Use This Simple Washcloth Trick To Pest-Proof Your Yard

No one wants pests hiding out in their yard. They are a major nuisance and can damage plants, eat crops, and even spread diseases. While many commercial pesticides are available, ammonia is a natural alternative often used in the home. You can deter unwanted visitors by soaking washcloths in the compound and placing them around your yard.

Groundhogs, moles, and raccoons are some of the worst garden pests, as they can dig holes into your lawn or garden and steal fruit from your plants. They can also get into your garbage, causing messes that can further attract mice, rats, and insects. Skunks also make very unpleasant yard neighbors; if threatened, you and your belongings can get hit with their powerful spray.

Though ammonia is a pungent gas with a strong odor, it is typically added to water to form a cleaning solution available in stores. The liquid solution is still very strong smelling, which helps deter pests from the yard. It's also relatively easy and inexpensive to use for this purpose.

Why ammonia keeps pests away

Since animals often have a heightened sense of smell, many pests find ammonia's odor highly unpleasant. In fact, their senses can become inundated and overburdened by the scent. Consequently, they will avoid areas where they can smell it. These creatures will also steer clear of ammonia because it can cause them skin and eye irritation. This further deters pests from entering or remaining in an area with ammonia.

Oddly enough, ammonia can also trick pests into a self-protection mode. Since ammonia mimics the smell of urine, especially to pests, it can cause them to flee the odor. When creatures like raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and snakes smell the ammonia and associate it with urine from another animal, their instincts kick in. They don't know whether the urine smell may be coming from a predator, so they move on to a safer area to avoid a potential showdown.

How to use ammonia to deter pests

To deter pests, including rats, raccoons, and snakes,  soak washcloths in ammonia and strategically place them around your yard. Leave the ammonia-soaked cloths in open plastic bags where you have seen pests or suspect they have visited. Upon smelling the washcloths, which have soaked up the concentrated scent, pests will avoid the overpowering odor, so the more of them you place in your yard, the better.

As the washcloths dry out, they will start to lose their pungent scent and grow less effective. You will need to regularly resoak them in ammonia to achieve the best results. While ammonia is an effective pest deterrent, it is vital to take precautions when using it. According to the CDC, it can irritate the skin, lungs, and eyes, so it is essential to wear gloves and goggles when handling it. You should also avoid using ammonia in areas where children or pets might venture.