How to Repel Urban Foxes From Your Garden by Using a Radio
The issue of urban foxes seemingly running wild in urban areas has increasingly been making front page news over the last couple of years. Such high-profile cases like the baby twins being attacked by a fox in Hackney in 2010, followed by the baby with a bitten-off finger in Bromley in 2013, has reignited the debate as to whether foxes are vermin or loveable rogues.
Personally, I like being able to see them so close at hand and I think it’s one of the huge benefits . However, I have been frustrated in the past when foxes have dug holes in my lawn or pooed on the picnic table. Although I’m sure I’m not alone in this annoyance, I know that many people like foxes, but simply wish to minimise the destruction they sometimes cause within the garden.
Over the years I’ve tried many different fox repellent techniques with varying degrees of success. Having learnt a lot about foxes, I’ve discovered various successful ways of keeping foxes out of my vegetable patch.
It’s required patience and the ability to ‘mix things up a bit’ but on the whole I’ve been successful.
However, a couple of years ago I came across a particularly effective fox deterrent whilst listening to Radio 4 one afternoon. A guest on the show was invited on to talk about the wildlife centre that he managed in Dorset. One of the topics was how he successfully kept foxes from attacking his swans by hiding a few radios near to the nests.
The gentleman had experimented with music, but found that it was radio stations that was mainly conversational (like Radio 4) that was most effective in deterring the foxes. As naturally wary creatures, foxes hearing constant human voices posed too much of a risk for the foxes to take and they kept away. I absolutely loved this idea and decided to try it in my own garden and can testify that it has definitely worked in keeping foxes out of my garden.
There are a few things to think about when choosing a suitable radio.
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Get a waterproof radio. To really work in deterring foxes, the radio will have to sit outside, so will need to be weather resistant. These types of radio are generally marketed as radios for the shower or builders yards.
Get a wind up radio. Radios are usually pretty good on batteries, but the wind up ones are even simpler, plus you’ll be doing your bit for the environment.
Place the radio near to where the fox enters your garden. Try and spent a bit of time researching where the fox gains access to your property, as this is the best place to put any kind of fox repellent. The more you can put off the fox at the entry point, the less damage it will do to your garden and it will be easier to keep it away altogether.
Keep the volume quite low. You’ll tune the radio to Radio 4 but you don’t need to have it very loud. Foxes have very sensitive hearing, so will hear the human voices coming from the radio even at a low volume. There’s no need to upset the neighbours!
If you have experienced a problem with foxes fouling or digging in your garden, then I strongly recommend that you try using a radio. It’s not expensive and you will probably find that you’ve got yourself a very good fox repellent device!
Rattlesnakes on the Homestead – Small Predators For Any Size Prey
Rattlesnakes can be a problem for the homesteader, but they’re also relatively easy to deal with. The key to success when you’re in snake country is being “heads up,” and maintaining a defensive posture. The problem with poisonous snakes is that they really don’t care how large you are, they’ll bite you if you appear to be a threat or violate their “air space.” The big problem for the homesteader is pets, animals and children who aren’t aware of the danger and aren’t keeping an eye out for these uninvited co-inhabitants.
First of all, there are various kinds of rattlesnakes you might run into. Smaller rattlers like the Massasauga can be found in places like Michigan and Ontario. Diamondback rattlers are common in the southeast and southwest U.S., and Timber rattlers are common in places like the foothills of northern California. Sizes, colors and markings even among the same type of rattlesnake can vary, but most share some common traits that we should be aware of.
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Snakes are cold-blooded animals, so they move slower in cold weather and like to find places to sun themselves. Some favorite spots for snakes are rocks and logs to perch on for sunning, hiding out in tall grass, and taking shelter in and under things like piles of rocks and wood, and hollow logs and culverts. If it’s a quiet area, snakes will hang out in the open as well, so it’s best to keep your eyes peeled while you’re strolling around.
Rattlesnakes naturally don’t want to be around people. If there is noise and traffic, the snakes will prefer other places to hang out. Unlike some pit vipers in the southern U.S., I’ve never heard of a rattler seeking out a person in order to attack. They generally are interested in being left alone – but don’t count on it. If you see one, keep your distance and keep your eyes on it until you are well on your way out of the area.
The location of rattlesnake hangouts is often known by locals. In my part of southeastern Wyoming, there are no snakes at all, but just 40 miles east of me is a haven for rattlesnakes along the pine covers bluffs between Wyoming and Nebraska. Even there, the locals know about brush piles, bends in the road and specific canyons that are notorious for rattlers.
Rattlesnakes are big consumers of small animals, and rodents are perhaps their favorite. Medium size rattlers can have half a dozen or so mice in their digestive tracts at any given time. So, they serve as a good means of control for other pests. One way to dissuade snakes is to take their natural source of food and move it away from where you live. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work because where grain from chickens and livestock attract mice, the snakes are sure to follow.
Unlike other animals, a big rattlesnake doesn’t necessarily present a big problem, as baby rattlesnakes are known to inject all of their venom into their prey (or adversary), presumably based on their inexperience, instead of just injecting what’s needed to stun the animal. I’ve heard more than a few stories of people who didn’t have enough sense to stay away from that cute little rattler in its youth. One young man in California found a baby rattler and kept it in an aquarium in his home. There’s not much of a story to tell about this “odd couple” simply because the baby snake gave him a double fang kiss on the lips one day, and now the young man isn’t around to tell his side of the story.
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If you know that snakes share places that you consider to be home, then high boots and thick work pants are two ways to help protect against accidental bites. Keeping your eyes open and giving these creature wide berth are also good methods. Assume that a snake can strike a distance equivalent to the entire length of its body, and then stay back at least twice that distance for minimal safety. Don’t count on them rattling to forewarn of a strike, be aware that they can move quickly even though they have no legs, and don’t underestimate the speed of a strike – it’s faster than you can move, and that’s all the advantage the snake needs to pierce you with its fangs.
Clair Schwan is managing editor over at http://www.self-reliance-works.com and he is focused on self reliant living. Part of his skill and knowledge base involves knowing about homestead animals and the predators they face.
Homestead Predators – Coyotes Work in Teams
Of all the common predators, the coyote is perhaps the most troublesome. They’re stronger than most, sly, brazen, fast, very wary, and they can hunt in packs so they’re a threat to small animals around the homestead as well as the young of larger animals that would be considered livestock.
A coyote is like a medium size dog. Something in the ballpark of 40 pounds is a good figure to keep in mind. They’re out in the day and at night. They are so troublesome that there is often a bounty on their heads.
Not only is a coyote a threat to the animals you raise for meat and eggs, it’s also a threat to your domestic animals. If you have a small dog, the coyote would consider it to be bite size. Even larger dogs are subject to coyotes that hunt in packs. Two or three coyotes will only be intimidated by a large dog that demonstrates its strength by killing one of the attacking predators. Otherwise, they’ll continue to behave like a hunting pack and stay at it until they’re successful.
Unlike other predators, coyotes are happy to let you know loud and clear that they’re in your neighborhood. They cry and scream to one another in the night as a way of communicating territory, challenging other males, looking for a mate or simply trying to make good on a story about them in some old cowboy song. What they won’t do is let you know when they’re going to strike.
To protect against coyotes, you need to protect against a good size dog. Welded wire isn’t a strong enough barrier as they can chew right through it. You’ll need horse fencing or chain link fencing. You’ll also need to lay the fencing on the ground or use good size rocks to keep them from digging under your pens right at the fence line.
A keen eye, well-sighted rifle and a clever ability to trap also come in handy when you’re faced with coyotes that are determined to share in what appears to them to be “free food.” Your job is to make it cost them something.
No matter your investment in small animals around the homestead, they deserve protection from common predators like coyotes. If you can make your barriers dog-proof, then they’re coyote-proof as well. When your hens, goats, calves or rabbits are attacked by coyotes, that’s just too late to start thinking about protecting them. Start thinking about clever predators before you invest in small animals around your homestead.
Predators on the Homestead – Rodents
Usually rodents aren’t viewed as predators out there. Who could possibly imagine that Mr. Jingles would be a predatory creature ready to rip another animal limb-from-limb? Well, they’re really not such vicious predators, but they can present a problem to young animals like baby chicks.
Mice and rats are largely omnivorous. I’ve seen mice eat chicken food, seedlings, bees and soap. That’s quite a broad assortment of food – perhaps the ultimate balanced diet for our furry vermin friends. All is not cute in the world of rodents as I’ve seen rats eat the legs off of baby chicks.
The predator problems that mice and rats present are largely with young animals that are confined and aren’t readily able to escape a hungry rat or a mouse with a taste for flesh. The keys to solving this problem are:
- Keep young animals with their mothers so they have a form of protection.
- Don’t confine babies in a manner where they’ll have no means of escape or evasion.
- Use barriers to rodents like quarter inch hardware cloth or hail screen.
- Do your best to reduce the threat that mice pose by using multiple and high capacity mouse traps.
- Mice and rats are very vulnerable when they’re first born, so finding a nest and destroying the mother and her young effectively stalls their population growth.
When planning for defense against these vermin, keep a few things in mind. First, they operate mostly at night but venture out in the day as long as they’re in a darkened room or building. Second, they’re silent in nearly every activity they engage in except gnawing at something that’s rigid. Third, they can climb straight up a wall and they’re capable of jumping a good distance. Fourth, even a very narrow crack beneath a door can allow a mouse to squeeze through. Fifth, if your barrier is made of wood or plastic, mice can find a way to chew a tiny hole into one that is large enough to allow access.
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Homestead Predators – Raccoons Are Clever
Raccoons are homestead predators that look like bandits with those Lone Ranger type masks over their eyes. Don’t let their looks fool you – they’re much more clever than the common bandit you might encounter.
One of the incredible characteristics of these animals is their ability to manipulate things with their hands. I say hands rather than paws because they don’t paw at things as much as they grip and manipulate things. Given sufficient time, raccoons can manipulate and unlock things that are secured with clips, wires, latches and other devices that secure things without a key. The only limitation that they have is strength, so if you have something fastened tightly and it requires strength to remove it, raccoons won’t be able to do it.
Another characteristic of these animals is they prowl at night. They’re hidden away during the day and go out in search of food at night. If you find one out in the daytime, it may be rabid so keep yourself and other animals away from it.
Raccoons also climb very well and can fashion a nest out of just about anything from vegetation to tools and resources they might find laying around in your shop. In urban environments, they often live in an unlikely place – the system of storm drains. Nowhere to be found during the day, yet prowling on your back porch to eat your cat food at night – all because the system of storm drains gives them a great hiding spot.
Like the fox, this animal is a threat to small animals on your homestead. Chickens and turkeys have become victims to raccoons who are fond of eating the head off of the animal and leaving the rest. Only the largest and most aggressive of turkeys will fend off such a predator that has dexterity, sharp teeth and as much as 30 pounds behind it.
Wire barriers are effective for raccoons, but any barrier must also address the issue of climbing. Raccoons can climb very well, so put a lid or high voltage electric fencing around the top of your pens, otherwise, your fowl are at risk. I don’t like the idea of feeding such an animal, but if you offer it an alternative food source, like dog and cat food, it will probably leave your chickens, ducks and turkeys alone.
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Nevertheless, if they’ve found a home in your barn, attic, garage or shop, or perhaps under your shed or wood pile, you’ll have to do more than simply ask them to leave. The biggest problem is trying to discourage them once they’ve found a home. Trapping and relocation can work well, but this can be a repetitive process. If not, you’ll likely have to terminate their lease at your place by terminating their lease on life.
Humane Mouse Trap: Remove Mice From Your Home Without Killing Them
Even if you love animals, you wouldn’t want pests and rodents in your home. Rats, mice and other such rodents are carriers of diseases and pose a big danger to you and family members, as well as your pets. Yet if you are font of animals, you wouldn’t want to kill these pests. In such a scenario, the best alternative is to buy humane mouse traps. With the help of these kinds of mouse traps, you can easily capture these rodents and then release them at a safe distance without causing any harm to them.
Different kinds of humane mouse traps are available in the market these days. These kinds of mouse traps have been introduced around 15 years back in order to provide the solution to the query of a large number of people top get rid of rats in a sanitary and safe manner. Read on to find out why humane ways of getting rid of mice and other torrent should be preferred over the traditional means.
For hundreds of years, various other animals like cats and few dogs have been used for controlling the population of rats and mice. In more recent times, various other traditional ways have been used for removing mice from the homes such as poison, spring loaded traps, and glue pads.
Spring loaded traps
They are the most extensively used method of controlling the mice infestation in homes all over thee world. This method involves attracting mice by using cheese or grains as bait and capturing the mouse inside the small trap. However, few drawbacks are associated with this method of pest control such as spilling of blood, or release of feces and urine by the mice, which can lead to various diseases.
Glue pads are placed somewhere on the floor and when mice move over it, the glue sticks to the mice and does not allow it to escape. After this, the mouse dies due to thirst or starvation. This method is also not preferred as picking up the glue pad and disposing it off becomes a big problem.
Though it is true that poison kills the mice, but it can be equally harmful for infants and pets. Since poison does not affect immediately, the rat can move and die in some inaccessible place, leading to emission of a disgusting stench after the mice decomposes.
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Humane Mouse Traps
The humane mouse traps provide a much more effective solution to the problem of mouse infestation in comparison to traditional methods. Made using metal or plastic, these traps aims to capture the mice without killing them. Over the years, they have been proven to be extremely effective in accomplishing their job. In fact, many people have reported eliminating colonies of mice from their home within just a few weeks.
All you need to do is bait the pests with grains or peanut butter and keep in a place where you suspect that mice travel at night. Next morning, you will surely find at least one rat trapped inside the container. You can simply take the trap to a far away place and release the mice. The biggest benefit of this humane mouse trap is that there is no risk of spreading disease, and no menace of poison related accidents. Not only this, they are quite affordable as well.
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