work much harder than skunks to access food sources and shelter.
Here are some tips for kindly discouraging skunks and raccoons from entering your yard:
- Remove nuts, berries, and other natural food sources. Skunks and raccoons are scavengers, so they’ll eat anything nutritious they can find. If you have trees that produce nuts, berries, crab apples, or other fruits, clean them up by raking your yard as often as necessary. If you have a garden, harvest ripe fruit and vegetables as soon as you can, to prevent a hungry skunk from feasting on them.
- Use a tray under your bird feeder to catch most of the seeds, and clean up stray seeds dropped by birds often.
- Protect your waste. Similarly to raccoons and other stray animals, skunks can survive on garbage alone. It’s important to keep your trash cans properly sealed.
- Keep your lights on. Skunks and raccoons are nocturnal, and they shy away from bright lights. If you light your yard at night it will be a lot less appealing to skunks. Raccoons may ignore the light, but if waste is concealed they will have no reason to enter the area. Since the lights will be shining all night long, use LED bulbs to avoid paying high electrical bills.
- Use natural repellents. Citrus peels have natural repellent qualities. Scatter orange or lemon peels around your property and under your deck or porch.
The birds in our neighbourhood are plentiful and beautiful. Did you know, unlike many other songbirds in North America, both the male and female cardinals can sing. Usually, only a male songbird is capable of singing. When a female cardinal sings from the nest, it usually means she’s telling the male she needs more food!
Please keep feeders for our feathered friends in your yard only and refrain from installing feeders in common areas. This will insure that bird feed is not left on the ground, providing opportunity for raccoons, squirrels and skunks to eat the bird feed.
As noted above, please insure that the bird feed you use in a feeder does not attract squirrels, raccoons or skunks. Staff at any local pet store can direct you as to the best type of bird seed to use.