For most people, the only animal that may invade your home is a lost bird or a stray cat, but for those South Africans that live on the Cape Peninsula, the South Coast, or in Kwazulu-Natal, animal home invaders may look very different. Through a variety of factors such as habitat destruction and the growth of urban areas both baboons and monkeys are increasingly coming into contact with people in these areas. While it is important to understand the spatial and ecological reasons behind this phenomenon, if you live in one of these areas you still have to consider how to protect your property. While monkeys are more of a nuisance, baboons may pose a real danger if they are cornered and become aggressive. But don’t despair, that’s precisely why we’ve put together this useful guide on how to keep unwanted animals out of your home.
Trim all shrubbery and trees
It’s important to keep your property well-manicured. While monkeys and baboons are highly intelligent and will most likely be able to enter your property if they really want to, having tall trees or overgrown shrubbery provides both access and a safe hiding spot. If you live in a heavily wooded area, ensure that you cut back trees along your property to make it just that little bit more difficult for baboons or monkeys to get into your home.
Remove unused animal homes and nests
Small animal homes and nests provide potential food sources for primates and if these are discovered while trimming your garden foliage, it is best to remove them to get rid of the smells that may attract other animals.
Have a designated trash area away from home
Because both monkeys and baboons are usually on the lookout for food, refuse areas are generally hot spots when it comes to primate problems. Moving your trash area away from your home is a good idea if your property allows for it, but if you can’t, you may have to change some habits. If you recycle and separate your organic and inorganic waste, you only have to secure a small portion of your trash. Only putting out the garbage on the day of collection can also help. However, these might not be options for you, so if you need to leave the trash out, then see the points below.
Seal trash tightly
Both monkeys and baboons will figure out how to open any lid or catch in a very short amount of time. That means it is important to ensure that your bin is locked or is custom built to keep these animals out.
Keep area clean and tidy
It is also important to keep the general area around the refuse bin clean and tidy, and garbage lying around will provide temptation for these inquisitive animals. The cleaner and neater your refuse area is the less likely it is to attract baboons or monkeys.
Seal all entryways
As we have already mentioned (and will probably say again) baboons and monkeys are extremely intelligent. Simply closing doors or windows is not enough, you need to make sure all entry points to your property are locked and secured. This includes doors on balconies as well as second storey windows.
You also need to be diligent about keeping all exterior doors locked. Baboons and monkeys are more than capable of opening door handles and knobs. If you like to leave the door slightly ajar to let fresh air in then you may need to look into a lockable door latch such as LockLatch or MiniLatch. These security devices fit directly onto the door frame and the adjustable C-304 stainless steel arm means that the door can be locked in place to allow air to circulate in your home, but the gap can be made small enough to keep unwanted animal intruders out.
Depending on the diameter of your chimney pipe, this can be another potential entry point for monkeys to get into your home. Luckily, this can be easily prevented by fitting a suitable chimney cap onto your chimney to stop monkeys (and other small animals such as squirrels or birds) from getting in.
Window locks are further safety measures you can use to secure your windows. Many people get lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to second floor windows, but both monkeys and baboons have no problem reaching these windows so it is important to apply the same diligence to them as you do ground floor windows. Of course, an open window is often a necessity when it comes to providing airflow and proper ventilation in your home and this is where a lockable window latch (such as LockLatch or MiniLatch) really shines. These devices can be fitted onto just about any type of window and lock them securely in place, while still allowing air to circulate freely through the home.
Secure the perimeter
The best way to keep monkeys and baboons out of your home is to stop them entering your property altogether. This is however easier said than done, spikes and barbed wire which may deter a human intruder are of little use with these animals, and so you may need to turn to an electric fence as a solution.
A properly installed electric fence can be a great way to stop monkeys or baboons from entering your property to begin with. Not only will they quickly learn your property is off-limits from a shock, but often this isn’t even necessary. Animals can sense the electromagnetic field around these types of devices and sometimes this is enough of a deterrent to keep them out. Once again it is important to ensure that trees and shrubbery are trimmed away from the fence to stop short circuits and to prevent animals jumping over.
Store food items properly
Baboons and monkeys are generally looking for food when they come onto your property and if they do gain access to your home it is important that food is kept securely stored away. Even something as innocuous as a fruit bowl can be a temptation that will encourage these animals to enter the property instead of moving on. Food should be stored in containers in a cupboard preferably with a lockable door.
Alternative deterrent to keep monkeys out of your home
Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s take a look at some alternative measures you can take to make your home extra safe from these intelligent animals. The methods outlined below are great because they cause no harm to the animal, but they should not be seen as replacements for the points above, instead they are complementary solutions that can help make your home that little bit more secure.
If you have flower or vegetable patches that are targeted by monkeys or baboons, you should consider sprinkling chilli powder in the beds. The monkeys and baboons will get this powder on their hands and will quickly start associating these areas with discomfort instead of food. Just note that if an animal is really hungry they will choose discomfort over starvation so this solution will only work if there are other food options in the area.
Monkeys don’t like snakes and have an inherent fear of them. Because of this built in defence mechanism toy snakes are a great deterrent to scare these animals away. You can leave them in your property in areas where the monkeys may congregate, just be sure to make your gardener aware that they aren’t the real deal.
Monkeys also don’t like water, or at least they don’t like getting sprayed with it. So if you have a sprinkler system, turn it on if you have monkeys in your garden. Alternatively, you could look at a more high tech solution, like this Howick man who connected his alarm to his sprinklers to turn them on whenever monkeys entered his property.
Take a look at the LockLatch in action below!
Secure your Home with LockLatch products today
We hope this article has given you some tips on how to deal with the issue of baboons or monkeys invading your home and property. Remember that no method is superior to locking these animals out, so why not start your monkey or baboon proofing by installing a LockLatch on MiniLatch device on your windows or doors.