A WildSafe Yard

  • Landscaping to remove cover and food for wildlife
    • Trim trees and shrubs so as to remove branches that could provide ground cover
    • Design your yard with clear sight lines (don't have trees or shrubs that create blind-spots that allow wildlife to hide)
    • Consider plants that are less attractive as a food source for wildlife
    • Remove or limb trees that are adjacent to your home so as to prevent access points for arboreal animals such as raccoons, rats or squirrels
  • Fencing your perimeter
    • solid fencing (such as wood panel fences) help deter deer as they usually will not jump a fence unless they can see where they will land
    • continuous concrete foundations will deter animals that might otherwise dig under the fence
  • Using electric fencing to protect backyard chickens, bees, or fruit trees
    • Highly attractive assets like chickens, bees or fruit trees can be protected through the use of easily installed electric fencing
  • Storing firewood, lumber or other materials in a way so as to reduce its attractiveness as a home or hiding place for smaller animals
    • Create small stands at least 15 cm off the ground to store materials like lumber on. Smaller mammals will not be afforded a hiding place once the material is off of the ground.
  • Blocking off access points for smaller animals that may be looking for nesting cavities
    • Always ensure no animals are inside of the area you are about to close off
    • Use metal sheeting or heavy gauge mesh wire of small enough dimension to exclude your target species
    • If excluding wildlife from under decks or sheds be sure to bury the mesh or metal sheeting and to have it angle back outwards
    • If excluding wildlife from attics be sure to provide sufficient overlap of the mesh that is in turn covered (with boards or metal sheeting) to prevent wildlife from gnawing underneath the cove

How we manage our living space has a great deal of influence on the amount of human-wildlife conflict we experience. We recommend a yearly self-audit of your living space and encourage you to reduce the possibility of conflict by:

  • Removing attractants (things animals like to eat) from your yard
    • Do not store garbage outdoors; if you do not have a space indoors, consider using certified bear-resistant containers and securing them to something solid
    • Pick up fallen fruit; after checking local bylaws consider electric fencing to protect your tree and prevent bears from accessing the fruit
    • Remove bird feeders or hang them so that they are inaccessible to bears and other non-target species; do not let seed accumulate on the ground which will attract rodents, rats and other species; feed small amounts at a time and keep feeders clean; bears are also attracted to hummingbird feeders
    • Do not feed pets outdoors; if you must, only provide what they will consume immediately and bring the dishes inside
    • Keep your barbecue clean; burn off any food residue and give the grill a thorough scrub after each use; empty the grease catcher after each use
  • Managing your compost correctly
    • No meat, dairy, or bones
    • Use equal parts of brown and green material
    • Do not overload the compost with fruit - if need be, store material indoors (or freeze) and add gradually
how-to-compost (small)