We have many critters that get into our Bay Area homes. Some are small animals that move about on the ground. Some are small animals that have the ability to fly. Some are slightly larger animals that climb trees. Some are big animals that can move about on the ground and climb trees. All of these animals are drawn to your yard for water, food, and harborage, and each has its own preferences. The following wildlife prevention tips are for general management of all wildlife that may come into your Bay Area yard.
1. Water Management
Water is a building block of life. Every animal needs it in order to survive. If you have water sources in your yard, you will attract animals.
Search your yard for any containers that capture rainwater and remove them.
Search your yard for standing water and alter the conditions that allow water to be collected.
Inspect your home for conditions that lead to standing water, such as clogged gutters, a damaged gutter system, or damaged plumbing. Clean and repair these.
2. Food Management
There are many things that animals consider to be food. Some are obvious. Some are surprising.
Vegetables, fruits, and berries are an obvious source of food for animals. Protect these with fencing, or some other barrier. If you’re considering planting a garden, fruit trees, or some berry bushes, it is best to do this away from the exterior of your home.
Pet food and livestock food is another obvious attractant. Consider putting food down only during mealtimes and never overnight.
Seeds are a strong attractant for many animals. If you have bird feeders, make sure they are tamper-proof, and consider putting them a good distance from your exterior.
Your trash can have many food items that animals will eat. Make sure your trash is in sealed receptacles, and keep your receptacles as clean as possible to reduce smells that will attract animals.
If you have a dog, your dog’s droppings can be a food source for rats and mice. Try to stay on top of keeping your yard free of droppings.
Bugs are a food source for many animals. The more bugs you have, the more interesting your yard will be. You can reduce bugs by reducing moisture, eliminating exterior light or changing white bulbs to yellow bulbs, removing spider webs, and removing rotting wood.
3. Harborage Management
When animals come into your yard, they’ll look for places to hide and places to create a nest or den. Protecting potential harborage sites can prevent an animal from getting into your home.
Apply fencing to keep animals from getting under your decks, porch, stairs, shed, and other exterior structures.
Make sure your weatherstripping, door sweeps, door stops, and screens are all in good working condition.
Seal gaps around pipes, wire conduits, and other exterior wall penetrations.
Remove any lawn clutter. Many animals, mice particularly, will use these as hiding places in your yard.
Keep your grass cut low, your bushes trimmed, and remove any unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping. This will make it more difficult for animals to hide near your home.
Trim tree branches away from your roofline. This will deter tree-climbing animals from getting on your roof where there may be vulnerabilities.
Consider putting wire mesh in the downspouts of your gutter system. This will prevent rodents from working their way up to your roofline.
Repair any holes or damage to your soffits, eaves, fascia and roofline. This will deter birds and bats from getting into your attic spaces.
Repair any damaged glass panes on windows or doors.
You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
Remember that the licensed professionals here at Smith’s Pest Management can give you the support you need to remove unwanted animals, and to keep animals from getting into your property in the first place. We specialize in wildlife pest control. Reach out to us any time with questions or to schedule an inspection for your San Francisco Bay Area home. We use industry-leading strategies and products to get the best control of wildlife pests in our service area.