How to get Rid of Rats in the Yard?

Rat
Rat

Anyone seeing a rat scurry through their yard or garden has reason to take some quick defensive measures to get rid of these rodents before they do any damage. It’s important to act as quickly as possible because rats can bring disease into your yard that can affect your children and pets, as well as cause damage to the fruits and vegetables growing in your garden. There are a number of effective ways how to get rid of rats in the yard safely and permanently.

(1) Give rats an eviction notice by removing the places where they like to build their homes. These include piles of wood planks and lumber that are stacked permanently and not often disturbed. Another favorite place where rats congregate include bushes, vines and shubbery that are overgrown and never trimmed back. Piles of rocks in a yard or garden provide another cozy living space for rats in a yard and should be removed. Holes in the foundation of a house that allow rats to scurry back and forth between the yard and under the house should be repaired to prevent access. Old furniture, appliances or other box-like discards laying around a yard are just asking for a family of rats to move in, so remove them to the junk yard.

(2) Stop feeding rats by enabling them to feast on a garbage buffet. Many homeowners whose yards are plagued by rats simply fail to secure their garbage cans with lids, rope or cords. Open garbage containers and containers whose lids are not secured allow the food contents to spill out into the yard, sending an aromatic signal to neighborhood rats that there’s free chow for the asking in and around the garbage bins in your yard. Make sure that you seal your food garbage in plastic bags prior to putting it into the trash bin, and always keep your trash bins covered and adequately sealed so that there is no food, drippings or other enticing litter that will attract rats to your yard. If you must store foods like pet chow in the garage, make sure it is in sealed metal containers that can’t easily spill open.

(3) Bring on the heavy artillery if steps one and two haven’t worked and visit your local gardening or hardware store to invest in some organic rodent repellent which can be shaken in pellets over the ground. This type of repellent carries the scent of a predator animal that rats fear, so they’ll steer clear of anywhere in your yard where this repellent has been distributed. Although stronger poisons and traps can be very effective, they are not recommended if children or pets use the yard because they present an added danger. It’s often best to stick with more humane solutions for ridding your yard of rats.

(4) Adopt a dog, preferably from your local animal shelter. Rats will never congregate in any yard where Fido rules the roost.

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How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Yard?

Black Ants
Black Ants

Ants are one of the most common backyard pests. While spraying the yard with pesticides is one quick and easy way to get rid of ants in the yard, this may not be a good idea if pets or small children use the yard too. Organic home gardeners may also want to avoid pesticides, but also keep an ant-free backyard. There are many natural ways to get rid of ants and keep the yard free of the pests.

Pipe Tobacco

Pipe tobacco is one natural solution to get rid of backyard ants. Soak pipe tobacco in a small bucket of water overnight. Discard the tobacco and carefully pour the water over the ant hill.

Boiling Water

As simple as it sounds, bringing a kettle of water to a boil and immediately pouring the hot water over the ant hill will destroy the hill. This only gets rid of that one individual ant mound and may need to be repeated several times to completely rid the yard of ants. While it won’t kill all of the ants, it will usually encourage the colony to move.

Poisoned Sugar Paste

Another home remedy is to create a poisonous paste that will attract ants. Worker ants will carry it back to the colony and help to spread the poison to the ants in the ant hill. To make the paste, mix one tablespoon of boric acid with one cup of sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Dot small amounts of the paste near ant hills or clusters of ants. The poisoned sugar will soon kill the entire ant colony.

Natural Repellents

There are many common spices and foods that can be used as natural ant repellents. Sprinkling powdered red chili pepper, paprika, or dried peppermint along ant trails and around the outside of the yard is one way to naturally repel ants. Blending up citrus peels and water in the food processor and pouring the solution on the ant hill is another way to naturally repel the ants. Cutting up cloves of garlic and placing them around the yard is another way to keep ants away.

How to Prevent Ants

One way to avoid ants is to avoid planting flowers and fruits that attract aphids, white flies, and mealy bugs. These insects excrete a sugary substance that attracts ants to the yard. Other methods include keeping food waste well contained in the trash and avoid standing pools of water that may draw ants to the yard looking for water.

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How to Catch a Squirrel?

Squirrel
Squirrel

Squirrels are cute and can be very entertaining. They can also become quite friendly and tame when generous and well-meaning humans provide them with their favorite foods. However, these prolific little rodents can also be quite destructive to the home and garden and it may become necessary at some point to remove them from the premises.

If a squirrel family finds its way into a house or other structure, the damage can be costly. They will chew through siding and under eaves to gain access to attics and crawlspaces, which are ideal and safe places for them to make their nests and raise their families. Once inside, they may continue causing damage by chewing into insulation and through electrical wiring.

Even if squirrels behave themselves and stay outside where they belong, they can still cause damage to landscaping and gardens. They can damage lawns while digging for nuts and seeds, eat seeds and small plants in the garden, and destroy bark on valuable trees and shrubbery. Because of their natural climbing abilities, it is difficult to restrict their access to bird feeders.

There are non-toxic and non-lethal ways to remove a problem squirrel, but that entails catching the offender or offenders – not as simple as it may sound for these wily and intelligent animals.

Homemade Squirrel Traps

For tree-climbing squirrels, a simple homemade squirrel trap can be made using a two foot length of stove pipe and wire mesh screen, both available at most hardware stores.

Fold the screen piece over one end of the stove pipe, making sure the screen is big enough to fold over the sides. Using duct tape, wrap the tape several times around the screen and pipe. It is important that the screen is securely attached to the pipe. A hole can then be drilled into the stove pipe, an inch or two from the open end. Hammer a nail into a tree where the squirrels are the most active and slip the drilled hole over the nail, attaching the trap to the tree. Sprinkle the squirrels’ favorite food on the screen bottom of the trap. The squirrel will enter the trap through the top and be unable to climb up the slippery sides of the pipe and escape.

Store Bought Squirrel Traps

For the less than handy person, purchasing an already manufactured trap from a retailer is another option. These can be purchased fairly inexpensively on-line but can also be found locally at stores such as ones dealing in livestock feed and supplies and some hardware stores.

Baiting the Trap

Baiting a live trap should be fairly simple. Any type of nut should attract both tree and ground squirrels. Grains, dried corn, and sunflower seeds all work well. Peanut butter on a piece of bread should be effective, as well as being easy to handle and set up in the trap.

What Now?

Once a squirrel is caught, then the decision has to be made as to what to do with the culprit. Some areas are not amenable to relocating problem animals and it may even be illegal to do so. However, many people do it anyway, especially those living in rural areas. If relocation is chosen, every attempt should be made to not transfer the problem to another neighborhood.

If relocation is not possible, then the responsible individual will choose a quick and humane method with which to dispatch the squirrel.

How To Get Rid of Squirrels?

Squirrel
Squirrel

Most homes deal with rodents at one time or another. However, the same techniques that work for smaller animals like mice, or even rats, aren’t necessarily as ideal for very large rodents, such as squirrels. Like mice, squirrels are drawn to homes and yard areas by the easy access to food and shelter. While many people find squirrels romping on their property to be very cute and endearing, they can actually be unsanitary, dangerous and a major pestilence. By following this advice, however, you can get rid of squirrels, keeping them out of your home, yard and garden.

Squirrel Habitat

The most common type of squirrel seen in residential areas is the gray squirrel. Squirrels can have young year round, meaning that they are in constant need of sheltered nesting space. If there is a hollow tree in the vicinity, they may favor that for their nesting site. However, they are equally as likely, especially around people, to use an indoor space, such as an attic, basement, crawl space or shed. This is usually the situation that leads to needing to get rid of squirrels. In addition, if squirrels do get inside a home, they are quickly drawn to any available sources of food. Don’t be surprised if you walk in the door to see a streak running in the other direction.

Trapping Squirrels

One of the best ways to get rid of squirrels is to trap them. This allows you to capture the active rodent and move them to a more suitable location. Live traps can be purchased at any hardware or farm store. These are baited and then set in the areas where you have seen the most squirrel activity. If you can find the access point, leave the trap there. Make sure that the trap is not too large; squirrels may not have sufficient weight to trigger the trip. In addition, if you wish to humanely release the squirrel after capture, make sure that you place the trap in a shaded location or the animal may die from heat exposure.

Blocking Entrances

This technique can work to get rid of squirrels, but more attention to detail is needed to ensure that it is done properly. Obviously, if you can find where the squirrel is getting into your property, you can block these holes at any time. However, the last thing you want to do is block the squirrel inside your home. When blocking entrances, always make sure that you have actually seen the squirrel leave. You can then board over the hole or block it with a rock or brick. While filling the area in with dirt can deter the squirrel temporarily, they will most certainly dig out the spot again. Also, don’t forget openings that you might not think of, such as the chimney hole; a squirrel can easily shimmy down this space. Putting a mesh screen over this may stop the intrusion.

Garden Pests

It is more difficult to keep squirrels out of your garden than your home. You can, of course, trap and relocate as discussed above. You can also use a pepper spray or other squirrel-specific deterrent to discourage the rodents from eating your crops. Finally, you might want to consider putting up a fence, burying some chain mesh a foot or so underground. This may not completely stop the intrusion, but it will make access more difficult.

Cleaning Up the Mess

Once you have ensured that the offending rodent is no longer in your home or yard, you will want to locate the nest and do some clean-up. Be aware that you might be stumbling upon babies during this process, so be prepared to take care of them as well. If you leave the youngster, they could possibly live, beginning the process all over again. Some people hire professional exterminators to clean up the nest site, as it can be quite a dirty and smelly job.

How to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders?

Wolf Spider
Wolf Spider
Ultra Macro Shoot of Wolf Jumping Spider
Ultra Macro Shoot of Wolf Jumping Spider

Among the most widely recognized, if not the most easily recognized, spiders in all of America, is the Wolf Spider. As ugly as they are, they actually perform a useful service both outdoors and inside. Because they are such good insect hunters, they manage to keep many insect populations under control. As it grows colder outside, they begin to look for a warmer locale to hang out, which means inside of your house. Even though they are not interested in biting you, only your home’s insects, you want them gone. In this article, we discuss the necessary steps for ridding yourself of the Wolf Spider menace.

Sealing up the Outside

The smartest and most effective means of not letting wolf spiders inside of your house lies in first sealing off all access points to the inside. The first place to start with is in plugging up or patching up holes in screens, and in putting up weather stripping on all of your doors and windows. Door sweeps do not hurt to install either.

Once you have accomplished these tasks, you will need to track down a working caulk gun and outdoor sealant. Patrol slowly and carefully around your home’s exterior, filling in any holes or cracks which you come across. Be sure to inspect the areas around any cables, plumbing, and wiring, as well. Patch up all of the holes with the sealant to keep any more wolf spiders from finding their way inside of your house.

Sealing up the Inside

Once you have secured your home’s exterior, do the same job inside of it. Begin with your crawlspaces or basement area, seeking out any holes or cracks that need to be filled in. Check again for the cables, plumbing, and wiring that allows critters to enter your home. Check those windows too, since they often hide tiny cracks which are large enough for your unwelcome guests. Work your way higher after finishing up with the basement. In the attic, ensure that a nice screen is tightly secured around any and all vents.

Ensure that the Outside of Your Home is Uninviting to Wolf Spiders

Next, you will want to remove any vegetation from the exterior of your house, in order to make it as unappealing to the insect-hunting spiders as possible. Begin by removing any vegetation from the outside of your home. Hedges, bushes, grass, ivy, or any kind of plant which is hugging the side of your house has to go. Get rid of any piles of wood, rocks, or lumber which are lying around just outside the home. Stop using lighting outdoors. Since it attracts the spider’s prey of insects, it is a huge invitation to come on over. If you can not do without outdoor lighting, then make the switch to sodium vapor or yellow lighting instead.

Clean Your House

Wolf spiders are very fond of messy houses. The obvious answer to this may be painful to hear, but you must clean up your house. Pick up the piles and organize them. Throw out the items that you neither use or need any more. Piles of laundry, newspapers, magazines, boxes, all of these need to go. Keep clean dishes. Routinely engage in sweeping up, mopping the floors, and vacuuming the carpet.

Killing Wolf Spider by Hunting Them Down

Rather than waiting to be surprised, or even bitten, by your resident wolf spiders, launch a preemptive strike and hit them first! Wait until it is dark, pick up a flash light, and begin to shine it in the kinds of places where Wolf Spiders enjoy hiding out. Since the creepy little creatures have reflective cells (tapetum lucidum) in their eyes, the light of your flash light will reflect back to you. Find them, and eliminate them.

Utilizing Pesticides to Eliminate Wolf Spiders

The good news is that Wolf Spiders only bite when they are threatened. Fortunately, even though they are venomous spiders, their bites are basically not dangerous. In any case, you can control and kill spiders using one of a number of effective spider poisons on the market. Be sure that you carefully read the instructions which come with the poison. There are poisons for use outdoors and those appropriate and safe for inside your house. A few of them work in both places without causing people harm.