Getting Rid of Critters

Nocturnal creatures could be to blame for lawn damage in their nightly quests for grubs. Here's how to keep them away.
pest caught safely and painlessly with havahart

pest caught safely and painlessly with havahart

Figure A

Are you finding holes dug in your yard, sod rolled up, grass uprooted? Don't scold the family dog. The culprit could be any one of four nocturnal animals: the opossum, the skunk, the raccoon or, if you live in certain areas of the U.S., the armadillo. All of these critters can damage a lawn in their nightly quest for their favorite delicacy, grubs.

There are several ways to discourage your nightly visitors. One is to remove the food supply, either with a diazinon spray or beneficial nematodes.

A second possibility is to pin down hardware cloth over the affected area.

The third method is the Havahart trap, which you can bait with peanut butter, bacon, dog food or cheese. When the animal enters, a trapdoor is tripped, and the little pest is caught safely and painlessly. Then you get to release him as far from your property as you wish.

One consideration: When you trap a skunk, relocation isn't a simple matter. To help keep yourself smelling like a rose, hold a large tarp in front of you as you approach the cage and its occupant, then gently drop it over the trap. Place the trap in the trunk of your car with lots of papers underneath and the tarp on top. Take little Stinky to the woods, set the trap on the ground, carefully lift the cover and back off, grabbing the tarp as you beat a retreat.

You might also invest in a water scarecrow, a device that runs on a nine-volt battery and, when it detects motion, squirts the source of that motion with a stream of water.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

 Give fruit flies the boot with a homemade solution known as the fruit fly magnet.

8 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays

With these tips and tricks, you'll be ready to welcome your guests and not feel stressed.

Getting Organized

Simple, inexpensive organization tips from the Queen of Crafts.

Get Rid of Carpet Stains

Cleaning expert Jeff Campbell shares how to get common stains out of carpet.

Getting a new Greenhouse Ready

The basics of planning for a greenhouse explained

Getting a Kitchen Remodel Off to a Good Start

Before beginning a kitchen remodel, a lot of prep work is required. Here are five things you'll need to do before even hiring a designer.

Ideas for Getting Your Grilling Space Ready for Outdoor Entertaining

No matter your budget, check out these ideas for creating an outdoor kitchen made for partying.  

On TV

Raising House

7:30am | 6:30c

Backyard Goldmine

8:30am | 7:30c

Desperate Landscapes

9:30am | 8:30c

Desperate Landscapes

10:30am | 9:30c

Desperate Landscapes

11:30am | 10:30c

Pool Kings

12pm | 11c

Pool Kings

12:30pm | 11:30c

Pool Kings

1pm | 12c

Pool Kings

1:30pm | 12:30c

Pool Kings

2pm | 1c

Pool Kings

2:30pm | 1:30c

Pool Kings

3pm | 2c

Pool Kings

3:30pm | 2:30c

Pool Kings

4pm | 3c

Pool Kings

4:30pm | 3:30c

Pool Kings

5pm | 4c

Pool Kings

5:30pm | 4:30c

Pool Kings

6pm | 5c

Pool Kings

6:30pm | 5:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Texas Flip and Move

8pm | 7c

Garage Gold

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.