10 Tips to Keep Wild Animals Off Your Property
Protect Your Santa Clarita Home from Local Wildlife
The Santa Clarita Valley has experienced significant growth in the last 20 years. While we benefit from the ongoing construction of new businesses and housing tracts, the loss of undeveloped land is encouraging local wildlife – prey and predator – to shelter and hunt for food in urban and suburban areas.
Recently, a No Bugs customer located in the suburbs of SCV sent us a video of coyotes helping themselves to some leftovers. Their property is not located near a wash, nearby mountains, or open fields.
How to Keep Animals Off Your Property
Most critters skulk about at night and want nothing to do with humans. However, in recent years, there have been noted attacks by aggressive and scared animals searching for food. These attacks usually aren’t fatal to humans, but many wild animals carry bacterial diseases and parasites that can result in various illnesses.
That said, you’re more likely to find coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and other local wildlife rooting in your garbage, damaging your property, and mauling neighborhood pets.
To ensure the safety of your family and property, here are 10 steps you can take to keep wildlife passersby from becoming frequent and disruptive guests:
- Do not feed the local wildlife. Yes, they can be cute, but food handouts increase the potential for attacks on humans and pets. When a wild animal equates people with food, they may not differentiate between scraps and your pet or a small child.
- Bring pet food, treats, and water bowls indoors at night.
- Remove bird feeders from your yard as they tend to attract raccoons, rats, squirrels, and other critters.
- Make sure to close your garage and pet doors every night.
- The best defense is a clean yard! Clear out debris and clutter, cut back overgrown shrubs, stack firewood tightly, and make a habit of picking up any fallen tree fruit or vegetables on your property.
- Schedule regular pest control treatments to mitigate the presence of insects and smaller prey animals, like rats.
- Prevent critter thievery by installing fencing around any vegetables, fruit plants, and water sources in your garden.
- Trim back your trees and install gutter guards to close off access to your roof.
- Use trash cans with tight-fitting lids and store them inside your garage. You also secure your garbage cans with straps or bungee cords as an extra precaution. If critters are known for attacking the trash in your neighborhood, you may want to look up “animal-proof” garbage cans that are specifically designed to keep smaller animals out of your trash.
- Seal off any possible entry points into your home with mesh or caulk. A raccoon only needs a 3-inch hole to squeeze into your house, so be on the lookout for potential openings and hiding spaces – this includes your roof and attic! You should also check for signs of animal activity where vents and pipes exit the house.
Facing a Wildlife Emergency?
It’s important to remember that most of the critters strolling through your neighborhood are more of a nuisance than a danger. You can keep them from becoming frequent and destructive nightly visitors by taking the proper precautions to make your property inhospitable.
But what if you come across a potentially destructive or dangerous animal? Some critters are protected by California laws that prevent the killing or inhumane trapping of wild animals. If you have questions, contact Santa Clarita Animal Control at (661) 257-3191 for advice and assistance.
However, if someone has been attacked or is in danger, call 911 from your landline or use your cellphone to dial the SCV Sheriff’s station at (661) 255-1121. This is an important distinction because calling 911 from your cellphone will automatically direct your call to the CHP when it’s the Sheriff’s station that assists with animal attacks. You can also file a report with the Department of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resource by calling (562) 342-7100, but they will only mobilize if an animal has become a public safety issue.
Say Goodbye to Unwanted Guests
By using the tips above and scheduling regular pest control treatments, you can make your property an unattractive option for local wildlife. An animal is lured to a location by the hope of food (garbage, leftovers, prey) and/or shelter – take those away, and it will flee somewhere else.