Attracting Wildlife to Your Yard

Dead Trees: a Second Life
Be aware that dead, dying, and hollow trees can serve as valuable habitat for wildlife. Consider leaving standing dead and dying trees in your yard unless they pose a human safety or property hazard. Also, allow some leaf litter and dead plant matter (commonly called duff) to accumulate on the ground; it helps stormwater percolate into your soil, creates micro-habitat, and ultimately enriches your soil.


Bats
Bats eat mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. A single brown bat can catch more than 600 mosquitoes in an hour! To attract these helpful creatures, install a bat house on a pole or building 15 feet or higher in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.


Butterflies & Birds
Butterflies, birds, and other wildlife are vulnerable to pesticides and other chemicals. Minimize chemical use by practicing organic gardening. If you use chemicals, always follow label instructions on usage and disposal carefully.


Delight in Darkness
When lighting your home, be sensitive to possible negative impacts on adjacent lands. Outdoor night lighting greatly disturbs wildlife foraging and movement patterns. Remember that animals and plants around you are dependent on natural light – electric lights disrupt their cycles and can shorten their lives.

If you live on the beach or along a creek, turning lights off at night is imperative. The International Dark-Sky Association provides resources to learn about light pollution and its affect on the environment.