Guarding Your Yard: How to Keep Wallabies at Bay

Guarding Your Yard: How to Keep Wallabies at Bay

Wallabies are a fascinating species and are quintessential Australian animals. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re always welcome in our gardens. There are numerous species of wallabies across Australia and around the world.

Interestingly, wallabies are not technically a distinct genetic group. Instead, they fall into several broad categories, which can make generalising about them challenging. For instance, bush wallabies from the Notamacropus genus are closely related to kangaroos and wallaroos, and look very similar, except for their size.

However, bush wallabies are the most commonly seen, especially in the south of the country.

In this article, we’ll look at how to get rid of wallabies from your garden. This will include reactive techniques for when there are wallabies in your garden and proactive measures to deter them from entering your garden.

Understanding Wallaby Behavior and Implementing Deterrents

To remove wallabies from your garden, you first need to understand more about them. Wallabies are a very diverse group of animals, which technically all grouped because of their size, rather than any genetic similarities.

As such, their behaviours can be different from one species to another. Some species come from more tropical environments and others are from more desert scrublands. Part of the key is knowing which species is invading your home. Then you can make an informed decision on the best control methods.

However, to get started you can use some of their similarities to help you determine the best ways to deter them from your home.


 Characteristics of Wallabies and Effective Deterrents

Wallabies are always smaller versions of their kangaroo cousins. They often seek out grasses and other vegetables to chew on. Females carry their young around in their pouches for several months, where the joey will feed on milk.

Wallabies can be very secretive and often prefer to hide or run away when confronted. 

Wallabies, being smaller than their cousins, have many more potential predators and less defence. For instance, large predatory birds, dingoes, and foxes are key predators of the wallaby. 

Hiding from these species is an important part of their day.

If threatened, wallabies that can’t escape will sometimes kick, bite, or scratch. Some people have suffered fractured/broken bones as a result of coming across a wallaby.

Factors Attracting Wallabies to Gardens and Strategies to Deter Them

Numerous things often attract wallabies to a garden. The most common feature is food. 

Wallabies must spend a large proportion of their day grazing. They prefer grasses but will also eat numerous other plants that they can chew.

They are also attracted by sources of water, especially in drier weather or during the winter.

Wallabies will rarely use a garden for cover or a home. They are more likely to be transient visitors, getting what they want (food or water) and then leaving.

Therefore, it is important to tackle wallaby invasions with several different tactics that include:

  • Reducing the number of attractants for the wallaby (food and water)
  • Limiting access to the property
  • Scaring away any wallabies that do access the garden.

Humane Methods on How to Keep Wallabies Away

There are numerous humane methods to keep wallabies away. These include the following options.

 Natural Barriers and Fencing to Deter Wallabies

The first tactic is about keeping wallabies from accessing your garden. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that a fence will keep all kangaroos and wallabies out of your garden. Some of the largest kangaroos can clear a two-metre fence with ease.

However, many smaller species of wallabies will be left unable to scale a six-foot fence.

Alternatively, you can use natural barriers to make parts of your garden inaccessible. However, this might not work. Some wallabies are excellent at scaling rocks and other natural barriers.

 Using Repellents and Deterrents to Keep Wallabies Out

Some numerous repellents and deterrents can help you to keep wallabies out of your garden. Repellents might include some scents that you can find at your local outdoor games store or garden centre.

Predator scents from dingoes or foxes (such as urine) can work well. They’re also useful for keeping other pests away from the garden, especially rats and snakes.

Other commercially produced scents can be used to ward off these troublesome animals. 

These can be bought from many garden centres.


Employing motion-activated deterrents like sprinklers or lights to scare away wallabies

In addition to natural deterrents, such as fox urine, you can use motion-activated deterrents to scare wallabies that access the garden. These can be placed strategically in the garden to activate as soon as something comes into range.

Then they can omit several different deterrents such as UV sounds, sprays of water or even shaking as if a predator is nearby. These will immediately scare the wallaby so they try to find an escape out of the garden, usually the same way that they came in.

Watching their exit can be a good idea because it can show you how they accessed the garden so you can take action to prevent it in the future.

 Garden Design and Plant Selection for Wallaby-Free Spaces

Garden designs can also be a good way to prevent wallabies from accessing the garden. There are several options here. For example, you might want to use plants that taste bad for wallabies.

Plants that are oily or fragrant are normally avoided by wallabies. Same with plants that have hairy or sticky leaves. Plants with high levels of cellulose create a woody texture that wallabies are less likely to touch. However, young plants tend to be fed upon, so while these remain young you should look at installing nets or fencing to protect these plants, especially during their first 12-24 months. Though there are problems during the winter. Some wallabies may be driven to eat these plants if no other food is available. So you might need to add protection during the winter.

 

Non-Lethal Solutions for Wallaby Control

There are lots of non-lethal solutions for wallaby control across Australia. And as wallabies are a protected species, you must explore all options before resorting to other control methods.

 Scare Tactics and Visual Deterrents for Wallabies

Scaring wallabies out of the garden is probably the best option. Wallabies are timid creatures and are at much greater risk than their larger cousins from predators. Scaring them can be easy as the slightest movement or noise can worry them into running away.

Using the sentinel device from Envirobug is a great tool because it uses motion detection to determine when there is a need to activate. The device uses ultrasound, water spray, and movement to scare away numerous pests including wallabies, birds, foxes, and more.

You can also use cutouts of foxes and dingoes around the garden to create the impression of predators in the garden.

If you have a dog, these can roam around the garden regularly, creating a visual deterrence to wallabies watching your garden.

 Implementing Noise and Motion-Activated Devices to Keep Wallabies Away

Motion-activated devices are one of the best deterrents because they lay dormant until you require them. For many, they are an essential tool when other tools, like garden design or barriers, fail.

Using ultrasound means that neighbours and you don’t realise that the device has been activated and can’t get ignored. Some devices also include water and movement, which add a different way to scare the wallabies.

 Companion Planting and Habitat Modification for Wallaby Control

There are lots of ways that you can modify the garden, using a range of plants and other ornaments to create an undesirable environment for wallabies. For example, you can use plants that they don’t like to eat, mixed in with other plants like garlic and chillies which have an undesirable odour.

In addition, ensure your garden has lots of open spaces, which wallabies hate because they don’t feel secure in them.

Water features in your garden should be kept to a minimum.

Maintenance Tips for Garden Protection

Part of the process of keeping wallabies outside of the home and garden is to conduct regular maintenance of your garden and the boundaries. Here are some suggestions to help you keep your garden wallaby-free even after investing in some of the excellent tactics above.

Regular Inspection and Maintenance of Fences to Prevent Wallaby Intrusion

You must regularly inspect the boundaries of your home. While wallabies are unlikely to cause damage to fences, some kangaroos can and so can other animals. Plus neighbours or weather can damage the boundaries.

Just a couple of days of a damaged boundary can lead to wallabies setting up a home in your garden. The best tactic is to have a day every month when you inspect the fence for potential signs of wear and tear. Be sure to fix any issues as soon as you see them.

You will also want to add an inspection during wet and windy weather. Storms can damage fences very quickly, even if you think you’ve secured them.

On all fences look for signs of wallabies trying to gain access. They might show scratching or footprints nearby.

 Monitoring and Adjusting Deterrents to Ensure Wallaby Exclusion

Monitoring and adjusting current deterrents is an effective way to make your control techniques more secure. You can make changes such as the positioning of your devices, adding in new plants, and also adjust the protection of the plants that you have.

Monitoring and adjusting should be done on a regular schedule, like once a month. You can create a checklist for what needs to be done regularly.

It is also important that you make notes on where wallabies have been seen in the garden. Then you can assess where they are coming in and what you can do to stop them in the future. You might want to install some CCTV in your garden, which is activated by movement. You can buy these on Amazon and other online sellers.

Encouraging Natural Predators to Assist in Wallaby Deterrence

You might also want to encourage natural predators into the area. You don’t necessarily have to have them in your garden, but dingoes in the local area can often ward off wallabies. Foxes can also ward off some of the smaller species.

You might also want to have a large dog as a pet. These domestic animals often scare away wallabies.

Call-in Assistance

In addition to the above techniques, you might need to call in some assistance. Expert pest controllers can help you determine not just which of the species is invading your garden, they can also look at your garden and property and determine how best to protect you from wallabies in the future.

If there is a need to move them, and the law allows, then they can help complete this under a state licence. However, they may not be able to complete this as there are laws that protect wallabies across the country, especially as they’re an adored national icon.

Assistance can be very proactive or reactive, depending on the level of intrusion you have. They might suggest better fencing or even provide you with motion-activated devices.

FAQs about Wallaby Deterrence

    What are the signs of a wallaby's presence in a garden?

You might find that some of your vegetation has been eaten, or there are droppings in piles around your garden. Another key sign of wallaby access to a garden is footprints and trails.

    Are there any plants that naturally repel wallabies?

There are numerous plants that wallabies are not interested in. For instance, they don’t like plants with strong odours, such as garlic. And they don’t like to eat very woody plants. However, this does not afford year-round protection for your garden.

    How can I protect my garden without harming wallabies?

Keeping them out of the garden is the best protection. Fencing and motion-activated devices are two options to keep wallabies out of the garden without harming them. These are easy to apply but need regular maintenance to ensure they remain effective.

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