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Critters in the Landscape Mean More Work

Whether its your favorite pet, squirrels, chipmunks or rabbits, when you have some of these critters around, you've got more work to do to keep your lawn looking great.

Besides pets are our own responsibility, other animals that cause damage to our lawns and landscapes are usually related to food sources. This may be insects living in your landscape, or just tasty landscapes.

Removing animal pests involve either structural elements (fencing) that keep the desctructive animals out of your landscape, removing their food source (insect removal or changing the plants we have in our landscape.

Wild animals in the landscape

  • Wild animals do best on their own, with minimal interaction with humans. Don't feed or set out food for wild, or domestic animals. In areas of the country with large cats, attracting deer will also attract their hunter, the mountain lion.

  • Bears and raccoons are attracted to compost piles and fruit trees and bushes. Electric fences can be effective deterrants, as can other types of sturdy fencing.

  • Pick up fallen fruit to reduce the attraction.

  • For deer, repellants like human hair, small sacks of bone meal, or soap, appear to be of limited effectiveness. Other taste and odor repellants vary in their effectiveness.

Animals around the home

  • Keep wild animals wild — don't feed them.

  • Feed your pets inside your home. Don't feed pets outside on a deck, or near your house. Pet food attracts wild animals like raccoons and bears. It's important they don't learn to see your home as a source for food.

  • Secure your garbage cans. Get a can with a snap-on lid. If possible, store your can inside, in a garage, shed, or wooden garbage-can enclosure.

  • Screen your roof and crawlspace vents and cap your chimney, to prevent animals from seeking shelter in or under your house.