Whether you live in the heart of the city or in the most remote areas of the country, chances are you have dealt with wild critters invading your home, yard or garden. From mice in the cupboards of downtown Manhattan to wild turkeys at the back door on Cape Cod, with continuing development and urban sprawl there is almost no getting around playing host to wild animals seeking warmth, food and shelter wherever they can find it. And, while there may appear to be no way around inhumane ways to manage the problem, there is a civilized and effective solution for keeping wildlife in the wild without resorting to harsh measures like chemical treatments or trapping and killing.

The single most effective way to deter unwanted wild animals is to take a cue from nature. Animals operate purely on instinct and like us, the instinct to survive is the strongest of them all. This is why on every list of things to do to keep wild animal away is using predatory urine. If a wild animal perceives the presence of danger, they will avoid an area at all cost. Just as owning a cat generally deters major mice invasions in your home, so too can giving the illusion of an enemy on board deter larger creatures from infiltrating your outdoor areas.

An important bit of knowledge in your quest for varmint-free domestic living is identifying not only the different types of animals you have encountered, but what types of animals are indigenous to your area. The next step is to fully understand the food chain as it applies to these creatures. Generally speaking, at the top of the wild kingdom food chain is the mountain lion, While a bear, coyote or wolf may attempt to attack a mountain lion if they appear feeble or sickly, they have no natural predators and most animals steer clear. So, if you are really out there in the open and find a wide variety of wild creatures,  predatory mountain lion urine could be a good place to start.

One thing to keep in mind when considering predatory scents, is that animals are not stupid. They will eventually begin to learn that the threats are idle ones if year after year they smell an enemy but never see one, so starting and keeping with the strongest in the kingdom may not be a lasting solution. No matter what the pest, it is important to mix and match predatory scents throughout the years, and so it might make better sense to start with what your specific threats are. If you are only dealing with deer, predatory urine from fox, coyotes or wolves might be enough. If old Tom Turkey is your biggest annoyance, the same predator scents as used for deer will work – as will scents from animals like skunks and chipmunks. These seemingly benign creatures actually raid wild turkey nests and this is an act that will not be tolerated by mother turkey.

To figure out the perfect mix and to keep it rotating, again, learn about the food chain. Know that grizzly bears (a sub-species of the brown bear) are natural predators of the black bear and that wolves and wildcats are natural predators of the grizzly bear. Bears, wildcats, wolves and mountain lions are all natural predators of deer – as are foxes and coyote – and the list goes on.

A natural concern when it comes to applying predator urine around your home is what type of odor will permeate the air. Unfortunately for humans, if you have a truly effective product, there will be a slightly perceptible odor. It is, of course, strongest within the first few days of application, so if you are planning a garden party, it might be a good idea to schedule accordingly. Ideally, these animal scents should be applied around the furthermost perimeter of your property, but if it is small tract of land or your seating areas are close to the edge, you will indeed experience wafts of odor – especially in humid weather.

Predator urine is becoming increasingly easy to find. Repellants for every species can be found on the internet and places like Home Depot and Walmart also carry certain varieties. And, as with most things, reading customer reviews is the best way to determine which product is most effective.

The common sense methods of keeping pests away still hold true. Securing trash cans, keeping food from being left in the open (including food for house pets and birds), motion devices and erecting fences are still methods that should be employed as an added measure of defense, but, as many homeowners know, when it comes to hungry animals, these things are often not enough. And, if we really think about it, what would be enough to keep you away from feeding yourself and your hungry family?

Using predatory urine can help keep wild animals where they belong – in the wild – and keep your property clean, safe and in-tact for you and your family.