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Protect Your Property From Animal Intruders

You take pride in your home’s appearance, and that extends to your yard. Whether you take care of your property on your own or pay someone else to do it, it’s frustrating when animal intruders destroy or make a mess of your grass, plants, and shrubs.

Learn which wildlife species are the most common nuisances in the Austin area and how you can keep them from gaining access to your yard. By adding an iron or wood fence, Austin homeowners may find the easiest solution for keeping unwanted animals at bay.

How to Keep These Common Animal Species Out of Your Yard

In Austin, the wildlife species most likely to trespass in your yard include:

  • Armadillos
  • Opossums
  • Racoons
  • Skunks
  • Squirrels


Armadillos destroy flowers and vegetation by digging holes. If they’ve already invaded, the best way to deter them is to make it difficult for them to dig. If you place wood chips in your flower beds, armadillos will have trouble digging through them.

You can also deter armadillos by sprinkling cayenne pepper around your home. As soon as the armadillo smells the pepper, it will move quickly to get away from it. 

But the best way to keep armadillos from accessing your yard in the first place is to build a fence. They’re easily distracted and are deterred by tall structures. Short ornamental iron fencing (between 18 and 24 inches) may be enough to convince them to turn away. But since armadillos are diggers, the fence must go deep into the ground.


Opossums are scavengers, and they’re often looking for food sources. While they tend to make their homes close to the ground, they’re extremely skilled at climbing. They have long claws and “thumbs” on their feet as well as a tail they use to wrap around surfaces for stabilization.

The best methods for deterring opossums who’ve entered your space is to keep food and water supplies hidden and safely secured. You can also try to scare opossums with loud noises, bright lights or motion-sensor activated sprinkler systems. 

If you’re trying to keep opossums from climbing your trees, you can fit a baffle to the tree trunk. A baffle is made from a slick material like plastic or metal and it prevents an animal from getting the traction it needs to climb.

A fence may keep opossums away from your yard if it’s constructed with a material that will make it difficult for them to climb. A 1.5m tin fence or wrought iron fencing are good options to prevent climbing.

By placing metal spikes on iron fences, Austin homeowners will have another level of defense against pesky racoons.


Racoons have an excellent sense of smell and will go after a food source if they detect it. Start by securing the lid to your trash cans and seal any holes where they could gain access to your home.

Since racoons are burrowers as well as good climbers, if you choose to install a fence, bury it deep into the ground. Also consider a fence that has a floppy, unstable top. The idea is that the unstable top will fall back on the racoon and make it extremely difficult for it to keep scaling the fence. By placing metal spikes on iron fences, Austin homeowners will have another level of defense against pesky racoons. 

Finally, since trees are often used as launching pads to access fences, trim branches in close proximity to your fence. 


Skunks are nocturnal, so their eyes are light-sensitive. You can deter skunks with a bright motion-sensor-activated flood light.

Skunks hate citrus fruits, so scatter orange or lemon peels around your yard to keep these intruders away. Other scents they hate include soap and castor oil. Dilute soap and castor oil in water and pour this solution into a spray bottle. Spray your yard at night, when skunks are typically foraging.

Before you decide to install a fence, know that skunks are good climbers. As with opossums, a metal fence that won’t allow traction is the best material to use. And because skunks burrow, make sure the fence is inserted at least 12 inches into the ground.


Squirrels eat nuts and seeds, so rake and collect nuts that have fallen from trees and cut back or cover plants that are about to go to seed. It’s also a good idea to remove bird feeders from your property.

The castor oil and soap solution mentioned earlier may also work to deter squirrels. Some people use cayenne pepper as a defense against squirrels, but since the hot spice can get on their paws and into their eyes—sometimes blinding them—this may be one of the more cruel ways to repel them.

Fencing that keeps squirrels from seeing the available food supply in your garden may prevent them from targeting your yard. Wooden fences are likely the best option to keep squirrels from being able to peek in, but if they decide they want to explore, they’ll have no trouble climbing them.

The best type of fence to keep squirrels out is likely a flimsy one that won’t allow them to get a good footing, such as the floppy top fence mentioned earlier. Many gardeners will construct a wooden frame and fill it with either plastic mesh or wire. 

Additionally, cut tree branches so that squirrels won’t have a launching pad to jump onto a fence. Some property owners resort to using an electric wire on top of their fences to keep the squirrels away.

Your Trusted Fence Contractor in Austin

Northwest Fence & Iron may be best known for its expertly crafted iron fencing in Austin, but we also construct custom wooden fencing Austin homeowners value for its beauty and protection. For more than 23 years, our contractors have designed, built, and installed fences that meet our customers’ specific needs. 

If you’re looking for a way to keep Austin’s wildlife from invading and inhabiting your yard, Northwest Fence & Iron can create the fencing solution you need. We can build a unique type of metal fence, build a new wooden fence with a wire mesh inlay, or replace wooden fence materials destroyed by an unwelcome critter. 
Call us at 512-FENCING (512-337-3102) to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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