One of the downsides of having a cottage is dealing with all those pesky cottage critters. Whether you want to brave the outdoors for a shower or a swim or simply want to relax, you’ll have to put up with your friendly non-human neighbours, even if they’re eating your garbage or sleeping in your attic. Here is how to deal (gently) with some of the most unwanted cottage pests.
1. Raccoons. You don’t want anyone making themselves at home except you. Seal or cover any access points when you’re not at the cottage, like vents or grates. If raccoons have made a home for themselves, fill a couple tennis balls with ammonia and put them where they’re nesting. The harsh smell will drive them out.
2. Ants. These little guys can get into every little nook and cranny, and really make you feel that being inside isn’t that much different than being outside. Seal up any obvious gaps in your walls, windows and floorboards. Then put down salt, chalk, vinegar, or cayenne pepper around the base of your doors and windows. There are some lines even ants won’t cross.
3. Bears. Bears aren’t just a nuisance, they can also be scary as heck. Don’t leave your trash outside, and make sure to clean up your BBQ as soon as you’re done cooking. Bears are attracted by the smell of something tasty. Luckily they also hate the smell of fabric softener, so hang a few dryer sheets around the edge of your cabin. And if you see one, make loud noises and throw some tennis balls at them to make sure they feel unwelcome.
4. Elk. Elk can trash a yard or destroy a fence in no time. They’re impossible to get rid of, but you can scare them off. A well-timed hosing or loud noise like a pot and spoon can do the trick in the short term. For the long term, trim any bushes they’re munching on so they’ll move on to a better dinner down the road. You can also look into getting some coyote urine at a local hunting shop. If it doesn’t scare you off, it will definitely scare them off.
5. Beavers. Like elk, it’s tough to move beavers without changing their habitat. But you can protect your most important trees. Cover the lowest couple of feet with fencing to make them tough to get at. You can also mix sand in with some paint, and paint the trunks of your trees. This abrasiveness is enough of a nuisance that they’ll look elsewhere for an easier chew.