Homeowners might find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer amount of wildlife control products on the market. Before going out and buying one of each kind, it’s important to know what each product does—and which ones are effective. Of the many varieties available, not many of them actually work. Here are five wildlife control products better left unused.
Natural oils—and peppermint in particular, are said to be overwhelming and confusing, so much so that it causes the animal to stay away. Natural oils are said to keep out small critters, such as mice, and pests, such as spiders. Homeowners are recommended to place cotton balls, dabbed in 100% pure peppermint oil, around the home or use a spray canister with the solution.
Peppermint masks the pheromone trail, confusing pests who rely on certain smells to navigate around. As rodents have a distinct sense of smell, the strong odor emitted in oil supposedly confuses them. However, it’s been argued that rodents live in all sorts of odorous places, meaning natural oils do little to deter them. Unfortunately, oils effects are inconclusive as an effective wildlife repellent.
Poisons work in the sense that they eliminate the pest, however, they don’t provide a complete solution. Poison doesn’t work immediately, giving the animal time to go back to its nest. The critter doesn’t always make it back, and it could end up somewhere in the home.
These harmful chemicals more often result in a painful death or serious gastrointestinal damage, leaving homeowners to clean up the carcass and mess left behind. The wrong audience, such as a pet, could digest pellets—this could be devastating.
Live traps, glue traps, snap traps: They all completely miss handling the problem and are easy to use incorrectly. Traps cause long-term harm to the animal, and like poison, the homeowners have to dispose of the trap after. Traps don’t rid the home of all wildlife—only the animal that was caught in the trap. Homeowners still need to deal with droppings, repairs, and cleanup. It’s an inhumane tactic that doesn’t effectively keeping wildlife out. It only provides a temporary solution.
Mothballs consist of poisonous material and a fatal smell said to prevent wildlife from entering the home. These strong-smelling white balls are actually a pesticide, containing naphthalene or dichlorobenzene. The amount in them, however, is too small to deter pests from leaving the home. The amount necessary would be strong enough to drive out the family and the pests, meaning mothballs are an ineffective solution.
Rodents are resourceful creatures that know there’s more than one route inside. They’ll simply waltz over to another entrance that isn’t surrounded by mothballs. Some rodents, such as squirrels, may even carry the balls off and bury them, leaving them in spaces where other wildlife might find it. These balls could even roll off anywhere on the property, missing the target completely.
5. Ultrasonic Devices
These sound deterrent machines are regularly marketed as effective animal removal techniques despite sound research and conclusive evidence. High-frequency sound waves are said to keep pests away at a range above the human’s capability to hear. Even if rodents find the noise distracting, it rarely deters them enough to leave. The theory is that the sound emitted is so annoying it distracts animals from going about their daily business, forcing them to evacuate the current environment.
While it’s a long-lasting device and okay for the environment, it comes with all sorts of obstacles. The sound doesn’t travel through walls or objects, so multiple ones need to be placed around the home as distractions. It’s not a quick fix and lacks a guaranteed effective rate. Unfortunately, rodents won’t be going anywhere anytime soon with these devices.