November 3, 2023

A Quick Guide to Safeguarding Your Property from Critters

It’s that time of year again! Critters, big and small, are seeking refuge from the cold. Unfortunately, for many, they’re making a home within your house.

As beautiful as our province’s natural beauty is, there’s one little hiccup with owning a property—our local wildlife. From raccoons rummaging through our bins to deer nibbling on our gardens, BC’s critters, though charming, can be a tad intrusive.

Luckily, with several strategically placed locations—from the rugged Squamish coastline to the lively streets of Vancouver to the tranquil shores of Vancouver Island—Waypoint knows a thing or two about guarding your BC haven against our furry neighbors. Here’s what we have to share with you:

#1: Know Your Neighbors

Just like you’d recognize Dave from down the road, you should get familiar with BC’s critters. You probably already know we’ve got cheeky raccoons, inquisitive red squirrels, black bears with an appetite, and rats and mice. However, you may not know about invasive species like European starlings, which form large roosts in the winter months, and Eastern grey squirrels, which don’t hibernate and may seek shelter in your attic, shed, or garage. Recognizing each local creature’s unique habits helps predict and prevent unwanted visits.

#2: Fortify Your Fortress

Our BC homes, some with timber features and nestled right in nature, are quite the attraction. An attraction for wildlife, that is. To all our Waypoint clients, we recommend regularly inspecting areas where rats, mice, and other critters might like to take up residency, such as a warm crawl space, attic, or outbuildings. We’d also recommend hiring a professional to help you identify points of entry for these critters and how to best prevent them from coming into your home.

#3: Learn BC Bin Etiquette

Living in bear country means understanding the importance of trash “discipline.” To live peacefully here in winter, learn and respect local bin etiquette and municipal bylaws. Be sure to freeze smelly waste foods and double-bag them, and only put them in the garbage the morning of pickup. The same goes with any other bins.

#4: Practice Garden Vigilance

Be sure to practice regular maintenance on your garden as needed, such as trimming overgrown bushes. If you happen to have a fruit tree, ensure you pick all the fruit off the tree and ground as soon as possible to avoid attracting unwanted animals and critters. If you have a surplus of fruit and aren’t sure what to do with it, you can always donate to your local food bank or find a friend who wants it.

#5: Fence It Up

A good sturdy fence anywhere in BC is as essential as an umbrella in stormy Tofino. Not only does it mark your territory but it also discourages larger animals from seeing your property as part of their domain.

#6: Use BC-Friendly Repellents

Of course, you know most BC residents are about the green life. When selecting repellents, we strongly encourage you to opt for ones that won’t harm our environment or the critters themselves. We’d recommend searching online for a professional within your local area who can help find solutions that fits your needs in the best way to safely mitigate animals and rodents in your yard.

#7: Rethink the Feeders

Yes, the hummingbirds are mesmerizing, but bird feeders can attract a broader audience than intended such as wasps and ants. Additionally, regular feeders attract racoons, squirrels, mice, and rats. If you’re not able to part with your feeder, we would recommend putting down a drop sheet to catch any stray seeds to keep the area clean and bring in the feeder at night to stop unwanted visitors.

#8: Tap into Local Expertise

In BC, we are lucky to have a wealth of local wildlife experts, from UBC’s conservation programs to local pest control businesses. If you’re in need of advice on how to resolve a current issue or maybe just curious, don’t hesitate to call on them for advice.

Insure Your Property with Waypoint!

Living in BC is about balancing enjoying our unparalleled natural beauty and ensuring our properties remain sanctuaries. Waypoint gets that balance. With deep BC roots, we’re as local as the Douglas firs that tower over our coastlines.

Ready to take that final step in protecting your property and understanding how your policy would respond to damage from critters? Give us a call at 1-866-674-2816 or pop by one of our 19 locations. Whether your in bustling Vancouver or soaking up the Island vibes, let’s ensure the only wildlife drama you experience this winter is in the wilderness, not in your backyard. Find us here and get ready to make your wildlife worries disappear.