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Using bait stations to apply toxic baits for rodents is a good way to reduce the risks to non-target animals. Bait stations also protect the bait from undue exposure to damaging weather.
But if you are in an area where use of PVC pipe toxic bait stations is appropriate, then be sure to add a small barrier at the end of each of the pipes to prevent loose-grain bait from flowing out of the ends. Failure to have these end pieces will likely result in some of the loose grain bait being spilled and therefore available to non-targets.
Just be sure that the hole that remains is large enough to allow the target animals in.
Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator. He has published several books, including, The Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd ed.
One of the cardinal principles in wildlife damage management can be stated as, remove the food and you remove the animal. Too often however, people don’t take the few extra seconds to clean up spilled food, secure gates, or close dumpster lids.
You may be familiar with raccoons and dumpsters, but you should be familiar with the combination “birds and dumpsters”. Note the several magpies that are looking for food in this particular dumpster whose users failed to close the right lid. Don’t let this be you. Feeding unwanted wildlife will eventually lead to problems later on.
Stephen M. Vantassel specializes in helping people resolve conflicts with vertebrate animals.
In the last post, I discussed why excluding wildlife and vertebrates from sheds was an important component in reducing conflicts with wildlife. Now I will cover two strategies for excluding wildlife from sheds.
The basic principle is increasing the ease of access. Like the locks on your house, if your neighbor has poorer security, you don’t need as much. So it is with wildlife. If you harden your site, wildlife will likely move to easier pickings. All wildlife that utilize the areas under sheds tend to go to the edge, and dig underneath. So your goal is to extend the barrier so that they are standing on it. This way, when they get to the edge, they dig down and right into the barrier. Few wildlife are “smart” enough to step back from the edge and start digging there. Thus a 12-18 floor skirt will likely be enough to stop them.
So there are two ways to create this skirt. By the way, NEVER perform exclusion if there is any chance an animal is living there.
Option 1. Patio Block Method. With patio blocks, no digging is required. Just place the narrow end against the structure. Use screen to make up any distance between the shed wall and the stone. The stone is heavy to move and can be a bit pricey but it is easier to install than the digging option in many situations.
Option 2. Subterranean screening. Most recommendations on screening require back-breaking work, telling you to dig a 1 x 1 foot trench to bury the L shaped screen. Sure that is a gold standard, but for most people not necessary. You just need to attach the screen to the base of the shed wall, extend it down to about 2 inches below the soil surface, then bend it out at a 90 degree angle away from the wall out at least 12 inches. A sod shovel will allow you remove the grass, lay the screen down, then place the sod over the screen. In a few weeks, you won’t know the screen was there.
Bottom line, protect your sheds BEFORE you have a problem and you will save yourself a lot of headaches.
Stephen M. Vantassel specializes in helping people prevent and resolve conflicts with wildlife. He is available for research, consultation, training events, and debates.