George Wheelhouse

Wildlife and nature blogs are a wonderful way to teach people about the natural world. It’s also a great niche to write about for local bloggers. The first rule of blogging is to offer helpful information. And if someone has unwelcome visitors in their home or garden, if you write helpful posts, your blog will climb the search engines, as well as doing good for our furry friends.

We all love wildlife. But sometimes unwelcome visitors are best sent away, for their own safety as well as the safety of ourselves and pets. How do you do this, without harm to any creature? You work with nature, not against it. You can report wildlife crimes to Crimestoppers (anonymous) or Wildlife Crime Unit (UK). Start by educating yourself with some good books:

  1. The Guide to Humane Critter Control is by a master gardener
  2. Living with Urban Wildlife is a guide by London expert John Bryant
  3. Wild Neighbors is a good book for US residents
  4. Skedaddle (Canada) has lots of useful tips by species

By Species Humane Deterrence

  1. Big Belly Solar sell bins with animal latches, for humane deterrence
  2. Netfloat (UK) is a set of discs to deter herons (safer than netting)
  3. My Critter Catcher traps moving insects without harm (spiders are best left alone as extreme temperatures outside can kill, and babies (the white furry balls) are left behind
  4. Grazers is a nontoxic calcium spray to make grass unpalatable for rabbits, geese, pigeons and deer (also used in Australia to deter possums). Large version for golf courses etc, leave space free for pet rabbits, so they have tasty grass to eat!
  5. Waspinator is a pretend wasp’s nest that looks like a brown paper bag. Territorial wasps them move somewhere else. No citronella oil or candles near pets, toxic to them.  
  6. British Beekeepers can visit to humanely remain swarms. 
  7. Badger Vaccination Project (UK) has volunteers to mark then inject badgers, to protect them (and cattle) from TB. It’s kinder, cheaper and more effective than culling.Organic farmer Dick Roper claims to have found the cure for badger TB (a mineral lick stick).
  8. PICAS (UK) offers expert help to humanely deter pigeons and gulls from public buildings. London’s pigeon rescue can offer help for injured pigeons.
  9. Professor Acorn is site by a squirrel (!) who educates on how to save red squirrels. Hint: it’s not about gray squirrel populations, but planting and protecting the right trees.
  10. 50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants lists plants that deer don’t like to eat. If planting flowers to deter deer, see Responsible Blogging to know toxic plants to avoid near pets. Humane Deer Management is spaying and releasing deer in Maryland.

Humane Mouse & Rat Deterrents 

Cute Harvest Mouse

Traditional traps are cruel (see how to release a creature in a glue trap). And if not checked regularly, humane traps can cause a slow death. But both don’t stop rodents returning home (often to see their babies!) The best prevention is to ensure there are no wall cavities (mice can get through holes the width of a pencil). And then humanely remove rodents (with babies) to release, and seal up cracks so they don’t return.

  1. Skedaddle is a humane control company with lots of tips 
  2. Mouse Mesh is a gnaw proof grid to deter rodents. Cover up entrance points, then clean leaves out regularly. Never cover air vents, for gas safety reasons.
  3. Fresh Cab is a pouch of scented herbs, placed in areas to deter. It has mixed reviews. These contain essential oils, so keep them away from where pets or children could access. 

Humane Slug & Snail Control

Snail family under the rain

The bane of many gardener, read The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating for inspiration on how to love these fascinating creatures. Garden organically to attract natural predators. Never use slug pellets (even iron phosphate is toxic to pets). But you must stop pets eating slugs, as it can cause lungworm. Here are some ideas:

  1. Plant a ‘cabbage patch for slugs’ to move them to
  2. Use evergreen shrubs, grasses and ferns over soft foliage
  3. Grow plants that are difficult to travel over (glossy leaves or ‘hairy plants’).
  4. Avoid copper and coffee (both harm) and netting (traps wildlife)
  5. Grazers is a non-toxic calcium spray (also for white butterflies, caterpillars and aphids)
  6. Molluskit is a defensive barrier tested 86% effective by Scotland’s Rural College. The ‘comb’ design stops from gaining access above ground, and blocks access to roots and bulbs. Invented by a ‘shed tinkerer’ who loves earthworms!
  7. A Slow Passion is a book by an amateur scientist, who figured out the ‘homing’ instinct of snails. Find out how far you have to move them, so they don’t return.