How to keep garden pests and small animals out of your back yard

garden pests
Garden pests and small animals: Nothing is worse than waking up in the morning and finding that a racoon, a crow or worse has tipped over your garbage bin and gross, smelly garbage and food scraps are strewn all about on the boulevard.

Imagine yourself in your housecoat, hunched over the mess, cleaning it all up before the garbage collector comes to pick up your trash! Or what about the beautiful garden that you’ve worked so hard on – eaten and trampled on by a wild deer. How disappointing!

We’ve all been there, and out of frustration have thought that there must be some solution for keeping garden pests and small animals out of our backyards. Luckily, there are some solutions for you!

Locking trash bins

It sounds simple, and it is. Invest in a sturdy trash bin that has a locking lid. If you can’t find one that is strong enough, use a bungee cord over the top of the lid to keep it in place.

Don’t forget about the simple and age-old trick of simply placing a brick or large stone on top of the lid to prevent those pesky critters from prying the lid off.

However, sometimes these remedies don’t do the trick because the racoons can tend to knock the whole can over and chow down! If this is the case, try the suggestions below.

Unappealing smells and substances

Another tactic is to apply various smells or snacks to the area around the garbage bin to keep the critters away. For example, some have found that spraying ammonia on the outside and inside of the can will deter racoons, or even placing ammonia-soaked cloths inside the trash can. Apparently, ammonia smells like urine to racoons and is highly discouraging for them you can also spray other areas, such as the ground around the trash area, to discourage them from entering your yard in the first place.

Another trick is to sprinkle racoon repellent pellets (available at hardware stores) or cayenne pepper around the trash area. This will help to deter them as well. But be sure that the pellets you purchase are eco-friendly and not poisonous to children or small animals, as that would be devastating.

Light it up

A great option is to install motion-detection lighting around the area where you keep your trash cans or have your garden. Animals such as deer and racoons prefer darkness, and the sudden onset of a bright light will likely make them run away.

Try using a 100-watt bulb for maximum brightness. If even this isn’t working, you can get creative and have a radio near your trash can and set it to a news channel. The sound of human voices will scare the racoon away.

Invest in a secure trash enclosure

Perhaps the best way to prevent critters from getting into your garbage is to purchase or build a reliable and secure enclosure for your bins to be stored in. These types of enclosures either involve a gated front or a swinging lid on top. Not only does it keep your garbage area looking clean and tidy, but it is virtually impossible for anything, or anyone, to get inside.

These enclosures can be made of plastic or wood, and even have space to store your recyclables. Even a fence idea with a lid can be an effective solution.

Garden pests and small animals in gardens

If you’re an avid gardener and you’re finding that critters are eating your veggies and trampling on your flowers, there are similar options – eco-safe animal repellent pellets, basic fencing, chicken wire around your veggies – and don’t forget the tried and true solution of a good old-fashioned scarecrow!

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