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Question

What can I do to keep animals out of my garden and my house?

Answer

Wildlife can be attracted to your garden as a source of food and your house as shelter. Following these tips can help:

Deer in the garden - Run a small wire fence around the perimeter of your garden. Mount it about three feet off the ground and a few feet outside of your garden. Monofilament fishing line works great. When the deer get close enough to touch the fence, it spooks them and they run away.

Wildlife in chimneys - Have your chimney cleaned once a year to make sure wildlife does not have an entrance in the first place. If one is inside, drop a rope down from the top of the chimney so they can climb out (this works great for raccoons). If you have an open fireplace, make sure it is closed so they can not get into the house. Open the flue so they can come down into the fireplace. Once there, close the flue so the animal can not go back up. Trap it in your fireplace and call Animal Services so we can remove it. Do not try to smoke the animal out, as even a small amount of smoke can kill a small or young animal.

Animals in trash - Build a simple plywood box to house your trash cans. Also, try installing two eye-hole screws into a secure wall about the width of your trash can. Wrap a bungee cord around the trash can and fasten both ends to the screws. This method only works with trash cans with lids that are not easily opened. Do not use ammonia or bleach as they may poison the animal.

Stray cats - Stray or feral cats will go where there is food and stay there. Do not feed stray or feral cats. If you feed one soon you will be feeding so many that the situation will be uncontrollable. If you want to help a stray cat, bring it inside and make it a house pet. This is not suggested with aggressive or feral cats.

Wildlife underneath houses or porches - Porches make great shelter for wildlife, but it can be uncomfortable for the owner. Make sure to seal all entrances to underneath your home by fixing broken boards or installing new trellis. You may still need access to your crawl space, so install a lock.

For more information, contact Animal Services at (479)444-3456.