How to Keep Wildlife Out of Your Yard

As I am sure many people would agree -deer are beautiful wild animals.  Recently moving to Prescott from the San Francisco Bay area, our family was so surprised to see so many of these beautiful critters munching on our plants and lounging around in our back yard. It looks like they have adopted us.  Anything we can do remove the call of the wild from our yard? 

Besides yelling “scram”, “shoo” and “scat”, which more than likely fall on deaf furry ears, and wildly waving your arms in the air which will run off the deer, but only to have them return, there are deer repellents on the market that can work.  These repellents discourage visits to yards using not so friendly smells and offer a bad taste if munched on.  The deer get the message after awhile and will leave your yard and your plants alone.

The are “bad taste” repellents on the market, some are a mixture of nontoxic concentrated bitter tasting items like garlic and pepper and there are other bad tasting repellents that taste like mouth-scorching hot peppers.  If you use the bad taste repellent, be cautious of sprinkling this product on your fruits and veggies as they will pick up the taste.  There are “bad smelling” repellents that are made up predator urines and I have also heard there is a product that smells like rotting meat. 

On the positive side, you must have a beautiful and bountiful yard, and that is why these critters are visiting you.  There must be plenty of good munching material available.  Deer and other foragers have food preferences and YCCA has available a list of plants and ground covers that are not at all interesting for wild animal munching because they do not offer taste, they are not nutritious and they are difficult to eat, however they do offer yard appeal and beauty.

We recently purchased a foreclosure that has been sitting vacant for quite some time.  You can image the bugs, creepy crawlers, spiders and roaches.  Besides hiring a pest professional, what can we do?  Tom and Lilly, Prescott Valley

Integrated Pest Management is probably the best and most reliable way of removing pests from ones home and this is a process that does not just blast pests with poisons but uses a strategy to control the pests.  Orkin Pest Control and Truly Nolen both use Integrated Pest Management for prevention.  There are conventional pest treatments as in the do-it-yourself step using self spray of pesticides.  Keep in mind this is a short-term control and does not stop or eliminate how the pests enter your home and/or control their reproductive environments.  Also, as the do-it-yourself pest control, you may not be aware of existing infestations and where they are coming from.  Before moving into your new home, you should clean and that would be meticulously clean your kitchen and bath.  Wipe down all cupboards, clean behind stoves and refrigerators, under the sinks and pantries and then spray your home with a store purchased product before moving anything into the home.  Whenever food and water are easy to find, bugs will invite themselves to breakfast, lunch or dinner.  As a word of caution, any pesticide can be dangerous if mishandled so use caution.

As a reminder, if anyone is using professional pest control services, you should make sure the company and all of their operators are licensed through the Office of Pest Management.  The web site is www.sb.state.az.us.

Phone: (928) 778-0040

Email: ycca@ycca.org

810 E. Sheldon Street, Prescott, AZ 86301

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