Freelance writer, travel junkie and dog enthusiast, Amber Kingsley, explains how you can keep your pets safe from insects and wildlife the natural way.
Depending on where you live, you and your pets could be in danger from a variety of different insects, everything from ants to wasps. Larger “nuisance animals,” rodents ,possums and birds, not only carry diseases and a sometimes a nasty bite, they can also cause damage to homes and property.
But the use of repellents, insecticides and chemicals aren’t always an option, especially when you have small children and pets running around. Instead of reaching for a can of bug spray or warding off unwelcome critters with traps or other inhumane methods, try some of these more natural approaches.
Make Them Unwelcome
Once a critter or insect has nested in or around your house or yard, it’s more difficult to get rid of them. Often the key is to make your home, garden or other outdoor area a place they don’t want to come near. Ways to defend yourself against unwanted outdoor guests include:
- Get rid of standing water – This works for mosquitoes as well as almost any other critter that’s searching for H₂0.
- Look for entry points – Cracks or holes in outdoor fencing, gaps in exterior walls are all popular places for wildlife to sneak inside so repair these regularly.
- Clean and secure your garbage receptacles – Keeping your trash cans tightly closed is a good deterrent, but you should also wash them out on a regular basis to keep attracting odors down to a minimum.
- Trim branches and shrubs – Limbs from trees that connect to fences and rooftops make for easy access points to your property. Low lying shrubs make excellent homes and hiding spots, so keep these well-trimmed at all times.
Search the internet for “natural remedies for pest control,” and you’ll find a plethora of recipes to keep wildlife at bay. Everything from the strong scents to the use of soap will often drive insects and pests away from your house. Be sure to use these on the exterior of your property so it doesn’t interfere with your animal’s well-being and comfort.
No Free Food
Similar to our first tip in this batch regarding standing water, don’t offer outside creatures a free meal. This includes keeping an outdoor pet’s feeding dish inside when they’re not eating and not storing any of their food outside. Regardless of how well it’s stored, even in a container with a tightly fitting lid, animals and birds can be relentless when it comes to getting what they want.
Other examples of an easy meal can be found underneath bird feeders, beneath fruit trees and around gardens. Keep these areas picked up and cleaned frequently. When it comes to your food-bearing garden, make sure it is well fenced and also free of fallen fruits and vegetables. Make sure your garden fencing also goes underground by about twelve inches with chicken wire to prevent burrowing beasts from getting inside by digging.
You don’t necessarily have to resort to harsh chemicals or traps to keep wildlife and pests away from your property and pets. A good defence can send an offensive message to these creatures that will choose another place to call home.