As land is continually being purchased for the development of homes, schools, businesses, and communities, instances will continue to arise where there is a conflict between humans and wildlife. Some of the wildlife issues we face can oftentimes be resolved by initially locating the source and cause of the problem and then by following up with an action plan that can keep nuisance wildlife at bay. Implementing such a plan can help minimize if not eliminate any further conflict with coming into contact with nuisance wildlife. Fortunately, a technique that has been found to be effective in the prevention and maintenance for keeping animals out of your trash or gaining access into your home or business from the outside is by modifying the animal’s habit, known as Habitat Modification.
Habitat Modification is a cost-effective method that provides long-term relief from any damage caused by nuisance wildlife. Modifying an animal’s habitat is proven to be effective because it limits access to food, shelter, and water.
If a nuisance animal has been found and is causing damage to your property consider following these simple steps to encourage the animals to go somewhere else for food, shelter, and storage:
- First, determine which species of animal is causing the problem.
- Learn the species habitat preferences causing the problem (ex: diet, shelter, or hiding places).
- Modify the habitat, so that you are no longer providing the resources and conditions to the species of animal that you are having trouble with.
An example would be that of a squirrel. In this case, you would rake dropped seeds beneath bird feeders on a regular basis, pick up any fallen nuts or acorns beneath the trees, trim all branches on fruit and nut trees and guard around the base of the tree to keep them from jumping or climbing.
Here are some additional steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of having any issues with other nuisance wildlife (please note that this list is not inclusive) such as birds, rats, raccoons, mice, snakes, and other species:
- Keep garbage cans tightly sealed.
- Do not leave any pet food outside (this would include bird seed as well).
- Trim any tree branches or bushes that hang over your home or business.
- Locate points of entry to your property from the outside. Any and all entry points should be inspected for rodent activity and sealed off once it is determined that there are no animals inside (hiring a company that specializes in the trapping and removal of nuisance wildlife is strongly recommended).
- Mow the yard frequently to limit areas of tall grass and bushes.
- Remove any sources of cover such as brush piles, boards or anything that could potentially provide an animal cover.
- Make sure to harvest any vegetables when they are found to be closely ripe to avoid attracting attention from other species.
Following these steps will help minimize your exposure to having any nuisance wildlife issues, if you find that after following these steps, your issue has not been resolved, then consider contacting a nuisance wildlife professional and make an appointment to have your home or office inspected for additional treatment plans or options.