Every animal and bird has its purpose. But let’s be honest, gophers, moles, jays, woodpeckers, sage rats, and ground squirrels seem more like an annoyance than anything else. To help you get rid of those pests, we’ve compiled some time-honored alternatives and a few new innovations.
Eliminate Rats, Mice, Chipmunks, and Squirrels
Rats can be bothersome, which we covered in Controlling Winter Pests. But during the spring and summer months, rodents and other four-legged mammals can start to cause problems all over your property. Culprits include: rats, chipmunks, mice, sage rats, and squirrels.
Sure, you can try a poison. There are a few out there that work great and are relatively safe, such as Motomco Rodent & Gopher Killer. But there are also traps and other methods, including:
Scent-based repellents that make the critters think there is a predator nearby. Bottled fox urine is a great option.
Scare devices that resemble a predator (such as an owl or hawk).
Removing vegetation such as shrubs and tall grasses that can be a home or habitat.
Cleaning up your yard by removing clutter and anything that could become a home for a critter.
Buying a cat to patrol for mice, rats, and more.
Moving bird feeders so that they are out of reach for rodents. Birdhouses should be kept at last 30 feet from any barn or shed.
Cleaning underneath bird feeders by raking up any of the seeds and feed that fall to the ground.
Cayenne pepper. Add some to your birdseed. It won’t hurt the birds, but the mice will hate it.
Properly storing feed so that mice and rodents cannot chew into boxes or other containers. Choose double-insulated plastic bins with rounded corners, or metal.
Gophers Must Go
Whether you prize your garden or love our lawn, gophers as well as moles, pocket gophers, sage rats, voles, and other burrowing animals are a special kind of nightmare. There are ways to get rid of them and even discourage their kin from returning.
Plant Euphorbia Lathyris (gopher spurge). This weed is rather invasive, so be careful where you put it. But it will drive gophers away. Just plant it around the parameter of your yard or property.
Pet droppings. Scatter dog waste or cat litter in gopher holes. They’ll think it’s a predator.
Vibrating stakes have been known to work at repelling these underground dwellers.
Fish heads and guts. Instead of throwing out those parts of the fish, add them to gopher holes. The smell will drive them away.
Dilute caster oil with water and put it into a spray bottle. Then spray the mounds.
Coffee grounds, dryer sheets, and mothballs stuffed down gopher holes can help drive them away.
Flooding the gopher’s home is another option. However, they can often just avoid their demise by hiding away from the impending flood.
Chewing gum. Unwrap and place a new stick of gum (don’t chew it) into a gopher hole. The gopher will scurry off with the gum but won’t live to tell the tale.
Keep Birds at Bay
We’ve taken a look at Attracting Bird to Your Backyard, but what about the birds you don’t want, such as jays, blackbirds, pigeons, woodpeckers and other bullies of the bird world? Urging those birds to move on just takes a few modifications in the way you feed other birds.
Upgrade your feeders. Look for smaller models larger birds cannot use.
Catch the seeds. Bigger birds will often live off the seeds the smaller birds drop to the ground. Place a small can under your feeder to collect seeds as they fall. The big birds won’t go into the can to get the seeds. Plus, you’ll be keeping the underside of your feeder clean, which can eliminate rats and mice.
Use mirrors and other scare tactics. By putting a mirror inside of a birdhouse, you can fool woodpeckers and other birds. There are plenty of other ways to scare birds including products from Bird-B-Gone.