It’s a common occurrence (if a somewhat unpleasant one) in the life of any homeowner to be confronted with some sort of unwanted animal intruder in their backyard, at some point in their life. Be it snakes, raccoons, rats, or anything in between, it’s a good thing to know how to keep these critters out of your yard and safely away from your family and pets.

How to keep wildlife and pests out of your backyard

Below, you’ll find some general tips for keeping your backyard a pest-free haven.

First of all, read up on your location

Different areas are prone to different types of pests, of course. It’s important for any homeowner to do a little bit of research and figure out what sort of intruder is most common in their area – is it an opossum? Or perhaps a deadly pit viper? Knowing what to expect also helps you be on the lookout for early warning signs of intruders, like trails, droppings, shed skins, etc.

Contact a wildlife specialist

It is a great idea to find a wildlife specialist in your area because you never know when you might have an unpleasant situation on your hands. But it also goes beyond that. An experienced wildlife specialist can assess any potential weak points and attractions to wildlife in your backyard, give you pointers on how to protect your property against unwanted guests, and also advise you on what are the most common pests in your area.

Make your yard as uninviting as possible

You already know you need to trim down the hedges and the lawn back there, but in this regard, that task may be particularly important. Tall grass, wood log piles, thick bushes, etc., all allow wildlife to hide and crawl about unobserved. Pests are far more likely to visit an unkempt property than a neatly cared for one since it makes for a better, more concealing home.

How to keep wildlife and pests out of your backyard - coyote

Be on the lookout for cracks and holes and mend them immediately

If you want to keep wildlife out of your backyard, you need to check your fence periodically for holes and cracks that might let pests creep in. Oh, and speaking of fences, you might also want to invest in a snake fence (which is basically a length of wire mesh that is attached to a normal fence) if snakes are common in your area.

Don’t leave food out in the open

It stands to reason that these critters aren’t coming over because they’ve heard you’re a swell fellow to be around. No, they’re usually looking for warmth, food, and most often both. This is why exposed food is an immediate attraction to opossums, raccoons, mice, rats, and more. And in turn, these creatures are attractive foods to snakes and bigger, perhaps more dangerous wildlife.

So another great way to guard your property against unwanted guests is to keep food to a minimum. If you’ve got fruit trees in your backyard, make sure to pick up any fallen fruit and don’t leave it out overnight. Likewise, don’t leave pet food bowls outside, and make sure your trash cans have a firm lid on them.