In Central Texas, it is extremely common for pests to get into our homes, attics, and sheds. From mice to snakes, possums to raccoons, all wild animals will seek shelter where they can. But did you know that there is one simple thing you can do to reduce your risk of getting pests in your yard and/or home? Here is the magic tip: Clean your yard!
Critters like mice, snakes, and raccoons will first hide in your yard before moving into your house for better shelter. But, if the critters can’t find shelter in your yard, chances are they won’t make their way into your home. In order to keep animals out of your yard, you can take these simple steps:
Cut down tall grass, weeds, and bushes
Animals will naturally seek these areas as shelter for themselves and their babies. If you have areas of wild brush in your yard, you should cut it down and haul off the brush. If your yard is clean of tall grass and bushes, there will be nowhere for critters to seek shelter near your house.
Remove brush piles and debris
Once you cut down all of the unnecessary brush and debris in your yard, you will want to get rid of it at a landfill or through garbage pickup. The city of Austin has a debris pickup program specifically for brush and tree trimmings so check with the city before moving your brush piles to the curb.
It is important to remove all debris piles from your yard, including trash piles, as these are great spots for critters to make their new home. Common trash like old tires, worn-out furniture, and bulky discarded items can become homes for critters if they are left unattended in your yard.
Trim around your shed
Sheds are notorious for attracting critters. These shelters are often in a far corner of the yard and are generally undisturbed, making it the perfect place for critters. If you have a shed, make sure to trim the grass and weeds around the base to keep curious critters away from the perimeter. Oftentimes, homeowners will leave tall grass and weeds behind the shed (out of sight, out of mind) which can quickly attract mice and snakes. Bonus Tip: Some people also find it helpful to add moth balls into the shed to keep mice away.
Remove water sources
Just like humans, animals like raccoons, rats, and possums need regular water intake to survive. If you have water puddles, bird baths, or any standing water in your yard, you are inviting critters to come into your space. Get rid of any unneeded water sources to eliminate your chances of attracting animals.
Keep animals out of your yard
If you live in a rural area, many of these tricks may not work for you since it is impossible to eliminate all areas of brush and water. But, if you live in the city of Austin, you will greatly benefit by cleaning up your yard. Sometimes as homeowners it is easy to let yardwork slip as we become busy, but if you can maintain a clean, debris-free yard, you will be giving less opportunity for animals to get into your space.