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Animal-proof Your Home or Cottage Attracting wildlife and planting native plant species on your property can result in positive effects ranging from pest control provided by bats and dragonflies to hawks hunting rodents around your buildings. Sometimes wildlife creates a challenge when some species occur where you might not want them or are too numerous. Squirrels raccoons chipmunks and other rodents can invade your home or cottage by way of tree limbs and cracks in the ceiling walls and floors.To discourage these animals remove tree limbs that give access to your home and seal up all openings with wire mesh metal flashing or caulking. Dont forget to check for any young or any other adults that might be still inside before you seal the access point.The parents will try everything to get back inside Small mammals such as skunks and mice make their homes in and around woodpiles so be sure to store your wood a good distance away from your home. Voracious Visitors In Ontario numbers of Canada geese continue to increase due to suitable habitat and low predator numbers. Geese prefer to eat short tender lawn grasses and they feed where they have an open view of the water. To discourage geese from visiting your property allow naturally occurring vegetation along the shoreline to grow. To be effective a vegetative barrier needs to be 60cm 24 inches or more in height and dense enough to keep geese from seeing through. Be Bear Aware To discourage bear visits store your garbage and recycling in bear-proof dumpsters and avoid storing garbage outside. Burn barbeques clean after cooking wash and store them covered and out of the wind to minimize attracting bears. Dont leave pet food outside and keep meat fish and sweet foods including fruit out of your household composter. If you feed birds in the winter be aware that seeds suet or hummingbird nectar can attract bears as well as birds. From March to November birds have access to plenty of natural foods. Consider a birdbath as an alternative to attract birds without encouraging bears during the summer season. 13