Will Motion Sensor Lights Deter Wild Animals? Keeping Deer, Raccoons, Possums Away From Your Yard

Will Motion Sensor Lights Deter Wild Animals?
Image of Motion Sensor Light

A motion sensor is an electronic device that detects or measures movement making it best for home security. But happens to homes in areas constantly encroached on by wild animals? Will Motion Sensor Lights Deter Wild Animals?

Motion sensor lights can deter wild animals like deer, raccoons, skunks, and possums, to mention but a few! However, the lights will deter the animals upon their first interaction. After a couple of interactions, they will note how harmless the lights are, so it would no longer scare them away. According to research and experience, this is what we discovered:

Simply put, motion sensor lights will startle any animal that’s sneaking around your home for the first time. However, the more they visit your property, the more familiar and comfortable they become with the light. 

This article aims at informing you more about motion sensor lights and their relations to wild animals. It will also address the wild animals you will likely encounter in your yard and how best to use motion sensor lights to deter them.

Read on to find out more!

Which Wild Animals Commonly Wonders In Yards

Like humans, wild animals love to explore different places in search of resources to sustain them. Besides, the land is constantly developing, and wild animals are being pushed out of their green and open spaces into human neighborhoods. 

Therefore, it is unsurprising that you’ll bump into any wild animal in your yard, from a deer to a frog and even a snake!

 Here is a list of wild animals you will likely find wandering in your yard:

  • Feral Hogs

The Feral Hogs population is estimated to be more than 1.5 million in Texas. They are unprotected, exotic, and non-game animals. 

Feral Hogs are dominant in areas with dense vegetation, often associated with water.

Like all other wild animals, Feral Hogs can be dangerous when in a situation that threatens them. However, they naturally prefer to run from danger when they can.

  • Skunks, Opossums & Racoons

The development of urban areas has led to the destruction of the natural habitat of skunks, opossums & raccoons. These animals are primarily nocturnal (mostly active at night). However, don’t be surprised if you encounter them at any time of the day.

They are mainly on the lookout for an easy meal. Therefore, you want to put your garbage in a secure container.

You also must ensure your garage doors are appropriately closed while minimizing the accessibility of your pet’s food to these animals.

  • Snakes

Texas has countless snake species. However, only four, the Western Diamondback, Corral Snake, Copper Head, and Water Moccasin (Cotton Mouth), are venomous.

It will help to contact animal services once you encounter them to help safely remove them.

  • Beaver

A beaver is one of those rare mammals that can improvise a habitat to best suit its needs. They will build dams soon as they move into a given area to modify their habitat to their liking.

They build the dam from surrounding trees, which eventually causes flooding and the death of these trees. As a result, other aquatic plants will begin to grow.

  • Coyote

Coyotes are traditionally believed to be living in open areas. However, they’ve been expanding their habitats over time. They are pretty tolerant of the human population; no wonder they are predominantly found in South Carolina. 

They also thrive in agricultural communities.

  • Red Fox

The red fox likes exploring open areas mixed with small woodlots and hedgerows.

Today, the red fox has found a habitat around tobacco fields in the Pee Dee region. They are opportunistic feeders so that they would feed on anything available. This is why you could also find it eating in the garbage in your yard.

Other wild animals in your yard include the Big Brown Bat, The Eastern Cotton Tail, the Flying Squirrel, the Muskrat, etcetera. 

Encountering these animals could be scary and life-threatening at times. We will discuss later how to deter some of them using the motion sensor. Meanwhile, let’s look at some humane solutions you could use:

  • Prevent small wildlife animals from tearing into your trash by securing the lid on the trash receptacles using bungee cords.
  • Wild animals could be sneaking into your home because they’ve mastered your routine of feeding your pet. Since most of them are opportunistic feeders, they would want a taste of your pet’s food. Solve this by changing your routine.
  • Avoid storing firewood in large amounts. Also, always minimize the birdbath water levels.
  • Consider building your decking and sheds on concrete pads and avoid leaving gaps underneath. This will make the area less attractive to wild animals who create habitats underneath such structures.
  • Skunks could frequently be visiting your area due to a grub problem. Work on a gardening plan, and it’ll shock you how effectively it will work.
  • Also, repair the entry holes in your attic when the nocturnal or diurnal animals are away. Sonic-repellent devices will also work magic in driving the wild animals away.

NOTE: If all the suggested control methods prove futile, don’t hesitate to contact a pest control service. Also, if you only called for their services without using the mitigating factors, you would remove one problem but create room for another one.

Why You Should Use Motion Sensor Lights to Deter Deer?

Deer and bright lights are like water and paraffin; they hardly mix. Deer find bright lights quite unfriendly, so you will rarely see them loiter during the day. They wait till it’s nightfall to chow down. This is why you need that motion sensor; to detect a deer and any other nocturnal around your property!

We can describe deer as omnivorous opportunists because of their ability to feed on grasses, heather, lichen, leaves, buds, nuts, fungi, rushes, shoots, barks, fruits, and berries. They would feed on anything they could get on your farm.

To them, apples and other crops and fruits on the farm are quick snacks, so they will comfortably eat as many as they can. This discovery has made farmers construct long and tall fencings to deter deer. For this reason, deer have become a nuisance farm pest.

However, this method is sometimes not enough as the deer outsmart the farmer, and they make their way into the farm anyways.

Deer are as cowardly as they can get. Any human presence can startle them. Therefore, installing a motion sensor where it is likely to sneak will help keep a deer off your property.

Besides, you don’t want a deer to destroy the flowers, apples, or berries that you’ve toiled for years to bring to life.

Generally, a deer is one of the most skittish animals in wildlife. A motion sensor works more like a human presence that would startle a deer into running for her life. The lights would go on once it picks up the movement of an animal (in this case, a deer), and the deer would mistake this for a human presence so that it would take off in fear.

The unexpected flash of light from the motion sensor would pose a threatening situation to the deer. As a result, the light will trigger the deer’s biological flight response. The light will suddenly go on when it detects the deer’s motion, thus creating an unpredictable scare against it.

While this method will work in deterring the deer for the first few encounters, it will not remain as effective as you may wish. Why? Over time, the deer will get accustomed to how “harmless” the light beams are and cease feeling scared and running away.

This is why we are about to learn the best way to use motion sensor lights to deter deer.

How To Use Motion Sensor Lights To Deter Deer

A deer will likely appear in your yard or garden to quickly feed on your crops and food, so installing a motion sensor in these areas makes sense.

However, gardens are far from any power source; you need extension cords to power the motion sensor lights. Instead of going through all this hassle, we encourage property owners to use battery-operated motion sensor lights or solar-powered ones.

Below is how you can use a motion sensor light to deter deer:

You don’t want anything around your house that would easily attract deer, even the growing food. Therefore, it will help if you first limit the excess food grown near your home. After this, you can install the motion sensor to restrict the deer.

What does this mean? You may have to install a reasonable number of motion sensor lights around your home to ensure that no targeted area is left uncovered. The deer could be frequenting your deck or the flowerbed, so make these areas a priority.

REMINDER: Investing in battery-operated or solar motion sensor lights is wise as it will allow you to place them in any preferred location, including near a tree in your garden.

If no food is growing around your home and you’ve installed the motion sensor lights, you are sufficiently armed against the deer.

If you want to restrict deer from entering your garden, install the motion sensor light on a nearby tree or the side of your house. However, the location where you want to install the sensor lights is quite similar, so it doesn’t matter whether you want to install it in our garden or home. 

All you have to do is place the motion sensor light on your home or a tree in the direction where the deer could be coming from. You can then angle the light to the direction where you want the deer to keep off.

It will also help if you use a motion sensor water sprinkler, although it is not compulsory. Place this water sprinkler next to your motion sensor. This way, it will spray the deer with a thick water blast. 

The deer’s biological response would be to evade the water and the light. This method will help you kill two birds with one stone, chasing the deer away and, at the same time, watering your plants. What a package!

Listed below are helpful tips to keep deer away from your property using a motion sensor light:

  • Identify the spot through which the deer enters your property.
  • (This will inform you of the directions the deer like to use). Check out any markings near or around your porch and plants potentially eaten in your garden. 
  • Obtain a flashing motion sensor.
  • Install it at the entrance spot of the deer on your property.
  • Also, install a motion sensor sprinkler for a stimulating effect of the light against the deer.

Eventually, the deer will learn to associate getting water sprayed with the sight of the light, thus making this combination incredibly effective.

However, if you can’t find a water sprinkler, don’t lose sleep over it! Deer are skittish enough to be scared away by a motion sensor light only.

Deer will easily startle at any human activity; therefore, even the minute sign of the sprinkler gearing up is enough to make them bolt away. A sprinkler is even more effective as the water physically touches the animal. No human enjoys being sprayed while searching for food, so you can only imagine how scary or irritating it can be for a deer.

Installing the sprinkler can be an uphill task as you would need to place it in the range of your water hose, but it is a worthwhile experience.

You can also set up the sprinkler beneath your deck, porch, or steps, whichever place is likely to be frequented by the deer.

The following is a list of best recommended solar lights to help deter deer from your home:

Litom LED Solar Yard Lights

The Litom Led Solar Yard Lights are sold in a pack of two. With this, you can guard both sides of your garden.

Its sensor is designed to detect deer up to 33 feet away. You only need to charge it for one whole day, and the lights will come on 150 times on sensor mode. This is to say that a single charge on this batter will last you for weeks.

You can mount it on the fence or stake it beneath the ground.

Univerayo Deer Deterrent

These solar lights are sold in four packs, thus allowing you to install one on each side of your garden or yard.

One of the most selling features of this light is that it contains two flashlights that would confuse and startle a trespassing deer. Also, with a 5-hour charge, you will enjoy over twelve hours of light time.

Zoma Ultrasoni Deer Repellent

This is a pocket-friendly solar-motion sensor light. However, unlike most that come in more light, this one is only sold singly.

It contains a solar-powered light that’ll scare the deer away. It also uses an ultrasonic sound to scare deer, not within the light’s vicinity. This feature is a plus, as many brands don’t have it.

You can install it beneath the ground or on the wall through back slots.

Broox Solar Deer Repeller

This waterproof solar light contains a flashing strobe light with a solar ultrasonic alarm.

Its speaker produces a high-pitched screech only heard by a deer’s senses.

Hoont Solar Animal Repeller

This device will serve you even in the harshest of environments. It contains seven sensitivity settings that allow you to customize it in any application.

You can use a rechargeable battery set and the regular ones, in case you don’t receive direct sunlight.

Solar Motion Detected Deer Alarm

Like many others, this is also a two-in-one product that scares deer away using its flashing lights and ultrasonic sound.

Despite being a solar-powered device, you can also plug it in, particularly for spots that don’t receive sufficient sunshine.

Takeaway: Battery-operated or solar-powered motion sensor lights are the most effective in deterring deer from your home. First, minimize the amount of growing food around your home, identify the entry spots of the animal and install the motion sensor lights in the direction they like to visit. You can also install a motion sensor water sprinkler to double the effect.

Of all the wild animals that could trespass on your property, the motion sensor alone is sufficient to startle the deer, as it is the most skittish.

Will Motion Sensor Keep Raccoon Away?

Like deer, raccoons are also nocturnal creatures. They thrive in darkness and detest lights. However, some raccoons have become accustomed to continual light sources, so outdoor lighting is not enough to keep them away. 

Light movements will likely scare the raccoons away, so motion sensor lights keep them away. Here is why:

A sudden burst of blinding light is odd and life-threatening to the raccoons. They will feel like they are suddenly exposed and noticeable to the world, which they don’t like. This will create the sudden urge to escape and hide in darkness.

Unlike deer, raccoons are less skittish. They build habitats in wooded areas to protect themselves easily from predators. Using a motion sensor light to deter them will make the raccoons more susceptible to potential predators, thus limiting the possibility of them staying on our property.

Your home could also be an excellent cover for them; this is why they will comfortably explore your garden.

While this method will work, it will only last a while. The more the raccoons visit, the more accustomed they become to the motion sensor lights and the less effective it become. However, the motion sensor lights are wholesomely effective if the animal is visiting your property for the first time.

Let’s learn how to use motion sensor lights to deter raccoons effectively.

How to Use Motion Sensors Light to Deter Raccoons

We’ve learned that even though raccoons are not the most skittish animals, they also don’t like going to open areas as it exposes them to predators.

The first step you should consider before installing a motion sensor light to deter raccoons is to do away with as many objects and brush as you can. This will come in handy when using the motion sensor light.

Cutting down unnecessary bushes and removing objects from the yard will help ensure that the raccoons have as little cover as possible. This will limit any potential hiding place.

It will also ensure they have nowhere to run for cover when the motion sensor lights shine on the raccoons. Besides, if you have no debris in your garden, the raccoons will find no business visiting your property.

After eliminating all the possible cover spots for the raccoons, you will need to identify the direction from which they enter your property.

Carefully inspect where they like to visit; is it the garden or trash cans? Examine any signs of disruption in these areas by looking for bites or diggings near your plants.

The garden and the trash can areas are what attract the raccoons most. Also, consider checking under your porch or deck, as they might have established a habitat there.

After determining the location from which the raccoons come, installing the motion sensors is safe. Mount them in the areas where they visit the most.

Reminder: A battery-operated motion sensor light is the most convenient as you can place it anywhere you want, from the side of your home to the tree.

Here is a summary of how to use a motion sensor light to deter raccoons:

  • Clear any debris from your property, as they are potential grounds for raccoon hiding places.
  • Determine where your raccoons visit on your property by looking for markings near your trash cans and plants.
  • Install a flashing motion sensor on the side of your home.
  • Installing a motion sensor water sprinkler is optional, but it will maximize the effect of keeping stubborn animals away. Best install them in the same path as the motion sensor.

A motion sensor water sprinkler will act like a second defense system alongside the light. The raccoon may imagine that the light produces water, so it will learn to associate the sight of the light with getting water-sprayed.

If you choose to use the light alone, it will be a temporary solution. Over time, the raccoons will familiarize themselves with the light and know it is harmless. They will then cease getting scared of it. However, with the motion sensor water sprinkler, you are almost sure that the animal will not come back.

TIP: Purchase a battery-operated motion sensor light with a strobe light feature. This is more effective as raccoons are a little skittish. The battery is for convenience and mobility of the light, while the strobe light will confuse the raccoon.

Will Motion Sensor Light Deter Possums?

Like raccoons and dee, possums are also incredibly curious. They are also notably skittish as they won’t pose the best defense against potential prey. If exposed to a life-threatening situation, possums will “play dead” by lying on the ground. This is their primary defense, as it sometimes works for them.

Like raccoons, possums dislike being in the open, making them vulnerable.

Since they detest bright lights, motion sensor lights will effectively deter the possums. The beams of light will expose the possums to predators, which will scare them into hiding. Therefore, thoroughly clean your property as you deliberate on installing the sensor lights.

By doing so, you will be eliminating all the potential areas where possums hide. Therefore, the light will scare them away, and they will also have no chance of hiding in your yard or garden.

How To Deter Possums Using Motion Sensor Lights

The steps involved in deterring possums are similar to those for raccoons as they have similar characteristics.

Before anything else, consider eliminating any potential hiding spaces in your property.

Other people propose determining where the possums come from as the first step before cleaning. Unfortunately, we disagree as it is not the best action course. Cleaning your property and eliminating the hiding places allows you to identify the signs of possums better.

Also, cleaning before installing the sensor lights minimizes the possibility of the possums moving into a different area within your property. This is something they’d do if you have a lot of clutter lying around.

Consider the following steps in using a motion sensor light to deter Possums:

  • Ensure your property has no clutter lying around.
  • Look for signs of possums in wet areas, trees, and under porches.
  • Mount a battery-powered flashing motion sensor light on the location from which the possum enters. (The mounting should be on a tree or the siding of your home).
  • For more effectiveness, install a motion sensor water sprinkler in the same range as the motion sensor light.

The possums will get confused at the sight of light. They will become so frightened that they will bolt off in a different direction. The motion sensor water sprinkler will also blast the possum with a sudden spray of water, making it feel threatened as if in danger.

The possum will respond by playing dead as it noted a potential prey. This will make it too scary ever to come back to your property.

If there’s a chance of it going beneath your deck or garden, the possum will get accustomed to the light and not feel threatened. This is why I emphasize tagging a water sprinkler along.

Final Thoughts

The mess and destruction a wild animal can create in your home is a dreaded experience. One would do about anything to get rid of them. Skunks, raccoons, and deer, among others, are wild animals that could habitually visit your yard or garden. Motion sensor lights are an effective way of countering these animals. So,

Will Motion Sensor Lights Deter Wild Animals? 

However, this is a temporary solution as the animals will eventually learn that the light is harmless and would no longer jump off when they see it. However, using a motion sensor water sprinkler alongside the lights will double the effect!

Which animals have become a nuisance in your home? Try using the motion sensor lights alongside a sprinkler, and let us know how it works. Best of luck!

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