As the huge popularity of TV series such as David Attenborough’s Life and Planet Earth shows, we all love a bit of wildlife and wildlife surveillance. What none of us are very keen on, however, are pest problems. Wildlife can cause problems in surprising places and in amazingly destructive ways.
Business owners, homeowners, large companies and even local authorities have to tackle problems with unwanted animal activity on a regular basis. But what problems do animals cause around buildings and infrastructure? And crucially, what can technology do to help?
Let’s take a look at a few of the most annoying and destructive wildlife problems and how gadgets such as spy cameras can help solve them.
Unwanted feline visitors and your garden
As any cat owner will tell you, our feline friends can be strong-minded, independent and very stubborn. There’s just no keeping them indoors sometimes, which inevitably means that they wander into your neighbour’s gardens.
If you happen to be one of those neighbours, you may find that catty visitors leave unwanted presents in your garden. Even more annoying, cats tend to be very destructive in digging holes to bury these unwanted presents. They can end up digging up plants and virtually destroying your garden. Stray cats can be even more destructive.
The most irritating thing about these cat attacks for homeowners is that you almost never see it happen. Cats often visit at night when you’re asleep, so you wake up to the chaos they’ve left behind.
There are a few ways you can use tech to solve your cat problems. Motion-sensitive ultra-sonic and reflective cat repellent devices are available, but you can also detect individual culprits and patterns of behaviour using a surveillance camera. Install a motion-activated one with a good view of your garden, and review the footage the next day to see if it’s your next-door neighbour’s cat that’s causing all the damage or a visitor from another neighbourhood. More importantly, the footage can tell you how cats are getting in and which areas of your garden they prefer. You can strengthen fences, block up holes and place deterrents in the cat’s favourite areas of the garden. Hopefully these steps will solve your cat problem!
Can you hear scratching or scrabbling somewhere in your house? Or perhaps you keep finding tiny droppings? These are all signs that you have a mouse or rat problem. Most rodents sneak about at night to eat all of your cereal and leave droppings everywhere, and they can be very furtive. You may never see them, only the evidence that they were there. This can be very frustrating!
If you want to know what exactly you’re dealing with and how it’s getting into your property, installing a motion-activated night vision camera in each affected room could be very helpful. As mice in particular are so small, you may even want to go as far as getting hold of a thermal imaging camera so you can see them.
Once you’ve identified the entry point using your camera footage, you can try blocking it up or leaving humane traps there to catch the rodent as it makes yet another night-time raid.
More unusual animal problems
It’s not just cats, rats and mice that cause problems in homes and businesses. There have been some more unusual cases reported, such as otters paying night-time visits to a riverside B&B in Pickering. Luckily in this particular story, the owners of the guesthouse didn’t mind their unexpected visitors and have even used wildlife surveillance spy cameras to record the footage to show to their guests the following morning.
This isn’t always the case, as animals can cause some very serious issues indeed. Wildlife problems can be expensive, disruptive and sometimes dangerous to humans and other animals. Here are just a few examples:
- Farm crops. Birds and other animals can be a farmer’s nightmare, either eating crops or getting at seeds before they have a chance to grow. A wide range of solutions, both high tech (i.e. ultrasonic or reflective repellents) and low tech (i.e. scarecrows) can be deployed to help keep unwanted animals away.
- Animals nesting in drains. Animal nests can cause serious issues in both homes and for utilities companies and businesses. Larger nests can cause blockages and can even be dangerous, especially if animals choose to nest in an electricity substation, for example. A range of high-tech repellents can stop this from happening, but the first step is to send a camera down the drain or pipe (where humans can’t reach) to identify the problem.
- Fox attacks. Urban foxes mainly keep out of sight, so many people never see one. However, they do become a problem when they start rifling through your bins, ripping open bin bags and leaving unsanitary waste scattered everywhere. This can be very unhygienic, unpleasant and it can also attract other pests such as rats and mice. If you keep chickens or other small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, foxes can also be a risk – especially if the animals live outside for a lot of the year. Using wildlife surveillance cameras that activate on movement can help you identify whether it is a fox that is causing the problems, and how it is getting in.
Whatever the animal problem, surveillance cameras are the vital first step to a solution in many cases. The footage they record can help you establish the facts – what the animal is, how it is getting in and what damage or destruction it is causing, as well as behavioural patterns. All of this information can help you to research the problem and find an effective solution. It’s an essential bit of detective work, but the footage of the animal’s behaviour can also be fascinating to watch, especially if you’re an animal lover yourself.