Animal House: How to Dissuade Animals from making your Yard a Home's featured image

Now that the snow has melted and the air is warm, your backyard becomes more and more appealing to outdoor animals, such as squirrels, skunks and racoons, to hunker down and make a home. Here are some cleaning and home maintenance tips that will help you dissuade these little creatures from making your back yard their home.

Maintenance & Cleaning:

  • Secure your trash cans and compost containers and leave them inside your garage, putting them outside on the morning of your designated garbage day only. This will help keep animals at bay.
  • Make your roof a less appealing habitat for critters by adding a chimney cap to keep animals from nesting inside and cleaning your gutters on a regular basis to remove debris and discourage animals from using it as a source of storage for their food.
  • Secure decks using mesh netting, hardware cloth or strips of lattice to keep animals from getting underneath and making a nest.
  • Always keep the doors to your garage and your sheds closed to discourage animals from making a home inside.


  • Most wild animals don’t like the smell of citrus, so spreading citrus peels from fruits, such as lemons, limes and oranges, along the perimeter of your yard can help keep raccoons, skunks and squirrels away. Make sure to replace the peels a couple times a month. Once the peels dry out and loose their scent, they no longer act as a defence mechanism against backyard animals.
  • If you want to make your own repellent, this recipe is sure to keep the critters away. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper, 1 chopped jalapeno pepper and 2 chopped onions into the pot, and then let it boil for thirty minutes. Once thirty minutes has passed, let the mixture cool. Use a strainer to strain out the onion and pepper. Pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle and spray the solution around flower beds, by the deck and shed; anywhere you want deter the critters from going. Make sure to wear gloves when creating this repellent to prevent the oils from the jalapeno pepper from being transferred to your eyes. These scents are strong, which animals don’t care for, and are a great natural way to safely keep troublesome animals away.