Monday, October 23, 2017

Excluding Wildlife From Sheds

By:Stephen M. Vantassel

One of the most important ways to reduce conflicts with wildlife and vertebrate pests is to reduce the availability of their preferred living areas known as harborage. The concept is quite simple, if the
species can’t find a good place to live, it is less likely to remain in the area. At minimum, reduced living areas automatically reduces the number of animals that can live in an area. In some cases, good exclusion work can reduce unwanted animals to zero.

A shed whose foundation allows access for unwanted vertebrate pests. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Sheds, particularly those that are low to the ground, provide excellent harborage for vertebrates. Excluding wildlife from sheds will go a long way in preventing skunks (Mephitis mephitis), cats (Felis cattus), woodchucks (Marmota monax), and other ground dwelling animals from taking up residence.

To exclude wildlife from sheds you have two options. Option 1, raise the shed up so that it is at least 6 inches off the ground (higher for larger sheds). The point is to make it more exposed to light and therefore less inviting as a place to take up residence. Certainly free-range cats can use it as an ambush site for native wildlife, so you have to keep that in mind.

Option 2 is to secure the foundation with screening or stone. I will discuss how to that in my next post.

Stephen M. Vantassel is a writer, researcher, and consultant on wildlife control issues. He also loves to debate the anti-environmental position of the free-range cat lobby and the wider animal rights movement.

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