Pest Proof Your Property

Pest-Proof Your Property This Spring

Enjoy a beautiful, pest-free yard and garden all season long with these helpful tips for pest-proofing your property!

Spring has finally arrived, and it's time to start thinking about preparing your property for the warm weather ahead. As the temperature rises, many common pests, such as rodents, insects, rabbits, raccoons, birds, and deer, become more active and may cause damage to your lawn, garden, and outdoor living spaces. To avoid the frustration and hassle of dealing with these pests, pest-proof your property this spring. The first step in pest-proofing your property is to inspect it for signs of pest activity so you know what you’re dealing with.


Rodents, such as mice, rats, and voles, are common pests that can wreak havoc to your lawn and garden. To prevent these pests from taking over, clean up any clutters and eliminate any potential hiding spots, such as under sheds and outlier structures. Store food in airtight containers and keep trash cans tightly sealed. Consider setting traps or using bait stations to eliminate any rodents that may have already taken up residence on your property.


Insects are another common spring pest, with aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers, whiteflies, cutworms, and flea beetles being just a few that can devastate plants and flowers. Commercial remedies are always an option to prevent insects from invading your yard, but consider using natural pest-control methods, such as companion planting and natural insecticides. Another solution can be to encourage beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, and others, by planting flowers with carbohydrate-rich nectar. These “good” bugs consume the nectar and keep pest numbers down by eating them. Dragonflies and mantids, on the other hand, only eat insects. Attract dragonflies to your garden by adding water features. And, if patience isn’t your strong suit but you are a fan of an organic remedy, you can head to Murdoch’s to pick up a case of praying mantis eggs.


Rabbits are another common pest that can be ruinous to your lawn and demolish a garden. Consider installing a rabbit-proof fence around your yard to keep rabbits away. You can also use rabbit-repellent sprays, which emit a scent that rabbits find unpleasant, to keep them away from your plants and flowers.


Raccoons can be a nuisance. They are attracted to bird feeders, garbage cans, and chicken coops, so keep these items secured. A clever raccoon will find a way to access them if there is a weakness in how they are secured. Consider installing a raccoon-proof fence around your yard, or use motion-activated lights or noisemakers to discourage raccoons from coming onto your property. 


Birds, like starlings and pigeons, can be an endless bother, especially if they eat garden crops or scavenge the bird feeder. A barrier like over-the-top fencing or bird netting around the garden will deny them the garden, and a starling-proof bird feeder will provide the food intended for the birdlife you want to attract. Unfortunately, some species of birds can also take up residence in your chimney or attic. To prevent birds from roosting on your property, consider installing a chimney cap or blocking off any potential entry points to your attic.


Finally, deer can cause damage to your yard, including young trees, and destroy a garden, especially if you live in an area with a high deer population. It can be an investment but consider installing a deer-proof fence to keep deer off your property. You can also use deer-repellent sprays or plant deer-resistant species in your garden to discourage them from browsing your plants. Also, male deer (bucks) can permanently disfigure or kill young trees by rubbing the bark off with their antlers. They do not intend to rub off the bark but the velvet covering on new antlers. Unfortunately, the rubbing results in girdling the tree, which ultimately starves it. The bucks get a new set of antlers each year, so the problem will repeat. Without a fence to keep deer off your property, you can protect your trees with a wire or plastic trunk wrap, strips of rubber tubing, or even chicken wire wrapped around the bottom 5 feet of the tree.

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