Keeping trespassers off your land may be one of the most common problems you’ll face as a landowner. Unfortunately, the fact that trespassing is illegal and doesn’t stop people from doing it. Trespassers can be travelers with vans, ricks, caravans, protesters, and groups like drug users or homeless people. In addition to inconvenience, they can cause legal and financial issues for you.
Here are the 11 best tips on how to scare trespassers and protect your property.
Know Your Land
You can’t know if someone is trespassing your property if you don’t know how big your land is. Take time to inspect your land and its exact boundaries — walk the boundary lines and ensure they match the legal description. If you’re unsure where your land begins and ends, get it surveyed.
Mark Your Land
Once you determine your property lines, add identifying paint marks on posts and trees. Be sure to put vertical lines of at least eight inches in length and one inch in width. Place these marks at no more than five feet from the ground. Also, keep the marks 100 feet apart on forest land and 1,000 feet apart on other types of land.
Install a Fence
You should clearly mark the property’s boundaries so that trespassers know it’s private property. Installing a simple chain-link fence is good enough to mark the perimeter. However, you may need permission from your neighbors to install a fence since it will be bordering their land, too. Also, check on ordinances related to fencing construction in your municipality. You may need permission from the local government before moving forward with the fencing project.
Put a “No Trespassing” Sign on Your Property
When thinking about keeping people off your property, the most obvious solution is to let people know they are on private property. This often means putting up signs every 25-50 feet along the property lines. These signs serve as legal notice to ensure that you can enforce your boundaries if discovering a trespasser and deciding to prosecute. However, keep in mind that each state has its regulations on posting the signs, so make sure to inform yourself before taking the following steps.
Limit Access Points
You can reduce the likelihood of trespassers assessing your property by limiting its access points. First, think about the pain points of your property. Evaluate where someone can enter your property. Also, determine what points are most vulnerable to trespassers. Then, address those areas using gates, fences, plants, or other barriers to limit the access.
Screening plants can serve physical borders. It’s simple — if someone can’t see your property, it’s less likely they will enter it. As a result, you’ll enjoy the much-needed privacy. If you want to build an effective barrier, consider using a combination of shrubs, trees, and perennial grasses. That being said, the plants will lose their foliage throughout the year, so this is not a long-term solution.
If you want to quickly take care of the problem, plant annual grasses such as pampas grass or corn. These grow fast and tall, so you’ll have a visual screen in just a few months. Evergreens and deciduous trees are a good choice if you’re looking for more permanent barriers.
Install Security Cameras
Security cameras installed in spots where people can easily be seen will likely deter trespassers. You can even post a sign on your fence that you’re using security cameras. Gate cameras are usually the most useful. The motion of opening and closing the gate activates the camera, which records everyone who comes in and out. Cameras are also helpful in cases when a trespasser commits theft or vandalism. The footage can serve as evidence to file charges against a trespasser.
Invest In Good Lighting
When thinking about how to scare trespassers, good lighting is an obvious choice. When a property looks easy to enter, trespassers may be tempted. On the other hand, they might be put off if they know they can be easily seen. Therefore, don’t underestimate the good lighting. Strong, bright lights make it harder for trespassers to sneak onto a site and easier to expose them.
Team Up With Your Neighbors
The neighbors are often the greatest resources. When you close the deal on the plot of land, go around and introduce yourself to the neighbors. Tell them that you’ve bought the vacant land next door and let them know how you’re planning to use it. Also, make sure that you’ll be respectful of their boundaries and expect them to do the same. Neighbors aren’t likely to trespass, but they might be dealing with the same problem. So, you can team up and form an alliance to reduce the occurrence of trespassing in your neighborhood.
Get a Dog
A dog is indeed a man’s best friend. They can bring you joy in your life and keep you and your property safe. Consider getting a dog and keeping it outside your property to scare off potential trespassers. Even if someone decides to enter the property, the dog will bark loudly, warning the entire neighborhood about the intruder.
Prosecute the Trespassers
If someone trespasses, press charges against them. There will always be non-law-abiding persons who believe they have the right to cross your fences. They may disregard your warnings but by prosecuting them, word will get out. People will know that the person illegally found on your property will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. In addition, this will serve as a reminder they shouldn’t try the same.
How to Keep People Off Your Property: Final Thoughts
Keeping trespassers off your property isn’t impossible, but it does take a good approach that you should implement right from the moment you buy the land. The tips we’ve provided are proven to help prevent trespassing and unwanted people from entering your property. Read them carefully and take the necessary precautions to protect your land investment as soon as possible.