No matter where you live or the size of your yard, Mother Nature will find a way in—and that’s a good thing! Wildlife can be a great partner to your plants, from pollinating flowers to eating pesky insects. Yes, some wildlife make messes, such as moles, rabbits, and other tiny critters, but there are many ways you can cohabitate with the birds and the bees in a healthy, happy way.
To keep you and your four-legged or flying visitors safe, here are some tips to follow for full proofing your backyard.
Plant Native Plants
Native plants are not only a simple, safe way to help wildlife thrive, but they’re also some of the easiest plants you can have. Natives belong in their natural habitat, aka your property, therefore they don’t require fertilizers to grow, they don’t have to be watered regularly, as they’re naturally designed to live on their own, and they can provide shelter and food sources for many species, including butterflies and bees.
These pollinators are a vital part of our ecosystem and economy, so by helping them thrive you’re helping the environment.
Just Say No to Pesticides
Pesticides may be tempting to use in your yard, especially if you are not a fan of insects, BUT, the impact these dangerous chemicals can have on the environment is not worth having a yard without flies or spiders or beetles. Why? Pesticides kill far more than the bugs you hate, but also the ones you need.
Additionally, birds and other creatures like possums and raccoons eat a variety of insects. Taking their food supply away can create a food crisis for animals who rely on these species to survive. Instead of using harmful chemicals to kill off insects, opt for candles that repel pesky ones, deet-free bug sprays, or a mosquito net to keep irritating insects at bay.
Build Spaces Specifically for Wildlife
You’ve made your yard a comfortable, relaxing place to spend the morning, afternoon—really any time of day. Do the same for the wildlife that frequent it. Setting up rock piles where you get a lot of direct sunlight can be a basking area for turtles, frogs, and insects like dragonflies. You can install bee hives in a corner or near the back of your yard to provide a safe haven for endangered bees to thrive. Or, you can set up bird and bat boxes in a space far away from your door. These havens allow wildlife to rest, eat, and recharge while providing them with safety from predators.
Water, Water Everywhere
Humans can’t go too long without water, and neither can animals or insects. Providing fresh water for your cohabitors helps keep them strong and healthy. Birdbaths are a great, and beautiful way, to give hydration to our winged friends. Additionally, fill up smaller saucers for butterflies and bats. It may feel a bit odd to put out water bowls for wildlife, but you’re helping keep nature safe and enabling all the species that make your yard beautiful to do their jobs.
If you are having trouble with wildlife, be sure to find a humane and gentle resolution. Refrain from using harsh, deadly chemicals, don’t purchase traps that will kill animals, and certainly never use poison to solve the problem. Traps that capture small animals without harming them are cheap and easy to order online or can be found in stores.
For example, moles can cause damage to the garden you’ve worked so hard on, so it’s understandable you don’t want them digging up and eating your bounty. Instead of harming these small animals, you can plant flowers like marigolds and daffodils. Moles absolutely hate these plants and will avoid areas where they grow.
We know your yard is an important part of your home. To keep it as healthy and robust as possible, make sure you make it a nice home for nature, too.