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How To Get Rid Of Dassies?

Quick Summary

This blog post provides comprehensive information on how to effectively get rid of dassies (rock hyraxes) in South Africa. It covers humane methods of dassie control, such as exclusion fencing, repellents, and mechanical traps, while also discussing the limitations of temporary solutions. The post includes a personal account of dealing with a dassie infestation and answers frequently asked questions about dassies.

Introduction

Dassies, also known as rock hyraxes, are small mammals that can become a nuisance in residential areas. These creatures may seem harmless at first glance, but their presence can cause significant damage to gardens and lawns. If you’re dealing with a dassie problem on your property in South Africa, it’s important to find effective and humane methods of control.

In this blog post, we will explore various approaches for getting rid of dassies without causing harm or resorting to extreme measures. We’ll discuss the importance of understanding the behavior of these animals and how they impact our living spaces. Additionally, we’ll provide practical solutions that have been proven successful by experts and individuals who have dealt with similar situations.

By implementing appropriate techniques for dassie control while respecting animal welfare principles, you can create an environment where both humans and wildlife coexist harmoniously. Let’s dive into the details!

Understanding the Dassie Problem

Dassies, also known as rock hyraxes, are small mammals that belong to the Procaviidae family. They have a stout body with short legs and rounded ears. These herbivorous creatures primarily inhabit rocky areas such as mountainsides or cliffs.

In their natural habitat, dassies play an important role in maintaining ecosystem balance by controlling vegetation growth through grazing on various plants and shrubs. However, when they venture into residential areas, they can become a nuisance for homeowners.

The main reason why dassies can be problematic in residential areas is their feeding behavior. Dassies have voracious appetites and will readily consume garden plants like flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees’ leaves – causing significant damage to gardens and lawns if left unchecked.

Their ability to climb makes it easy for them to access elevated spaces where food sources may be abundant – including rooftops of houses or balconies filled with potted plants. This adaptability allows them to thrive even within urban environments where suitable habitats might not naturally exist.

Furthermore, due to their social nature, dassie colonies tend to form in close proximity to one another, leading to larger populations in residential areas. This concentration of dassies can exacerbate the damage they cause and make it more challenging to control their presence.

Humane Methods of Dassie Control

Dassies, also known as rock hyraxes, can cause damage to gardens and lawns. If you’re dealing with a dassie problem in your residential area, it’s important to consider humane methods of control that will effectively deter them without causing harm.

1. Exclusion Fencing:

One effective method is the installation of exclusion fencing around your garden or lawn. This creates a physical barrier that prevents dassies from accessing the area. The fence should be constructed using materials such as wire mesh or chicken wire and should extend below ground level to prevent burrowing.

2. Repellents:

Using natural repellents can help discourage dassies from entering your property.

  • Predator urine spray: Spraying predator urine (such as coyote urine) around the perimeter of your garden can create an illusion for dassies that predators are present nearby.
  • Coyote urine crystals: These odor-emitting crystals release scent markers indicating potential danger for dassies.
  • Ammonia-soaked rags: Placing ammonia-soaked rags strategically throughout your yard may repel these creatures due to their strong smell.

3. Mechanical Traps:

If you prefer capturing live animals rather than harming them, mechanical traps provide an option for relocating dassies. These traps can be set up in areas where dassies are known to frequent, and once captured, the animals can be safely relocated away from residential areas.

Temporary Solutions and their Limitations

Shooting dassies with a high-powered pellet gun:

While some individuals may consider shooting dassies as a quick solution to the problem, it is important to note that this method is not considered humane. Dassies are living creatures and deserve to be treated with respect. Using firearms or any form of violence towards them can cause unnecessary suffering.

Catching and relocating dassies:

Another temporary solution that has been suggested by some communities is catching and relocating dassies. In certain areas, people have even offered monetary incentives for each captured animal brought in. While this approach might provide immediate relief from the infestation, it does not address the root cause of the problem – breeding populations.

Dassie relocation only serves as a short-term fix since these animals reproduce quickly, leading to new generations returning over time. Additionally, capturing wild animals requires expertise in handling them safely without causing harm or stress during transportation.

Importing natural enemies:

One potential long-term solution would involve introducing natural predators like eagles or lynxes into urban areas where there’s an abundance of dassie populations. However, importing such species poses significant challenges due to legal restrictions on wildlife management practices within residential zones.

Furthermore, releasing large predatory birds or mammals into densely populated regions could create additional safety concerns for humans and other domesticated pets present in those areas.

It’s essential always to prioritize ethical methods when dealing with pest control issues involving wildlife species like dassies.

Personal Account of Dealing with a Dassie Infestation

I recently experienced a dassie infestation in my residential area, and it was quite challenging to deal with. These small creatures may seem harmless at first glance, but their constant presence can wreak havoc on gardens and lawns.

When I noticed dassies invading my garden and causing damage to plants, I knew immediate action was necessary. After researching various methods of dassie control, I decided to try out different approaches to see which would be the most effective.

Exclusion Fencing

Firstly, I attempted using exclusion fencing around my garden perimeter. This involved installing wire mesh or netting that created a physical barrier between the dassies and my plants. While this method did show some success initially by preventing direct access from these critters into certain areas of the garden, they still managed to find ways through gaps or over low fences.

Repellents

Next up were repellents – predator urine spray specifically designed for deterring pests like hyraxes caught my attention. Additionally coyote urine crystals as well as ammonia-soaked rags were recommended alternatives worth trying out too. I placed them strategically throughout the affected areas hoping that their strong scent would discourage any further visits from these unwanted guests. Unfortunately, the effectiveness varied greatly depending on weather conditions, and ultimately proved insufficient in keeping away all dassies completely.

Mechanical Traps

In an attempt not only remove current intruders, but also prevent future ones, I resorted to mechanical traps. These live-capture devices are designed to trap animals without harming them. Once captured, dassies could then be relocated far enough away so they wouldn’t return. However, this process required patience, time, and effort. It is important to note though, relocating alone does not solve the problem permanently since other colonies might move back after some time if preventive measures aren’t taken simultaneously.

Throughout this ordeal, it became evident how crucial preventative measures are when dealing with such persistent pests. Maintaining regular lawn maintenance including trimming grass regularly helps reduce hiding spots for dassies and makes the area less attractive to them. Eliminating food sources such as fallen fruits or vegetables, as well as securely storing compost piles, can also discourage their presence.

In conclusion, dealing with a dassie infestation requires a combination of methods tailored to your specific situation. While exclusion fencing may work in some cases, relying solely on it might not be enough. Repellents have shown mixed results, and mechanical traps require time and effort. However, the most effective approach seems to involve implementing preventive measures alongside trapping efforts. This ensures that you address both current intruders while minimizing future occurrences. I hope my personal account provides valuable insights into dealing with these persistent pests effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dassies

What are the main reasons dassies become a problem in residential areas?

Dassies can become a nuisance in residential areas for several reasons. One of the primary factors is their ability to adapt and thrive in urban environments. As natural habitats shrink due to human development, dassies often seek out alternative food sources such as gardens and lawns. Additionally, these creatures reproduce quickly, leading to an increase in population density within limited spaces.

Are dassies dangerous to humans?

While generally not aggressive towards humans, it’s important to exercise caution when encountering wild animals like dassies. They may bite or scratch if they feel threatened or cornered. It’s best practice always to maintain a safe distance from them and avoid any direct contact.

Can dassies transmit diseases?

There have been no reported cases of dassies transmitting diseases directly to humans; however, it is still advisable not to come into close contact with them as they could carry parasites that might pose health risks indirectly.

How can I prevent dassies from entering my garden?

Preventing access by creating barriers around your garden area using exclusion fencing has proven effective against keeping away unwanted wildlife, including hyraxes (dassies). These fences should be constructed underground at least 30 cm deep since hyraxes are excellent climbers.

Additionally:

  • Regularly trim trees near your property where hyraxes may use branches as bridges
  • Remove potential hiding spots such as piles of rocks or debris which provide shelter
  • Eliminate possible food sources like fallen fruits/vegetables

What should I do if I encounter a dassie inside my home?

If you find yourself facing this situation indoors:

  1. Remain calm – Hyraxes will likely try finding an exit on their own accord once realizing there isn’t a suitable habitat available.
  2. Open doors/windows providing an easy escape route without causing harm to either party involved.
  3. If necessary, gently guide the animal toward the exit using a broom or similar object, ensuring not to corner it.
  4. If the hyrax refuses to leave on its own accord and becomes a persistent problem, contact local wildlife control authorities for assistance.

Are there any legal restrictions on trapping or relocating dassies?

In South Africa, dassies are protected under national conservation laws. It is illegal to trap or relocate them without proper authorization from relevant government agencies such as nature conservation departments. Therefore, if you’re facing issues with dassie infestations in your area, it’s advisable to consult these authorities who can provide guidance regarding appropriate measures that comply with regulations while addressing the issue effectively.

References

  1. https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php/211349-Dassie-problem
  2. https://pestcontrolcenturion.co.za/how-to-get-rid-of-dassies-effective-methods-for-dassie-control-in-south-africa-2/
  3. https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/printthread.php?t=211349&pp=200

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