Select A Department:

Courses in this Department

Build a Safe Home Playground

Fences Make Good Neighbors

All About Arbors and Trellises

Deck Design

Green Grass the Professional Way

Mailbox Beautification: Landscaping to the Letter

How to Live with Wildlife

Termite Proof Landscaping

Ornamental Trees are Year-Round Performers

No More Deer

The Arrival of Jack Frost

Parameters of Proper Pruning


Deer, Raccoons & Skunks


Deer, itself, pose no threat - it's the deer ticks that you need to watch out for. Deer ticks are the primary transmitters of Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection associated with flu-like symptoms, muscle aches and (if left untreated) permanent arthritic, cardiac or neurological damage. Remember your pets can also get Lyme Disease. It's wise to take precautionary measures (sprays, collars, etc.) especially during high-risk seasons from May until early October.

If you find a fawn, don't touch it. Mother deer are very wary of human scents. If she senses foreign smells, she may abandon her young and then won't you feel badly. Chances are the mother is closer than you think. A doe only leaves the nest in order to avoid attracting predators back to her defenseless offspring. It will return periodically throughout the day to check on the fawn.


These nocturnal creatures would love to know what's in your garbage bag. Even if you tightly seal the bags in a garbage can, these rascals are still likely to make a mess. Do yourself a favor - don't invite trouble. Put your garbage out on the day of pick-up.

Mother raccoons may use parts of your home as a den. If you find a family in your attic or chimney, don't panic. The family will move out in a few weeks. If you must evict them, do it at dusk. Mother raccoons won't endanger their young by moving in the daytime, even if harassed.

First, scatter ammonia-soaked rags in strategic locations. Then, shine a lamp in their vicinity and blare the radio or TV. Raccoons are attracted to dark, quiet settings. Once the family leaves, make sure to seal up the entrances with mesh screens or plaster. If you happen to see a raccoon in the daytime, don't be surprised. Raccoons sometimes come out to explore, especially the younger ones.

Consider yourself lucky and enjoy observing its antics from a distance. Only if you notice unusual behavior should you be concerned. If it shows signs of disorientation, screeching or paralysis, call your local wildlife control authority immediately.


If a skunk pays you a house call, it's usually because it's hungry. So, unless you want to see it again, don't feed it. If the skunk isn't bothering anyone, the best thing to do is leave it alone. Skunks can actually do more good than harm. Skunks eat mice, rats, beetles, wasps, grasshoppers, aphids and grubs. The skunk will usually move on once it's out of food and your house is cleaned. To make sure it's gone, sprinkle some flour or saw dust on the floor from time to time to see if your unwelcome houseguest has left.

On to Some of the More Dangerous Critters

Well, not really, but these animals definitely require more care and attention...

Page 3 of 6