By Amber Kingsley
Chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides can be dangerous for our dogs and cats, as well as other animals and wildlife. The toxins found in some of these deterrents and ingredients used to increase a harvest of vegetables and fruits can decrease the lifespan of our pets or cause them unnecessary illnesses and health risks.
When we think of pests, we usually imagine flies and mosquitoes which can be pesky enough in their own regard. But they also carry a number of diseases, like heart-worm or the Zika virus that can be deadly in some cases. But our feathered friends can also be problematic when it comes to our pets. Birds also carry parasites and diseases, along with their feces, they can also damage our property, invade our dwelling space and irritate our animals.
Luckily there are some methods of keeping these flying menaces away from our property and our animals without harming us or the environment. For example, there are some visual deterrents that can keep these animals at bay. Putting out plastic birds of prey, like an owl or falcon, will not only make other flying predators think twice before flying by, they can also curb the rodent population from moving into the area.
Food and Treats
Another way of keeping unwanted animals and pests from encroaching into your space is to ensure we’re not inadvertently feeding them in some way. Don’t feed or give your pets treats outdoors if at all possible, but if you do give them food outside, be sure to bring in the bowl and any leftovers. If you have fruit bearing trees or a garden, keep ripe or fallen foods off the ground.
Don’t store pet foods or treats outdoors, and make sure that garbage cans and other sources of potential meals are either tightly sealed or kept in an outbuilding or other indoor location like a garage. Speaking of outbuildings, be sure these are closed at all times to keep unwanted tenants from taking up residence inside.
There’s No Place Like Home
Make your yard, garden or other outdoor area less likely for critters to move in. Use items as hiding places or shelter from a storm. Overgrown bushes, shrubs, wood and compost piles are a common attractant for animals. Keep this shrubbery well-groomed and trimmed and be sure things like compost and piles aren’t easily accessible to your pets.
When it comes to flies, mosquitoes and other flying pests, make sure that exterior doors, windows and screens in your home are all in good working order. Screens with holes can be patched, windows and doors can be better sealed or efficient weather stripping can be installed to prevent intrusion through these small spaces. You can also use citronella candles and other natural ways to keep these flying critters away.
Don’t forget to rid outdoor areas of standing water in barrels, buckets and puddles to keep baby mosquitoes (larvae) from forming in the first place. Swimming pools should always be properly maintained, and report abandoned or neglected pools to local health officials. If you have a bird bath, be sure to wash them out every few days to stop larvae from sticking to the bottom.
We can keep our pets safer and our property less inhabited by flying pests and pesky forms of destructive wildlife by using some of these preventative measures. Don’t pick up a spray to keep them away, instead utilize some simple practices to make them less welcome in our environment.