6 Ways Aluminum Foil Can Keep Pests Away From Your Home And Garden

Aluminum foil is a pantry staple that has a variety of different food-related purposes. According to the USDA, foil is made of about 98.5% aluminum, and it is combined with silicon and iron to help maintain its smooth and durable texture. You may have heard you can use aluminum foil beyond food prep and cooking purposes. This includes aluminum foil hacks for cleaning around your home.

However, aluminum foil may also be an affordable method for keeping certain pests out of your home and away from your garden. Using foil for such purposes doesn't require a lot of time or effort. The key is to utilize foil as strategically as possible, mainly where pests like to hang out or at various potential entry points into your home. Depending on the type of pest you're trying to deter, this can involve hanging up foil sheets or placing sheets or crumpled-up bits in smaller areas.

Use foil to keep mice from entering your home

Before considering mouse traps or other methods of pest control for rodents, you may consider using foil to help deter mice from entering your home. According to pest control companies, mice have a sensory aversion to aluminum foil. It turns out they hate the shiny texture and appearance of foil, and they also don't want to walk on it due to the crinkling noises this can create. Furthermore, while mice might seemingly chew through almost any material, foil seems to be an exception here.

To try this method, consider putting pieces of aluminum foil specifically around entry points to your home. These include below doors, under windows, and any crevices you can find. Foil is malleable enough to stick in these small spots and wrap around areas mice might climb in an effort to access your home, such as outdoor furniture, gutters, or pipes. 

Small pieces of foil may help prevent crawling insects from your garden

Insects are a common concern for any gardener. Before you use potentially dangerous chemical-based repellants, you might want to consider natural solutions first. This is especially the case if you have pets and children. One possible natural solution includes small pieces of foil. While perhaps not 100% protective against all bugs, it's thought that crawling insects don't care for the reflective properties of aluminum foil and are, therefore, less likely to feast on plants in your garden. 

To use aluminum foil against crawling insects in your garden, consider hanging small pieces in taller plants and bushes. You can also crumble up a few sheets and mix them into your mulch to deter these pests. Both of these techniques are thought to work with natural sunlight and help reflect light back onto the plants to keep bugs away from them. Yet another option is to tie aluminum foil balloons among your plants as deterrents. 

Consider aluminum foil if you have problems with crows

While you might enjoy the presence of small birds in your yard or garden, certain larger birds can pose problems. Crows are one such example. These are fascinating and intelligent birds, but they tend to steal bird seed, destroy fruit and vegetable gardens, and even bully small backyard birds. At the same time, crows are known to have an aversion to shiny objects, and this also includes aluminum foil.

If you've heard of using mirrors to keep crows out of vegetable gardens, the aluminum foil trick works in a similar way. You can hang pieces of foil around your garden to help keep these birds away from any fruits and vegetables you're trying to grow, as well as other types of plants they might be destroying. Another key here is to change the placement of foil around your yard and garden every so often so that crows will have to keep guessing. Once they get used to an unfamiliar object, they are less likely to perceive it as a threat any longer.

Repel other flying pests by hanging up sheets of foil

Crows aren't the only flying animals that can cause problems in your garden. While crows tend to cause havoc during the daylight hours, other flying pests are more of a nuisance at night. These include insects such as mosquitoes and even bats. Despite their quick agility and fast flying speeds, aluminum foil can also deter these types of pests. It's thought the reflective nature of foil disturbs bats and mosquitoes, thereby discouraging them from sticking around.

For best results, hang pieces of foil around your home's outside perimeter, especially in areas where you might see bats fly around, such as near roofs. It may also be helpful to place them near any outdoor lighting you may have so the foil has more reflective effects that bats tend to avoid. You can also hang pieces around bushes where mosquitoes like to gather, as well as around windows and doorways to deter them from getting inside your home. Also, consider hanging foil in places that can catch the wind — this may help confuse flying pests and cause them to fly elsewhere. 

Protect young trees from deer with aluminum foil

When considering pests, deer might not be the first species you think of. However, if you have small trees in your garden without a protective barrier, such as a fence, it's possible that they may become feasting grounds for deer. Once a deer family locates a food source, they can do quite a bit of damage to a garden when left unchecked. You can help keep deer out of your garden and away from small trees by installing a fence, but using aluminum foil may offer a more immediate (and budget-friendly) solution. It works by creating a shiny and textured surface that deer reportedly stay away from. 

Rather than hanging up pieces of foil as you might when deterring crows, you can instead help protect trees from deer by wrapping tree trunks with aluminum foil. This will help prevent deer from eating the leaves off of young and vulnerable trees before they've had an opportunity to mature. You can also ball up sheets of foil and place them around the bases of plants to deter deer from eating smaller items in your garden. 

Cover your lawnmower with foil to keep bugs out

If you live in a climate where you don't need to mow your lawn during the winter months, chances are that you store your lawnmower in a shed or garage during the off-season. As you prepare to start mowing your lawn in the spring, you may be frustrated to find that insects have taken over your mower's engine. This is a common problem that occurs due to the bugs trying to find safe and warm places to take shelter during the cold winter months. However, depending on the severity of the infestation, you could find yourself having to make costly repairs to your lawnmower.

Aluminum foil is one trick you can use before storing your mower away to help reduce the number of bugs that crawl inside its engine. You can safely use aluminum foil as a sort of cover over the engine as a deterrent against insects. Also, tear off smaller pieces to cover other openings, such as the exhaust or air filter. Remember that aluminum foil can act as an all-around wrapping agent, as well as be rolled into small balls to help cover cracks and openings.