Animal proofing your backyard
Life in the big city wouldn’t be the same without our critters. With Toronto’s tree canopy and plentiful ravines, raccoons and squirrels almost outnumber the human population. Then there are coyotes, foxes, and the occasional deer, depending on where you live.
It’s not possible to completely eliminate wildlife, Arthurs says, but you can make the yard a less desirable place to be. Cats don’t like warm spicy smells, especially cinnamon, so push a few cinnamon sticks into the soil, and when it rains the smell will deter them from using the bed as a litter box. Raccoons are notoriously hard to get rid of, and they tend to mark territory, so Arthurs suggests a motion activated scarecrow sprinkler – move across the yard, you get doused. It works on raccoons, squirrels, cats, but also coyotes, foxes, and deer.
And if you don’t plant large trees or hedges near the house, wildlife have no way to climb up onto your roof.
Backyard compost bins are a big draw for wildlife, particularly rats, and they’re not particularly effective when they don’t get enough sun and heat to break down the contents.