How to keep squirrels and raccoons away from your home
April 10th, 2020
Whether you live in the city, suburbs, or countryside, if you’re not keen on sharing your lawn and gardens with racoons and squirrels you’re going to have to go into defense mode. Both critters are very adept at finding food and water in any situation, and when you leave it out for easy pickings, you’re asking for trouble.
Defending your property against masked-bandits and bushy-tailed marauders doesn’t have to involve full battle gear and stealth planning. In fact, some of the most effective remedies for repelling these pests cost next to nothing and take very little effort to implement.
If you’ve already got squirrels or raccoons nesting and living in and around your home, you’ll want to pop over to our blog post here. Otherwise, here is our advice about how to keep squirrels and racoons away from your property.
Easily accessible sources of drinking water are one of the reasons squirrels and racoons might be attracted to your property. And don’t think that it has to be high quality drinking water, either. Bird baths, fish ponds, stale water in a watering can, or stagnant rainwater collected in a deflated kiddie pool are all good enough to be attractive to these pests.
By getting rid of all standing water in your yard and on your patio or deck, you’ll make your property less attractive to racoons and squirrels who are looking for a one-stop-shop for their food and water. Start each morning by tipping over any surfaces that might have collected rain or dew overnight, and end each evening by emptying your watering cans, kiddie pools, bird baths and other water that won’t be used overnight. As an added bonus, you might find that you have fewer mosquitoes because you’re eliminating their natural breeding grounds.
Well maybe not starve, but at least don’t feed them. Squirrels feed during the day, and racoons during the night so you’ll want to make sure that you’re eliminating as many “easy” sources of food as possible around your home, garden, garage, and patio. And similar to their standards for drinking water, squirrels and racoons are not terribly picky eaters so you’ll want to be thorough.
Here’s a quick checklist of items to take off the menu (i.e. food sources for squirrels and racoons that are found around the exterior of your home) and easy steps to take to minimize these pests on your property.
- Fallen fruit, seeds and nuts – pick them up when they’ve fallen. It’s that easy.
- Ripe vegetables – promptly harvest your garden and remove any rotting vegetables.
- Bird seed – bring your feeders in at night, make your feeders harder to access, and try using safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds (squirrels don’t care for safflower!)
- Pet food – don’t leave bowls outside and secure all pet doors at night.
- Flower bulbs – add a layer of mulch to discourage digging
- Garbage cans – use a brick or bungee cords to make the lid difficult to penetrate
- Compost bins – secure the locking lid and bury food scraps under a layer of compost
- Fish in a pond or fountain – this is a tough one. Just be warned that racoons love their sushi.
Both racoons and squirrels can be startled with fairly simple tactics and if you remember to rotate your methods from time to time, you’ll keep the critters on their toes (pointing in a direction away from your property)! Noise, lights and perceived threats are all things that will deter racoons and squirrels from visiting your property and heading to the neighbours instead.
Placing a motion sensor to detect movement around the favourite spots on your property that seem to attract racoons and squirrels the most is an easy way to startle the pests and make them run away before they damage your plants, gardens and lawn. We recommend hooking the motion sensor up to a radio, water sprinkler, or strobe light.
If you try these DIY pest control methods and find that you’re still experiencing property damage from squirrels or racoons, it might be time to call in the professionals. Reach out to the trained experts at BW Nature to find out how we can help. It might be another simple DIY tactic to try, or a more complex approach. Either way, don’t be shy about asking your questions, we’re here to help!