1) Clear Away Hiding Spaces
The best way to get rid of squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, and other yard crashers is to make your backyard an uninviting environment. Follow the steps below to eliminate breeding and nesting areas that these critters seek out.
- Remove brush, lawn debris, and wood piles
- Keep grass mowed; high grasses provide perfect hiding spots
- Trim back flower and vegetable gardens that provide cover
- Fill abandoned burrows with gravel
2) Hang Bird Feeders Strategically
One of the most common backyard complaints when spring arrives is squirrels attacking bird feeders. While you can invest in squirrel-resistant feeders and squirrel baffles, the proper placement of your bird feeder. is an important step to getting rid of squirrels.
- Find a spot at least 10 feet away from your home, garage, trees, or fence so that squirrels can’t use these to jump off and reach the feeder.
- Squirrels have a pretty impressive vertical leap so make sure your pole-mounted feeder is at least 8 feet off the ground.
- Keep feeders away from bushes or ground cover that squirrels use as hiding places.
Tip: In addition to placement, consider serving your feathered friends a buffet of seeds that squirrels generally dislike, like safflower seed or thistle.
3) Animal Resistant Plants
It can be tough to find plants that repel all nuisance animals; however, you can narrow down your choices based on which animals are frequenting your yard this spring. A general rule of thumb is to focus on highly aromatic flowers, plants with natural toxins, and plants with fuzzy leaves or stems..
- Daffodils - Do you want to get rid of squirrels or chipmunks? This yellow beauty can do the trick. Squirrels and chipmunks are turned off by their smell, so try mixing them among your other bulbs.
- Lavender - If you’re combating rabbits in your garden, consider lavender plants. Lavender has a strong fragrance and its stems are covered in fine hairs, both of which are natural rabbit repellent.
- Bleeding Heart - If deer are a problem. in your yard, this spring perennial provides three levels of protection with a strong aroma, fuzzy texture, and bitter taste..
In addition to liquid and granular repellents, you can step up your game with an electronic repellent. Using an infrared sensor, electronic repellents. detect an animal’s movement and release a quick blast of water, startling the animal and eventually conditioning them to steer clear of your yard.
4) Apply Animal Repellents
Applying an animal repellent is an important step in completing your spring yard prep. With just one application, adding an animal repellent will help prevent damage and will keep unwanted critters from entering your yard.
- Spray liquid repellents directly onto trash cans, bird feeders, plants, shrubs, or trees that you want to protect.
- For perimeter protection, apply a granular repellent around mulch beds, flower gardens, or vegetable gardens.
In addition to liquid and granular repellents, you can step up your game with an electronic repellent. Using an infrared sensor, electronic repellents detect an animal’s movement and release a quick blast of water, startling the animal and eventually conditioning them to steer clear of your yard.
5) Physical Barriers - Fences and Wraps
In conjunction with using an animal repellent, you can also create a physical barrier as a second layer of protection for your plants, shrubs, or trees.
A fence of fine mesh around your vegetable garden, flowers, and ornamental grass will keep nuisance critters out. You can also prevent damage to trees. by using trees wraps. This will deter groundhogs and rabbits from gnawing on the bark or deer from rubbing their antlers.
Tip: When building a fence, think above and below! Make sure your fence goes far enough underground so animals can’t dig below it. And ensure that it’s tall enough so animals standing on their hind legs can’t reach above it.
What steps do you take to prep your yard for spring and to keep nuisance animals off your property?