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Kountry Life How-To

Unwanted Vistors
Some critters that come into the yard are fun and relaxing to watch, some arenít. How many times have you had to clean up after the raccoons, or been woken up by their drum solos. Rats and mice are annoying, dirty, unwanted guests. Bats can make a lot of racket with their nocturnal parties. Skunks can, well, skunks are just stinky.

If the raccoons keep getting into your garbage, try adding one cup of ammonia to the garbage bag before you close it up. The smell drives raccoons away and keeps them from spreading the garbage all over. After a while they learn to not even open the garbage.

Wait until dusk to patch any holes in the attic if you have bats. This way all the bats are out of your house and wonít be able to get back in.

Sometimes animals or birds get into the chimney. The best way to get them out without hurting them or you is to put a panful of ammonia into the fireplace. Close the fireplace doors and open the flue. The smell of the ammonia goes up the chimney and after a short while the animals clear out. When you are sure that there are no more animals up there, consider putting on a chimney cap

If a bat is in your house, donít be afraid, bats rarely bite. The best thing to do is open a window. Then close off the room from the rest of the house. Turning out the lights helps.

With the lights on, a bat seeks a dark place which is usually your furniture or curtains. The open window gives it a way out and eventually a bat leaves on its own. (Donít go chasing it with a baseball bat, broom etc it wonít help.) If they are in the attic, wait until dusk and then find the hole they used to come in and patch it up. The hole might be small, a bat can squeeze through a crack that is only 1/2 inch.

Some animals enjoy your home and just wonít leave. In that case you need trap the animal. There are a wide variety of live traps that donít kill the animal, (at least in the house). All you have to do is bait them and wait.

The bait you use depends on the animal. For a chipmunk or a squirrel, peanut butter works best. Sardines are good bait for raccoons or opossums while tuna fish works on skunks. Corn cobs work for rabbits and woodchucks.

If you catch the animal in the trap, take it to the woods down the road.

ShepFL, from FL, entered 2001-07-21

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