Protecting your cabin from intruders, burglars, squatters and vandals is a must. If your cabin is a weekend or vacation get-away then the chances are it is empty a lot of the time. Local criminals will take advantage of this. The worst feeling in the world is arriving at your cabin only to find it’s been ransacked, or worse, someone is there!
What can you do? Well, it depends on the utilities you have at your cabin. If you have electric and internet then you could set up some web based cameras or motion detectors that email or text you when movement has been detected. If you have electric and a phone line, then you could sign up with a security company. There are also alarm systems that could dial you to notify you of motion detection. So you don’t have electric or communications at the cabin, at the very least you could set up some battery operated detection and a high decibel alarm sounder. If you have neighbors close by, this may be an annoyance if it is overly sensitive to movement (Light changes or spiders crawling across the sensor).
Motion Detectors / Trip Switches
The internet versions usually require a hub which is plugged into the internet either via cable or WiFi. The hub then talks to all the motion detectors or door / window trip switches. These work quite well, but sometimes they can be too sensitive and a light changes such as car lights can trigger an email. I’ve worried unnecessarily a few times due to this.
These are my favorite option. At the time of this writing, I have a y-cam internet camera. I have one outside pointing at the gate, and one in my lounge. They have been set up to detect motion. The set up is quite simple, you can change the detection area, select whether you want an email and / or a push notification to your phone, and you can change the sensitivity. The beauty of a camera is that even if it’s a false alarm at least you can have piece of mind right away by checking the footage to see if it was a racoon or a burglar.
Mice! They are the cabin owners enemy. They can squeeze through the smallest of holes or gaps.
- Seal all gaps and holes
- Check where pipes are coming up through the floor and use caulk or crack sealer.
- Check holes under kitchen sink
- Get draft excluders on the bottom of doors.
- Seal Cracks around door frames.
2. Traps / Poison / Ultrasonic
Traps – These kill the mouse and keeps them for you to discard.
Poison – The mouse takes the bait and then seeks out water, so supposedly will leave to find it. This doesn’t happen 100% of the time. So you may find a dead mouse after several hours of tracking down that smell!
Ultrasonic – I’ve heard people say these are useless and I’ve had good results from some myself.
No matter which you choose, make sure these areas are covered (be careful that pets aren’t going to take the bait or get snapped at)
- Attic / Loft
- Crawl Spaces
Ants love my cabin for some reason. You can spray outside, but that’s a never ending job, or you can lay down ant baits. Supposedly, the ants will take the poison back to the nest and eventually the colony will die out making it theoretically a longer term solution. I’ve had some success with this, but it seems that not all ant baits are created equal. It’s trial and error trying to figure out which ones actually work, plus they can take several days to see results.
Never leave your trash outside unless you have a lockable trash can. Racoons will devour trash bags and leave a nice mess for you. Get lockable trash cans or dispose of trash as soon as you take it out.
These can really play heck with your wood or paint work. Plus they are very annoying. Some people swear that dotting some carved owls around will scare them away.
Do what you can to keep these at bay. A neighbor of mine was infested with bats. They found a way into his attic under the eves and that’s where they set up home. The smell was not pleasant and the mess they make will take a lot of effort to clean up. Check local laws, they might be protected! To keep them away, you can try the ultrasonic devices and make sure there are no easy points of entry to your attic!