mercredi 31 octobre 2018

How to Hide Candy in Your Room

Candy is a great treat, but some parents can be strict. If your parents don't let you have candy (or if you have siblings who try to eat all your candy before you do), the best thing you can do is hide it. A good hiding place can keep your secret candy stash filled for weeks to come. A bad hiding spot can not only get you caught and in trouble, but it can get your candy taken away! Not every hiding spot will work for everyone, however, and how long you are able to keep your secret really depends in your hiding skills, and your parents' finding skills.

EditSteps

EditFinding Good Hiding Places

  1. Hide your candy in layers. The longer it takes to get to your candy, the harder it will be to find. For example, your sock drawer may not be a good idea. All someone has to do is open up the drawer and see the candy. A better idea would be inside one of your socks. This way, whoever opens up your sock drawer won't be able to see your candy right away—they will have to dig through your socks first.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Make your candy hard to get to. Similar to hiding your candy in layers, the longer it takes to get to your candy, the less likely someone will find it. Great places include under your clothes in a drawer, far under your bed, in a box at the very top of your shelf, and so forth.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 2 Version 2.jpg
  3. Hide your candy in different spots. The saying "don't put all of your eggs into one basket" exists for a reason. If you hide all of your candy in one spot, and someone finds it, you might end up with no candy. Try to hide your candy in at least two different places.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Don't hide your candy too close together. For example, if you have some candy tucked away into your socks in one drawer, don't hide the rest of your candy in the next drawer.
  4. Don't hide your candy in places that get warm. This includes next to windows, near heaters, or close to lights. The reason for this is simple: candy melts if it gets hot. A good hiding place won't be of much use to you if you can't eat the candy later on. Not to mention, melted candy can create a mess, and messes attract attention.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 4 Version 2.jpg
  5. Skip the obvious hiding places. Lockers, safes, and piggy banks are all popular hiding places—and this means that they are obvious hiding places. Shoe boxes that say "TOP SECRET" or "KEEP OUT" are also bad choices, because they draw attention and curiosity. Your friends and siblings would be more likely to go through these boxes.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 5 Version 2.jpg

EditUsing What You Have

  1. Try using what you have at home. You don't have to make a secret cubby to hide your candy. You can use what you have in your room, such as a sock drawer or tissue box. This section will give you a few ideas on where you can hide candy in your room.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 6.jpg
  2. Hide your candy in the bottom of a tissue box. Find a tissue box, then carefully lift out the entire stack of tissues. Place your candy in a thin layer along the bottom, then place the stack of tissues back. Pull out the first tissue—this will make it look like the tissues are "in use."
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 7.jpg
  3. Try hiding your candy inside your pillowcase. This only works for a short while, and you have to take the candy out before you go to sleep. Keep the candy on the bottom of the pillow case—the side that is touching the mattress. If you put it in the top, the candy will make lumps, and give your secret away.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 8.jpg
  4. Hide candy inside your clothes. Find a shirt that you never use, and hide the candy in it. Place the shirt neatly back in your drawer. It would be best to use a shirt that you don't wear often. For example, if it is summer, hide your candy in a winter shirt or a sweater. If it is winter, hide the candy in one of your summer shirts.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 9.jpg
    • Another great hiding spot is inside of a pair of socks.
    • Coat pockets make great hiding places too!
  5. Keep the candy in a small box on top of your bookshelf. Push the box towards the back of the shelf, against the wall. This will keep the box out of sight.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 10.jpg
  6. Hide candy inside magazine folders. It would be best to use folders that you are currently using. That way, the folders will look like they are only being used for magazines.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 11.jpg
  7. Camouflage the candy. Candy and toys are both brightly-colored. If you have a bin where you keep lots of small, plastic toys, you can hide some small, brightly-colored candies in the bottom of that bin. The bright colors of your toys will help camouflage the bright colors of the candy.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 12.jpg

EditAvoiding Detection

  1. Throw the wrappers away outside your home. If you have a trashcan in your room or home, don't throw the wrappers away in that. If someone sees candy wrappers in the trashcan, they will suspect that you are hiding candy in your room. Instead, throw the candy away at school.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 13.jpg
  2. Don't brag. If you brag about hiding candy in your room, someone may go looking for it. If you have any siblings, it might be a good idea to keep your candy stash secret from them. If they get mad at you, they may tell on you. They may also get careless and accidentally give your secret away.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 14.jpg
  3. Act natural. Don't get nervous, especially if someone is close to one of your hiding spots. For example, if someone opens the sock drawer where you hid your candy, don't scream "Don't open that!" or "Don't look in there!" This will tell the other person that you are hiding something, and they will get suspicious and look through your sock drawer.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 15.jpg
  4. Don't draw attention to your candy stash. People tend to look where other people are looking. If someone is with you in your room, and you keep looking at your secret stash, the other person may get curious. They may even try to look wherever you are looking and find your candy.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 16.jpg
  5. Don't hide your candy in places that other people go through often. For example, if someone does your laundry for you, don't hide your candy in your dresser, wardrobe, or closet. Another example would be a toy bin or a bookshelf that both you and a sibling use.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 17.jpg
  6. Rotate your hiding places. The longer something sits in one place, the more likely someone will find it sooner or later. If you plan on hiding the candy in your room, plan on changing the hiding places at least once a week. If there are lots of people going through your room, you might even want to change the hiding places every day.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 18.jpg

EditMaking a Faux Book Cubby

  1. Choose a box that will fit on your bookshelf. A shoe box might be a little too big, but those cardboard boxes that snacks and granola bars would be perfect. You can also use a small, wooden box instead.[1]
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 19.jpg
  2. Find a picture online of some book spines. You can choose any types of books you want, but it might be a good idea to use books that you might find on your shelf. For example, if you have a lot of new books, a set of dusty, leather-bound books might look out of place.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 20.jpg
    • You can also stack some of your own books together, then photocopy their spines.
  3. Use an image editor to make them the same width as your box. Measure your box first and write that number down. Open up your picture in an image-editing program. Change the canvas size until the width matches up with the number you wrote down.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 21.jpg
  4. Print the image out. Try to get good-quality print out. You can use plain, old printer paper for this.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 22.jpg
  5. Glue the paper to a sheet of thin cardboard. Find a sheet of thin cardboard—an old cereal box would work great for this. Next, cover the cardboard with a thin layer of glue. It might be a good idea to paint the glue on with a paintbrush. If you use too much glue, your paper will get soggy.
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 23.jpg
    • If you are using a cereal box, cut out the front or back first, then put the glue on the cardboard side. The image size will be on the back from now on.
  6. Place the picture on top of the glue. Use your fingers or the edge of a ruler to smooth it out. Wait for the glue to dry before you move on.[2]
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 24.jpg
  7. Cut the spines out. The picture you printed out will probably have a white background, or the background of a bookshelf. For this project, you want just the spines and no background. Use a pair of scissors to cut your image out of the cardboard. Follow the top edges of the spines as best as your can.[3]
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 25.jpg
    • If you are very careful, you can also use a craft knife. Be sure to work on top of a cutting mat, and to cut away from yourself.
  8. Glue the cardboard to the side of your box. Cover the side of your box with a thin layer of glue first. Next, place the cardboard cutout on top of the glue. Make sure that bottom and side edges of your cardboard cutout match up with the bottom and side edges of your box.[4]
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 26.jpg
  9. Fill your box with candy, then slide it between two books on your bookshelf. This cubby not only acts as a storage for your secret candy stash, but it also doubles-up as a nifty bookend!
    Hide Candy in Your Room Step 27.jpg


EditTips

  • Don't limit your ideas to only candy. You can keep small bags of chips, cookies, or even fruit snacks! You can also use this on things that aren't edible, like love notes and cups of slime. Just be careful not to get any crumbs or stains on the carpet!
  • If you have any younger/older siblings that may rat you out, the best thing to do is either bribe them, or stash everything into your schoolbag before your sibling tells your parent/guardian.
  • If you need to hide bulky candy, don't hide them in tight places. The bulges will give it away.
  • If you have a dog or any other kind of pet that could sniff it out, you should hide your candy up high.
  • Keep your candy in the wrappers. This will not only keep your room clean, but it will also prevent ants and other critters.
  • If you have an old bag that you don't use, hide your secret stash in there!
  • If you are eating when someone is coming to your room, hide the candy in a spot they wouldn't look at, but a spot that is close or they will be suspicious.
  • For candy wrappers I just use a paper bag and then squish up the bag before throwing it away. I've done it a couple times and as long as nobody finds the bag, it should work. You can get paper bags from the dollar store.

EditWarnings

  • These methods are not guaranteed to work all the time. Whether or not someone finds your candy depends on how well you hid your candy—and how good they are at finding things.
  • If your parents find out, the best thing you can do is give in and get in trouble. You can always start another collection later.

EditThings You'll Need

EditMaking a Faux Book Cubby

  • Small box
  • Print-out of book spines
  • Thin cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors or craft knife


EditRelated wikiHows


EditSources and Citations


Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found




source How to of the Day https://ift.tt/2AF5V7o

How to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle

Losing weight and building muscle are both challenging. But with a healthy eating plan and a new workout routine, you can accomplish both at the same time! Eat lots of protein and healthy carbs. This will give you the energy to hit the gym and lift some weights. You’ll also want to incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to burn fat as effectively as possible.

EditSteps

EditReducing Your Weight with Dietary Changes

  1. Calculate your ideal daily caloric intake. In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. That means you need to burn more calories than you consume. You can use an online calculator to figure out how many calories you need per day. Everyone’s needs are different, so use a calculator rather than just looking at general guidelines.[1]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 1.jpg
    • Once you have your estimated calorie guideline, subtract 300 calories from that number. For example, if the calculator suggests that you need 1800 calories per day, you’ll want to consume 1500 to lose weight.
    • Remember that you need plenty of energy in order to work out, so don’t plan to drastically cut calories.
    • Talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs.
  2. Choose whole foods to get the most nutrients. Pick foods that will provide you with energy and give your body what it needs. Whole foods (foods that are unprocessed or barely processed) are the best fuel for your body. They can also help you lose weight, as they typically have less fat and sugar than processed foods. Examples of whole foods include:[2]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 2.jpg
  3. Increase your protein intake to build muscle and feel full. When you reduce your caloric intake, you may need to increase your protein intake to help build muscle. Aim to eat about of protein per pound of body weight (0.9 grams per kilogram of body weight). You can eat a variety of healthy proteins such as:[3]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 3.jpg
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Salmon
    • Tuna
    • Eggs
    • Dairy
  4. Aim to lose 1-2 lbs per week. Slow and steady is the key to healthy weight loss. Plus, if you lose weight too quickly, you will also lose muscle. Your goal should be sustained weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week.[4]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 4.jpg


EditBuilding Muscle with Strength Training

  1. Strength train for 45 minutes 3 times a week to build muscle. The best way to build muscle is to start a weight lifting routine. You can use either free weights or machines, or a mixture of both. Schedule 3 workouts per week, and plan to train for about 45 minutes.[5]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 5.jpg
    • Alternate days, rather than doing 3 sessions in a row.
    • Consider joining a gym. You will have access to all of the equipment that you need, plus a staff that can guide you.
  2. Include leg exercises in each routine. Your legs are a major muscle group, so you want to work them each time you train. If you’re working out at a gym, ask a staff member to show you how to work the weight machines. Make sure to exercise your hamstrings, quadriceps, and inner and outer thighs. If you’re using free weights, you should choose to do some of the following exercises each session:[6]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 6.jpg
  3. Perform both push and pull exercises to get a complete workout. To get the most from your workout, you want to push weights and pull them, so that you hit your muscles from all angles. Effective push exercises include bench presses and overhead presses, as well as tricep dips. Pull exercises include rows and pull ups.[7]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 7.jpg
    • The amount of weight you use depends on your fitness level. You might start with a 5 lb weight, and gradually add more. The same is true with the number of sets and reps you should complete. Generally, you'll probably start with 10-12 reps and 2-3 sets.
  4. Complete core exercises to build abdominal muscles. In order to get rock hard abs, you need to work your core. Doing this will also help increase overall strength and stabilization.[8]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 8.jpg
    • Add planks to your routine. Start with holding a plank for 30 seconds a session. Gradually increase your time to 2 minutes. You can also add in 1 armed side planks to work your obliques.
    • Do hanging knee raises. Hang onto a stable bar at the gym. Lift your knees towards your chest and lower them back down for 1 rep. You might only be able to do a couple at a time at first, but you can work your way up to doing 10-12 in a set.
  5. Keep a training journal to track your progress. Each time you workout, write down how many reps you do of each exercise, and how heavy the weights were. You’ll have a record of where you started and note the areas where you have improved. You can use a standard notebook or use an app to keep your notes.[9]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 9.jpg
  6. Consider meeting with a trainer if you’re new to weight training. It’s really important to have good form when you work with weights. If you’re new to this type of workout, it might be a good idea to consult a trainer. If you work out at a gym, ask about setting up a session with a trainer.[10]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 10.jpg
    • Many gyms will offer a complimentary introductory session.
    • A regular trainer might be beyond your budget, and that’s okay. You could also watch videos from reputable sources online to get an idea of what great form looks like. Good sources include ACE training videos, videos made by physical therapists and kinesiologists, and videos from certified personal trainers.
  7. Incorporate stretching to help prevent injury. Make a point to stretch after each workout. Aim for 5-10 minutes each session. You don’t have to stretch every muscle in your body, but make sure to release the tension from the areas that you worked that day.[11]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 11.jpg
    • Do simple toe touches to stretch out your legs.
    • Stretch your arms straight at shoulder level so that look like a T. Face your palms up toward the ceiling. Slowly rotate your palms down toward the floor, keeping your arms in the T position. Hold the stretch for a moment, then rotate your palms back toward the ceiling. Repeat this stretch 4-5 times in each direction.

EditAdding HIIT Workouts to Your Routine

  1. Swap lengthy cardio sessions for HIIT. HIIT sessions are a great way to get your heart rate up and get you quickly into the fat burning zone. These are a great choice, because while lengthy cardio sessions can burn a lot of calories, they can also break down muscle as well as fat. When you’re looking to build muscle and lose weight at the same time, HIIT workouts are your best bet.[12]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 12.jpg
  2. Warm up for 3-5 minutes. Let your body ease into the workout by slowly getting started. Choose any simple exercise as a warm up, and do it for a few minutes before starting your intervals. You might:[13]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 13.jpg
    • Move through a cat/cow flow
    • Do arm circles and swings
    • Swing your legs forward and back
    • Slowly jump rope
  3. Work at your hardest point for 60 seconds. It doesn’t matter what you do for 60 seconds. It just matters that you are pushing yourself to the absolute limit for 60 seconds. Obviously, you should be able to breathe, but talking in complete sentences should be very difficult. Set a timer on your phone or watch so that you know when time is up. Great exercises to incorporate include:[14]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 14.jpg
  4. Slow down and recover for 2-4 minutes. Now you want to bring your heart rate back down for a short time. You’ll keep working, just not at the same pace. During these recovery periods, you could do sit-ups or push-ups, walk on a treadmill, or ride at a gentle speed on a stationary bike. You want to keep burning calories, but get your breath and strength back.[15]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 15.jpg
  5. Complete 1-3 HIIT workouts per week for the best results. Ideally, you should aim for 2-3 20-30 minute sessions per week. Alternate days, so that you do strength training 1 day and HIIT the next.[16]
    Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Step 16.jpg
    • You can download HIIT apps on your phone to guide you through workouts.
    • Many gyms offer HIIT classes, if group exercise is your thing.
    • Super high-intensity workouts can strain your heart. If you get up past 80% of your maximum heart rate during your HIIT workouts, limit them to once per week to give your heart time to recover and build strength.

EditTips

  • Mix up your workouts so you don’t get bored.
  • Keep a food diary so that you can track your weight loss progress and note any issues.

EditWarnings

  • Talk to your doctor before making drastic modifications to your wellness routine.
  • Don’t lift heavy weights without a spotter.
  • Stop exercising if you feel dizzy or have great difficulty breathing.


EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

EditQuick Summary


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source How to of the Day https://ift.tt/2ziQWOv

How to Fold Dress Pants

Whether you are hanging up your dress pants in your closet or packing them for a trip, knowing how to fold them properly will help keep them from falling off the hanger or getting wrinkled. Fold pants into a compact shape for traveling, and learn the Savile Row fold to hang up pants in your closet or in a garment bag.

EditSteps

EditPacking Dress Pants

  1. Iron the pants if they are wrinkly. Read the care label on your pants for ironing instructions. Use an ironing board and hot iron, and smooth out the wrinkles, mainly using the steam function and gentle pressure rather than the back-and-forth motion that is common in ironing. If the pants are creased, make sure to iron along the crease rather than across it.[1]

    • If you are nervous about ironing or if the care instructions say “dry-clean only,” take your pants to a professional cleaner.
  2. Lay the pants out on a flat surface, like the floor or a table. Avoid putting the pants on the floor if it is carpeted, as that will prevent you from getting smooth folds. Rather, use hardwood floors or a large table so you will have room to work.[2]

    • Take a minute to smooth out the inside of the pockets, too, to make sure they are laying flat.
  3. Fold the pants along the crease if there is one. If you are having trouble finding the crease, pick up the pants and hold them by the cuffs. When you see where the creases start on the cuffs, align the pant legs so that the creases will be on the outside of the pants, rather than poking up in the middle.[3]

    • Make sure that the bottom of the pants match up and are even to one another to guarantee there will be no wayward wrinkles.
  4. Fold pants in half at the zipper or button-front if there isn’t a crease. Simply fold one leg of the pants over so it’s on top of the other leg. Use your hands to smooth the fabric out, pushing away any potential wrinkles. The side seams of the pants will be on the edge now.[4]

    • If the button is bulging out, unbutton the pants and smooth out the waistband so it lays flat.
  5. Grab the bottom cuffs and bring them up to the waistband. Keep the cuffs flat and aligned with the crease, if there is one. Use your hands and smooth out the fabric to erase any wrinkles in the fabric. Put your fingers in between the fold and make sure none of the leg fabric got caught underneath itself.[5]

    • If the fabric is particularly delicate, like silk, place a sheet of tissue paper in between each fold you make.
  6. Bring your first fold up to the waistband for a more compact fold. Make the pants into a square or rectangular shape, depending on how wide your pants are. Make the line of the first fold even with the waistband, as this will help keep the fabric straight and reduce the chance of wrinkles. Check to make sure the fabric didn’t get caught underneath itself during your second fold.[6]

    • If you notice that there are wrinkles or uneven sections you can’t remove by smoothing the fabric out with your hands, try starting the folding process over. Taking a little extra time to make sure your pants are folded correctly will save you ironing time later.
  7. Place pants into a plastic dry-cleaning bag to protect them. Whether you are traveling or storing your pants in a dresser, keep your pants in a plastic bag if you can. Put in 1 to 2 pairs of pants per bag. After you’ve put them in the bag, press down to squeeze out any excess air before you seal it.[7]

    • If you’re packing, put the bag into your suitcase last, or at least as close to last as you can. The less weight put onto the pants the better, since excess weight can cause wrinkles and misshape your pants.

EditUsing the Savile Row Fold

  1. Iron your pants before hanging them if they have wrinkles. Use the steam function and gentle pressure to press out any wrinkles in your pants. If there is a crease, iron alongside the crease, rather than on top of it.[8]

    • Check the care label on the pants before ironing if you’re not sure what to do. If they require delicate care, consider taking them to a professional cleaner.
  2. Lay your pants out on a flat surface. Use a table, the floor, or a large desk. Avoid using your bed or a carpeted area, as the material of the pants could cling to a softer fabric and make it harder to fold your pants neatly..[9]

    • Try wiping down your folding surface before using it to clear it of any dust, hair, or dirt.
  3. Fold the pants along the crease or the zipper, depending on the style. If your pants have a crease, fold them in half lengthwise so that the crease lays on the outer edge of the fold (the crease won’t be in the middle of the pants). If your pants don’t have a crease, simply fold them in half lengthwise along the zipper area.[10]

    • You may need to unbutton the pants so that the button doesn’t stick up and press into the fabric when it’s folded.
  4. Slide the bottom of a clothes hanger in between the legs of your pants. For hanging pants, use plastic, wooden, or flocked hangers; avoid using wire hangers. Pick up the top leg on your folded-in-half pants, and put it through the middle space of the hanger.[11]

    • For this hanging method, you can’t use hangers that don’t have a bottom horizontal section, as there will be nowhere to hang the pants from.
  5. Place the hanger so the hem of the top leg is at the bottom of the crotch. Hold the hanger up in your hand and let the top leg of the pants drape over the bottom of it. Slide the hanger, with the leg of the pants folded over it, and stop when the bottom cuff reaches the bottom of the zipper of your pants.[12]

    • Try to keep the pant leg as even as possible so that the fabric on either side is smooth.
  6. Lay the hanger down so it is flat, creating your first fold. Set down the hanger so that the top of it is closest to the hem of the bottom pant leg, rather than the waistband. Use your hands to smooth out the fabric of the leg that is now folded.[13]

    • Check to make sure the top pant leg didn’t get folded in on itself when you laid the hanger down.
  7. Bring the bottom leg through the hanger so it’s on top of the pants. Use your hands to smooth the fabric out to prevent any wrinkles. Try lifting up the hanger and giving it a few gentle shakes to check the stability of your Savile Row fold.[14]

    • If you notice that the fabric is uneven and won’t lay flat, start your folds over again. This will save you ironing time later!
  8. Hang your dress pants up in your closet or in a garment bag. If hanging pants in a closet, leave a little bit of space in between each garment to help prevent wrinkles. If you are traveling, hang your pants in a garment bag, and consider placing a dry-cleaning bag overtop of them.

    • When you are ready to wear your pants, you just need to unfold the legs from the hanger and you should be good to go!

EditTips

  • If you don’t have an iron, try hanging your pants up in your bathroom while you take a hot shower. The steam should help relax the wrinkles.
  • There are wrinkle-release sprays you can buy to freshen up your pants in case there are small wrinkles when you go to wear them.

EditThings You’ll Need

EditPacking Dress Pants

  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Dry cleaning bags

EditUsing the Savile Row Fold

  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Hangers with a horizontal bar
  • Garment bag (optional)

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

EditQuick Summary


Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found




source How to of the Day https://ift.tt/2zkTcEK

mardi 30 octobre 2018

How to Protect Bird Nests from Predators

A bird’s nest is a wonderful addition to a backyard, and these are most common during the nesting season in spring. Make it difficult for cats and racoons to reach the nest box through limiting when cats can be outdoors, installing the nest box in a good spot, and attaching a predator guard. For snakes and insects, keeping the area around the nest box maintained, and making sure that the nest box is clean when it's empty is key. Protecting the nest from predators will increase the likelihood of survival for the birds and their chicks, and you will be able to watch many generations thrive in your own backyard.

EditSteps

EditProtecting the Nest from Cats and Racoons

  1. Keep cats indoors during the breeding season. The breeding season for most wild bird species is during the spring, however this can be slightly earlier or later depending on the species. Keeping your own cat indoors, and asking your neighbors to do the same, particularly at night, will help to keep the nest safe from cats.[1]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 1.jpg
    • Some further signs of bird breeding season being underway are all of the typical signs that you associate with spring. Blooming flowers, light rain showers, bright plumage and feathers, and an increase in bird song are all signs that the nests will have chicks soon.[2]
  2. Put a bell on your cat’s collar if you can’t keep them inside. This will help to warn the birds of an approaching cat. Although a bell will only offer a small amount of protection, it will be helpful in addition to other protection strategies.[3]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 2.jpg
    • You can buy bells for cat collars from most department or pet stores.
  3. Buy a nest box for the birds. You can get nest boxes from many hardware and gardening stores. Ask the salesperson what boxes are suitable for the bird species in your backyard, as there may be one type that is more effective than another.[4]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 3.jpg
    • A nest box or birdhouse that is mounted to a pole in your garden can make a huge difference for the survival of the birds in the nest. When a nest is in a tree, there isn't much that you can do to protect it.
  4. Install a roof that extends 5 in (13 cm) from the front of the nest box. When it’s not breeding season and the nest is empty, you can either extend the existing roof to make it bigger, or replace the roof with a larger one. This will prevent cats and racoons from being able to sit on the roof and reach into the nest box hole from above.[5]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 4.jpg
    • Cats and racoons are intelligent creatures who will quickly learn that nest boxes can be a reliable source of food. This means that making access to the nest as difficult as possible for these animals is key.
  5. Place the nest box as far away from any large trees as possible. A nest box which is close to large trees makes it easy for cats to leap from a tree to the top of the nest box. This will reduce the likelihood of any felines being able to reach the nest and predate on the birds.[6]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 5.jpg
    • Nest boxes ideally should be placed at least (15 m) away from trees.[7]
  6. Make sure that the nest box is at least (1.8 m) off the ground. Cats can generally jump up to 6 times their own height in a single leap, which means that a (30 cm) family feline can reach a nest (1.8 m) off the ground. This will also help to keep racoons out of the nest.[8]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 6.jpg
    • Nest boxes that are (1.2 - 1.5 m) above the ground, or less, will become an easy target for predators that dwell on the ground.
  7. Attach a predator guard to the nest box pole. This will prevent cats and racoons from being able to climb the pole to reach the nest. A common design for predator guards is a conical metal collar which is attached convex to the nest box on the pole. A stovepipe baffle is another effective guard, which is a piece of pipe that encircles the pole and makes it very difficult to cross.[9]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 7.jpg
    • There are a variety of different shapes, sizes, and designs of predator guards available from gardening and hardware stores.
    • A stovepipe baffle will also help to prevent most snake species from reaching the nest, which makes it ideal to use if you are concerned about multiple predator species.[10]

EditPreventing Snakes from Accessing the Nest

  1. Rub 1 cup of hot red cayenne pepper on the nest box pole. Give the pole a light dusting with the pepper to deter snakes from climbing the pole and reaching the nest box. Do this 1 - 2 times per week throughout the breeding season, until the nest is empty.[11]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 8.jpg
    • Cayenne pepper will also help to deter cats, squirrels, and bears, making it ideal if a wide variety of predators is the problem.
    • Birds don’t have much of a sense of taste, and the cayenne pepper cannot harm them or their nest.
  2. Keep the vegetation around the pole trimmed and maintained. Snakes love long grass and thick cover to hide in, and this works especially well if this is around the pole to the nest box. Mow the lawn regularly and keep it free of weeds, to help keep snakes at bay.[12]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 9.jpg
    • If snakes are a particular problem in your area, consider getting rid of the lawn and creating a circle of clean sand around that pole that is (30 cm) in diameter.
    • Be very careful when checking the nesting box and surrounding area for snakes, especially while you are keeping the garden maintained. Most injuries in this situation come from getting a surprise from seeing a snake and falling over, rather than from the snake itself.[13]
  3. Polish and clean the nest pole regularly. Use fine steel wool to rub over the pole regularly to remove any dirt. This is because any debris will make it easier for the snake to climb the pole, as there will be more friction.[14]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 10.jpg
    • To test if it’s likely that snakes will be able to climb the pole or not, use a silk handkerchief to rub lightly over the pole. If the handkerchief snags on any debris, especially if it’s every 6 in (15 cm) or less, then it’s likely that a snake would easily be able to climb the pole.
  4. Use carpet tack strips to deter snakes. Use either nails or duct tape to secure carpet tack strips up the pole to deter snakes from climbing it. You could also use adjustable clamps to hold the carpet tack strips in place.[15]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 11.jpg
    • Carpet tack strips are used to hold carpet in place, and are thin boards which are covered in small nails.[16]
    • Carpet tack strips should only be used as a last resort, when all other solutions for predation by snakes have been exhausted. This is because they could be dangerous to small children or family pets, so avoid using them if possible.

EditKeeping Insects Away from the Nest

  1. Use vinegar and mint to deter insects. Insects rely mostly on smell to survive, and most will be deterred by the smell of vinegar and mint. Spray mint oil or natural cider vinegar both in and around nest boxes while they are empty.[17]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 12.jpg
  2. Spray insecticides after the nesting season is over. Mites, fly larvae, and bird lice can all be eliminated by pyrethrin and rotenone insecticides. This will help to keep the nest box clean, and to discourage insect predators from hanging around.[18]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 13.jpg
    • Never use insecticides either just before or while the birds are using the boxes, as the birds are very sensitive to chemicals and could easily be harmed.
  3. Clean the nest box after the breeding season. Once the nesting season is done, remove the nest box from the pole and scrub it with a 10% bleach water solution. This is to get rid of any insects that are nesting in the box.[19]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 14.jpg
    • Leave the nest box in the sun to dry, and wait until it has completely dried before you put it back on the pole.
  4. Coat the ceiling of the nest box with bar soap to deter wasps. Wasps like to make their nests inside bird nesting boxes, however a smooth, slightly slippery coating will prevent them from being able to. Cover the ceiling with a coating of soap, and extend it slightly down the walls too.[20]
    Protect Bird Nests from Predators Step 15.jpg
    • An unscented bar soap with as few ingredients as possible is the best choice.

EditTips

  • Try not to get discouraged if predators do happen to get into the nest. It’s impossible to make the nest 100% safe from predators, so if the worst does happen, try out a different solution next time.[21]
  • Remember that native predators can also help birds, rather than being detrimental to them. While the native predator might consume a few birds nests per year, it will also hunt many more rodents, which would have otherwise preyed on the nests. Some bird species choose to nest near native predators because this gives them the protection from many smaller rodents, despite the obvious risk.[22]

EditWarnings

  • Although petroleum jelly can be effective to to keep many insects away, never use this around birds as their feathers can get greasy and this will hinder their flight.[23]

EditSources and Citations


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