All creatures need food, warmth and shelter, so if they don’t get it, most creatures naturally leave. Most lethal deterrents don’t work (and if they do, there are other issues). If you kill a mouse, its babies will be left behind and you’ll also never get rid of the smell. Avoid dodgy ‘natural methods’ like essential oils (some can kill wildlife but also harm pets and children, if you don’t know what you’re doing).
For the most part, just deep-clean everywhere with scent-free biodegradable liquids, open the windows ajar to air, use a good vacuum cleaner and throw out old food and crumbs and fizzy drink cans etc. If using plants to deter, learn how to make your garden safe for pets, to know toxic plants to avoid.
books to help humanely deter critters
Humane Critter Control looks at how to humanely deter nearly all creatures using protective barriers (avoid netting as it harms wildlife – or choose wildlife-friendly versions with tiny holes that don’t trap creatures), and outsmart invaders with insect behaviour knowledge.
The Humane Gardener looks at how to welcome wildlife and deter unwelcome visitors, without harming other creatures. This is a book on ecology for your own backyard.
Living with Urban Wildlife is the definitive guide to deter all unwelcome visitors without harm, by expert John Bryant
inventions to to humanely deter critters
Grazers is a nontoxic calcium spray that is used to humanely deter deer, pigeons, geese, rabbits and even possums abroad, by making grass unpalatable (so don’t use near pet rabbits). It’s also in larger versions for golf courses and tennis courts, and they make versions to deter garden pests including slugs and snails. Also read the post on humane deterrence for slugs and snails.
Mouse Mesh is a metal grille (don’t cover gas vents and keep it clear of leaves). It attaches to deter mice from entering homes, and there is a thicker version to deter rats!
Waspinator is a brown paper bag that looks like a nest to territorial wasps, who usually won’t set up shop if they see one (wasps are important pollinators for figs).
Picas offers expert on humane deterrence for pigeons, doves and other urban birds. Their methods work and cost less, used extensively by hospitals and council buildings.
how to humanely deter ants?
Most ants disappear when weather cools. Read The Book of Ant Records to learn about these amazing creatures, which as long as you seal up holes, most won’t return. There are 20 million billion ants worldwide, but often people see them as a pest and use antikiller. But ants have superpowers like strength and speed, and can work together to build giant cities.
A queen ant can have millions of babies, and some ants self-explode to destroy their enemies. In this book, learn which ants have the worst stings, the we ird things they eat and how ants find their way back home. Katja Bargum received her PhD in evolutionary biology from Helsinki University and wrote her dissertation on the social life of ants.