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5 DIY pest management & wildlife control tips

Tired of dealing with underground animals and nuisance wildlife? Try these wildlife control ideas.

Moles, ground squirrels, groundhogs, various pests and underground animals of all kinds — they live among us. No matter how vigilant you are, telltale holes and trails in your lawn let you know when burrowers and nuisance wildlife have decided to move into your neighborhood. If the critters are setting up camp in your lawn and causing you problems, don’t worry — there are wildlife control tips to get rid of them without going the Elmer Fudd route.

Mole digging in the dirt.

Set traps.Traps are considered the most practical and effective way to be rid of the problem. Just be ready to deal with what you find once the traps work, and adhere to any rules restricting their use.

Try chemicals. Focus on pest management that repels with a simple soap and water treatment. Try adding two tablespoons of dish soap to a gallon of water, then sprinkle on your lawn. Some people add a few ounces of castor oil for extra repellency to nuisance wildlife.

Use a barrier method.Bury sheet metal or wire mesh (also called hardware cloth) about two to three feet deep around the perimeter of your yard, leaving half a foot sticking out of the ground — making this a better choice for larger lawns. (Take caution when walking around your yard — brightly colored flags or ribbons can help keep it from being a tripping hazard.)

Shift to naturally repellent landscaping. Some plants are noxious to some rodents; for example, daffodils and marigolds naturally repel moles.

Think like the enemy. Understanding rodent behavior can help you stop them in their furry tracks. For example, if moles are your problem, any trap you set needs to completely surround the tunnel: When a mole encounters an obstacle, it will most likely try to dig around it. You'll need to examine their tunnel patterns carefully to determine which are old pathways and which are currently active.

If it takes a while to find the right method for your lawn, take heart — once you have your wildlife control and pest management routine to get rid of the pests, you may find your yard is more fertile, better aerated, and has better drainage than ever. Thanks, Mother Nature!

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