Wildlife to Look For in SummerThere are a few creatures every Niagara homeowner should look for during the warm summer months. The following animals are commonly seen in residential neighbourhoods.
- Deer: A single deer can consume up to 10 pounds of food daily. Deer will venture out in search of nourishment when food is hard to find in their natural environment. These animals love plants, flowers and shrubbery and are attracted to yards with abundant gardens. A tell-tale sign of deer activity is pellet-shaped droppings.
- Rabbits: While they may appear fluffy and cute, rabbits are voracious eaters and can wreak havoc on a carefully pruned vegetable garden. You likely have a curious rabbit on your hands if you notice razor-trimmed leaves and tiny droppings. You may also see clumps of fur if bunnies are present.
- Raccoons: Most active at night, raccoons are attracted by garbage and dig up lawns in search of insects to consume. Signs of raccoon activity include scattered trash piles and damaged bird feeders.
- Squirrels: These creatures are attracted by bird feeders, vegetable gardens and abundant landscapes. If you notice missing plants or small holes in your planting containers, you likely have a squirrel infestation on your hands.
How to Keep Animals Out of Your YardThe best way to keep animals off your property is to get rid of the items that attract them. Spend an afternoon cleaning up your yard and you may be surprised by the positive outcome. Here are a few techniques to help discourage wildlife from invading your yard.
- Clean: The best way to protect your yard from wildlife is to eliminate their hiding spaces. Wood piles, overgrown shrubs, woodpiles, trash and old sheds are often used as shelter by animals. Trimmed yards and manicured gardens will discourage animals such as squirrels and rabbits.
- Eliminate food: Plant garden vegetables that are unappealing to deer and rabbits and gather produce as soon as it is ripe. Secure all food sources and ensure fruit from trees is retrieved as soon as it falls. Also, keep your pet food inside as it attracts a variety of animals.
- Scare them away: Consider getting a dog if you are particularly worried about animals invading your yard. Other tactics that can help deter wildlife include sprinklers, alarm systems and motion-activated lights.
- Construct a barrier: Animals will leave your yard alone if they cannot find an easy access point. Put up a fence or protect individual plants with a small gate or barrier. Reinforcing barriers with netting or chicken wire can provide your property with an extra layer of protection.