Cyclone Rake Blog: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Your Guide Keeping Critters Out of Your Yard & Gardens With Alternative Food Options

There are a variety of non-chemical and non-lethal ways to keep these critters at bay. One option is to feed the animals cheaper, more desirable alternatives to steer them away from the plants and vegetables you don't want them to eat. Learn more from Cyclone Rake in the infographic below:

(Click to Enlarge)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's Not Too Late to Welcome Wildlife

Winter is far from over, and it is still a wonderful time to welcome birds and beasts to your yard. In some parts, like New England, birds and wildlife may be feeling the effects of a long, hard winter. In other places, with milder winters, it’s time to make sure your bird feeders are well-stocked to attract both the locals - and migrating birds that will soon be passing through.

Cyclone Rake yard vacuum owners often enjoy welcoming birds and wildlife to the winter landscape. Follow these tips to welcome outdoor friends to your yard as this winter winds down.

Expand the Bird Buffet

Keeping feeders well-stocked with good quality birdseed in later months can maintain bird interest and, in some areas, may attract migrating birds on their way north. Try attracting finches with niger (thistle) seed.

Suet blocks are another popular bird feed, and block feeders are easily hung from tree branches. According to Penn State University, suet helps attract woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and titmice – as well as species not as easily drawn to feeders, like Carolina wrens and brown creepers.

Birds (and others!) are also drawn to peanuts. Shelled or in-shell peanuts may be placed on your platform feeder or scattered on the ground. When spreading bird feed on the ground, place it near bushes and other cover and rotate the spots where it is placed. Remember that ground feeding could attract other wildlife, too. Peanuts will attract squirrels, too – so you might want to keep peanuts scattered on the ground away from your other birdfeeders!

About Those Squirrels

While squirrels always appreciate a winter snack, like squirrel corn, they are legendary for invading bird feeders. If your birdseed seems to be disappearing more quickly than normal, it might not be because of the long winter. Refer to your university Extension service or other trusted resource for tips on making your feeder squirrel-proof.

Watch Your Wildlife

Winter wildlife, especially rabbits and voles, can damage trees, plants and shrubs. Rabbits find some varieties tastier than others, but heavy snow cover and lengthy winter can make most plants susceptible.

Even if you have put up the recommended two to three-foot fence to guard your plants, deep snow may put higher branches within a rabbit’s reach. Consider removing snow around some plants. For more tips on rabbit control, check out this resource from Iowa State University:

Deer will also browse your landscape in the winter. Like drought, long winters can make deer less selective as they browse for feed. It might not be too late to put up temporary fence or other barriers if you see deer roaming closer than normal to your trees and shrubs as winter ends and spring nears.