It is against the law to keep wild animals except to transport them to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator or facility. Click here for a list of Minnesota Rehabilitators & Facilities
Check for areas around your home and garage where animals could borrow or nest including your patio, fireplace and furnace chimneys, overhangs, siding, areas of windows, fan and dryer exhaust vents, attic and crawl space entrances etc.
Keep garage doors closed when not in use.
Cover window wells with the plastic covers that allow natural light to get to the area, but prevents small animals, birds, amphibians and from falling in and dying. The covers also protect the downstairs areas from heavy rain and seeping moisture.
Cover fireplace & furnace chimneys. Chimney covers can be used year round and not affect chimney drafts.
Keep all domestic pet foods inside the home or garage in secure metal containers with covers. Remember many animals can chew through plastic containers.
Keep garbage covered. Try using bungee cords for closing tops that are not secure by themselves.
Before mowing, check your lawn for nesting bunnies, baby birds, or small amphibians. Make sure your lawn service is instructed to do same.
Protect Vegetable Gardens
The best, most effective and long lasting defence is to build a good fence!
We recommend using 1⁄2” hardware cloth. This type of material is strong enough to stop larger intruders from bending over a fence made of chicken wire or plastic.
Bury your fence at least 6 inches underground (18” for woodchucks) to prevent diggers.
The fence should be at least 3 feet high to protect against rabbits and woodchucks.
Deer can jump as high as 8 feet which poses a unique problem. Instead of a very tall or slanted fence use commercial heavy-weight deer netting. This will also help protect against birds and squirrels who visit your garden.
Some animals will be discouraged by “icky” plants and not bother venturing beyond them. This may work better for some species than others, and isn’t as fail-safe as a real fence.
Repellant plants may differ dependent upon the species but a few to try are: marigolds, some ornamental grasses, artemisia, tansy, yarrow, lilacs and evergreens. Edible plants such as mint, thyme, tarragon, oregano, dill, chives, onions and garlic can also be interplanted throughout the garden.
Netting Fruit producing trees can be covered by protective netting to prevent birds from eating your fruit. This will help deter squirrels as well but persistent squirrels may squeeze underneath or chew through the netting.
Protect Decorative Plants
Decorative plants can be protected by spraying them with:
1 part regular non-soapy ammonia
2 parts water
It will leave the plants tasting extremely bitter to animals. When using Ammonia you will be fertilizing as well because the chemical back bone of ammonia is nitrogen. Reapply after it rains.
Bar soap can be hung around the perimeter of the garden and/or shaved onto the soil. Studies indicate that soaps containing coconut oil may actually attract deer so be careful in which soap you choose. The effective ingredient appears to be tallow but many suggest finding the smelliest soap you can that doesn’t contain coconut oil.
Predator scent deterrents include predator urine (most effective), blood-derived or fish products. There are many commercially available products that mimic or contain predator urine. These send the message to animals that there is a natural predator nearby and the area is unsafe to be around. A wide variety of products are available online and in stores.