We cause our wild neighbors far more trouble than they cause us, as each day, we invade thousands of acres of their territory, destroy their homes, and kill them and/or their family members.
The following are some simple tips for living in harmony with our wild friends:
- If a bird is trapped inside your house, turn off all indoor lights, close all curtains, blinds, or shutters, and open an outside door. The bird should fly toward the light outside. If the bird does not exit, wait until dark, then open a door and put a light outside it. Turn out all house lights—the bird should fly out toward the light. Be patient! This usually works.
- Cap your chimney. When birds sit on top of a chimney for warmth, they can inhale toxic fumes, which can cause them to fall in and die.
- Deny mice and rats access to food in your home. This is the best way to discourage them from taking up residence. Seal holes and cracks that are larger than 1/4-inch wide, and store all food in airtight, rodent-proof containers. If you think you have a little visitor, immediately place peppermint oil–soaked cotton balls and rags throughout infested areas. (This cheap, simple way to repel rodents is quite effective!) If you must trap an occasional rodent, use a cruelty-free live trap that is made for this purpose. If the trap is plastic, make sure that it has air holes and check it frequently—at least every hour.
- Keep all garbage in tightly sealed, chew-proof containers.
- Rinse out tin cans, put the tops inside so that they can’t slice a tongue, and crush the open end of the cans as flat as possible.
- Recycle paper, metal, and glass whenever possible.
- Cut open empty cardboard and plastic containers so that squirrels and other small animals can’t get their faces or heads trapped in them.
- Drop pop-tops into empty aluminum cans so that they cannot cut an animal’s mouth or throat.
- Cut apart all sections of plastic six-pack rings, including the inner diamonds.
- Choose paper bags at the grocery store, or better yet, take your own reusable canvas bags, which help prevent wildlife habitats from being destroyed.
- Never target shoot over water, and pick up all spent shells on land.
- Place stickers on windows to prevent birds from flying into them.
Explore this section for more tips on how you can live in harmony with a variety of wild animals.