It’s a common theme across a lot of the US these days – humans and wildlife interacting more and more. As cities push out farther, or forest grow in towards cities more, humans and wildlife are in close proximity.
Of course squirrels are common, and our dog loves to chase them.
They can be a real nuisance. For example, squirrels my parents house have chewed up the aerial phone and cable internet cables about every 7 years for the last four decades, requiring them to be replaced each time. They also chew up every bit of plastic in the yard, like irrigation emitters, plastic flower boxes, and such. But the squirrels in our area don’t seem to do that.
Our real problem are crows, skunks, and rats.
Crows are noisy, and they constantly dig through our mulch and throw it around. We’ve tried lasers (you have to sit and wait for them, and then shine it on them to scare them away), flashy pinwheels, and fake owls. None of these are perfect, but they help.
Skunks are a bit more difficult. They come into our hard and dig up the mulch.
But the more serious concern is letting our dog out at night only to surprise a skunk and get sprayed, which happened to our last dog.
We were able to find a guy that traps and removes skunks. Here is a trap he set, with maple & brown sugar oatmeal from a packet as bait.
And low and behold, after 5 nights, we caught this little guy, who is now gone.
In the last few days we’ve noticed some more telltale signs of a skunk, so perhaps we aren’t done with these guys yet.
As for rats, our problem isn’t too bad now that our yard is free of any really hospitable places for a rat to nest. But they do come in from neighboring yards and we do see evidence of them, so we keep traps set and baited where we find droppings, and have caught a few. This is probably something we’ll have to keep at any time we see droppings.
Additionally, ants can be a concern. In the past, in the old house on this property, we had a lot of problems with ants. But since we moved into the new house, we’ve been aggressive at treating for them anytime we see any evidence of them in the living spaces. If we see a lot of ants, we bring out the exterminators to lay down a repellent barrier all around the house. If we just see a few, we lay down some ant gel bait ourselves, and this seems to keep them under control.
In conclusion, pests can be a real problem, but most of our issues are minor we take action to keep them under control, before they become a bigger problem.