Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Misfired Box Traps I

By:Stephen M. Vantassel
Ph.D., MNI, CNI, CWCP, ACP
Bio

Monday, October 23, 2017

Excluding Wildlife From Sheds


By:Stephen M. Vantassel
Ph.D., MNI, CNI, CWCP, ACP
Bio


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.

Two Strategies for Excluding Wildlife from Sheds


Stephen M. Vantassel
Ph.D., MNI, CNI, CWCP, ACP
Bio
http://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com/home/media-kit-for-stephen-m-vantassel/about/




Two Strategies for Excluding Wildlife from Sheds

In the last post, I discussed why excluding wildlife and vertebrates from sheds was an important component in reducing conflicts with wildlife. Now I will cover two strategies for excluding wildlife from sheds.

The basic principle is increasing the ease of access. Like the locks on your house, if your neighbor has poorer security, you don’t need as much. So it is with wildlife. If you harden your site, wildlife will likely move to easier pickings. All wildlife that utilize the areas under sheds tend to go to the edge, and dig underneath. So your goal is to extend the barrier so that they are standing on it. This way, when they get to the edge, they dig down and right into the barrier. Few wildlife are “smart” enough to step back from the edge and start digging there. Thus a 12-18 floor skirt will likely be enough to stop them.



Patio Block Exclusion Method. Place the narrow end against the structure. Angle so water flows away from structure. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel

So there are two ways to create this skirt. By the way, NEVER perform exclusion if there is any chance an animal is living there.

Option 1. Patio Block Method.


With patio blocks, no digging is required. Just place the narrow end against the structure. Use screen to make up any distance between the shed wall and the stone. The stone is heavy to move and can be a bit pricey but it is easier to install than the digging option in many situations.





Sub-surface screening method to prevent burrowing animals from accessing structures. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.


Option 2. Subterranean screening.

Most recommendations on screening require back-breaking work, telling you to dig a 1 x 1 foot trench to bury the L shaped screen. Sure that is a gold standard, but for most people not necessary. You just need to attach the screen to the base of the shed wall, extend it down to about 2 inches below the soil surface, then bend it out at a 90 degree angle away from the wall out at least 12 inches. A sod shovel will allow you remove the grass, lay the screen down, then place the sod over the screen. In a few weeks, you won’t know the screen was there.



Bottom line, protect your sheds BEFORE you have a problem and you will save yourself a lot of headaches.