Drought isn’t just tough on people—it can bestressful for many animals, too. Clean, fresh water that’s accessible towildlife can often be hard to find—especially during a drought.
In addition to leaving your own companion animalswater during this hot summer of drought, please leave some in good hiding placesfor wild animals, too.
Landscape for Wildlife
You can also plan small amounts of water in yoururban landscape, As normal sources of water disappear, you will find morewildlife using your water sources.
Be aware of special water requirements needed bysome species.
Butterflies are incapable of drinking freestanding water, such as in a birdbath.They take in liquids through their proboscis, a long, hollow tube that is sort of a modified tongue.
Use a coffee can or similar container to make a butterfly watering station. Put several inches of clean sand or earth in the bottom, sink it into the ground, and fill it with water. Place rocks in the middle and at the sides for use as landing pads.
Water in a birdbath should be no deeper than two to three inches in the middle, and the sides of the bath should slope gentlyfor easy access. Birds prefer baths with textured bottoms for firm footing. You can cover smooth bottoms with pebbles or sand.
Birdbaths should be carefully located so predators can’t sneak up onthe birds. In general, the lower the birdbath, the more open space there should be around it.
Ponds are perfect for many types of animals. Whenyou plan the pond, consider the right mixture of sun and shade. Don’t have steepsides, though, or leave animals ways to exit the pond.
And fish and wildlife don’t always mix–often tothe detriment of the fish that make tasty meals for the wildlife. But fish eatdragonfly eggs, newt eggs, toad eggs and many other pond insect eggs. Considerhaving two ponds if you want fish.
Most of us do not want to increase the mosquitopopulation, though. Change the water regularly to keep mosquitoes from breeding there.
Wildlife Home Intrusions
If more wildlife is gathering in your yard, doesthat mean more wildlife will be intruding into your home?
911 Wildlife offers these tips for dealing with and preventing wildlifeintrusions:
1. Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
2. Don’t leave birdseed in feeders or on the ground overnight.
3. Don’t put unsecured garbage outside overnight.
4. Cover crawlspace and attic openings with heavy gauge, rustproof wire mesh(not chicken wire).
5. Carefully inspect your eaves and other areas where the roof and housejoin. Repair deteriorating boards, warped siding and loose shingles.
6. Trim overhanging branches that provide easy access to your roof forsquirrels and other wildlife.
7. If you have a pet door, close it securely at night.
8. If you have a chimney, make sure that it has a secure cap. Chimneyswithout caps are open invitations to raccoons looking for "hollowtrees" in which to give birth and raise their young.
9. If you have a deck, you can prevent animals from digging underneath it bycreating an L-shaped barrier. Attach heavy gauge wire mesh to the base of thedeck, sink it six inches into the ground, bend it 90 degrees away from the deckfor 12 inches then cover it with soil.
Source: 911 Wildlife; Gardening Solutions;Veggie Global
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