Two of the most common wildlife pests around are the raccoon and skunk. These creatures often look for warmer shelter once the weather becomes colder. Or they might decide to move into your property if their natural habitats are disturbed or destroyed. So, how do you get rid of them? Also, do you really have to send these adorable, furry creatures away?
Dangers of Having Raccoons and Skunks Around
Yes, raccoons and skunks in the plush are the stuff that kids’ dreams are made of. Characters based on these cute animals have even made many animators rich and established. However, there are several reasons why you need to protect your property and family from these wild animals. Well, apart from wanting to avoid getting sprayed by a skunk, which can be pretty nasty, there are more important reasons why you do not want these creatures around. First, skunks and raccoons can carry dangerous microorganisms that can cause serious diseases to humans. Rabies, leptospirosis, and parasites are just a few examples. Secondly, these wild animals can cause house and property damage. They burrow and make holes, destroy gardens and landscape, or chew through your ceilings and walls. Finally, you don’t want wild animals infecting your precious pets, right?
Dealing with Wild Creatures
Make your home as undesirable to wildlife as you can. Keep yards, attics, rooms and basements clean. Get rid of clutter, and avoid storing things you no longer need so that you have more space for all of your important stuff. Do you have fruit trees around? Pick up overripe fruits that have dropped to the ground. This way, you’re eliminating food sources. Opt for metal garbage bins too. These are more durable and animals cannot chew through them.
Exclusion is about making sure that wild animals do not gain access into your yard or house. To protect your yard, build a sturdy fence. Use wire mesh that have small gaps so that animals won’t be able to fit and get through the physical barrier. Trim tree branches, especially those that extend toward your house. Be sure to keep your lawn clean and avoid having an open compost near your home. As for your house, seal or caulk tiny holes or cracks. Fix areas that need to be fixed. Regularly clean grills, chimneys, and the attic too.
3. Scare Them Away
You do not necessarily have to kill wild animals just to get rid of them. If you want to be more compassionate, why not try scaring them away? There are many ways to do this. For instance, wild creatures are easily scared of water and loud noises. So, use your sprinklers to your advantage. There are even motion-activated sprinkler systems that easily detect and drench animals. Also, once you see a skunk or raccoon trying to get through your fence, make loud noises. Shout, bang pots and pans together, or use air horns to startle them. You can also shoo them away or flap an umbrella to get them going.
- vladeb. “Skunk Encounter”. July 26, 2011. Online image. Flickr. January 12, 2013.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Claire Trent has been doing freelance writing jobs since 2008. She blogs about many different matters, including pest control, reliable exterminator Baltimore, environmentally friendly pest management, and many others.