Wildlife causing you grief?
The urban forest provides tranquility, a feeling of peace and calm after a long day at work. But, what to do when this tranquility is disturbed by the wildlife living in the urban forest? Because 50 % of the territory of Saint-Lazare is forest, wildlife is a reality we must learn to accept. Nonetheless, there are things we can do to avoid problems and tools we can use to discourage unpleasant behaviour.
Do not leave garbage or food outdoors. Cat food can attract feral cats as well as raccoons. Food left out for deer will, of course, attract deer which in turn can attract coyotes. Racoons and coyotes are opportunistic and can become problematic if they lose their fear of humans. It is best to avoid such situations.
Keep your yard neat and tidy. Piles of wood and debris can be used as shelter by small rodents. Ridding your yard of clutter can help prevent the unsightly mess made by rodents tunnelling your lawn during the winter.
Discourage unpleasant behaviour
A wild animal can become a nuisance if it adopts unpleasant behaviour. This behaviour must be discouraged as soon as possible before it becomes habitual for the animal.
Protect your garden with a small fence. Groundhogs and hares love vegetable gardens. Bountiful and easily obtained food, what’s not to love? To avoid losing too much of your investment, install an L-shaped wire-mesh fence. The L-shape must be put into the earth and face outward to be effective. Otherwise, digging animals will dig their way underneath it.
Use natural repellents such as Cayenne pepper or dog hair. Sprinkle a good quantity of the spice on the ground near the attacked plants. The animal must stick its face into the pepper for it to work. Repeat the application often as it gets washed away by rain. Dog hair offers another alternative. Simply collect your pet’s hair and spread it around in your garden. The hair gives off a predator scent that scares away little animals.
The best solution for a woodpecker that has begun hammering away at your home is to immediately start frightening it away. Males hammer for various reasons such as to establish territory or to attract a female. Attracting a female involves making the most noise possible and sometimes this means hammering on strange objects like the siding of your house for example! As soon as a woodpecker begins hammering on your home, you should try to frighten him away. Otherwise, the behaviour may become a habit and then it will be very difficult to discourage.
Try one or a few of these tactics:
• As soon as the woodpecker begins to hammer, make noise. Bang on the side of your home, yell, clap your hands and be as persistent as he is.
• Hang pie plates or reflective bands by the hole. These deterrents must move in the wind to be effective so hang them up to your home using string.
• Fill the hole up to deaden the sound.
• Cover up the hole temporarily with wire-mesh.
• As soon as the problem is solved, repair the hole as to not attract other woodpeckers.
|Tips|| For more information on wildlife, contact the Valleyfield office of the ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune