If Vervets visiting your property are a problem to you, make every effort not to leave any food around that will encourage their presence and make them less cautious of humans. This applies both inside and outside your home. For example, if you feed the wild birds in your garden try to do so at random times so that there is no routine that the Vervets can get accustomed to, otherwise they will be waiting for you at your bird table each day.
Vervets will enter homes to eat fruit and other food kept on counters, sideboards, tables, etc. Keep fruit and other food concealed when Vervets are about.
If your house is left unattended, doors and windows should be kept closed or only slightly ajar so as to prevent Vervets from gaining access. Windows fitted with mesh or insect-proof screens will keep Vervets out but still allow air circulation.
If you are having a children’s party or run a crèche or day-care centre and the children are given food, sweets or biscuits out of doors, ensure that adults are present to discourage Vervets from harassing the children for their eats. If there are Vervets in the vicinity it is advisable that, where practical, the children finish eating indoors before going outside. Edible leftovers should be cleared away as soon as possible so that Vervets are not attracted to the garden whilst the children are playing there. Vervets harassing children for their eats can be easily chased off by an adult with a squirt bottle or water pistol. Dog food left over after the dog has eaten, or which is left out all day, may attract Vervets.
How to deal with an “unwanted” Vervet presence
Use your hosepipe to squirt them. You can reach them on your roof, in the trees and at a distance when they are on the ground. They hate being hosed and will run away. Squirt – don’t spray!
A water pistol or squirt bottle aimed and squirted at the monkeys inside or close to your house is very effective.
Vervets are easily shooed away simply by walking towards them and waving a small towel, dishcloth or other similar item. Don’t be intimidated if they stand their ground and threaten you. They will turn tail and flee as you get closer!
Monkeys are naturally wary of snakes, so realistic rubber snakes placed around your home or garden can discourage them. Don’t leave a rubber snake in the same spot too long otherwise the Vervets will get used to its immobility and ignore it. Attach a length of thin nylon or string to the snake and tug it into “motion” when the Vervets are close to it.
Pointing a gun-like object at them will usually send them scurrying away.
Dogs can be a deterrent to Vervets. However, if a dog does actually catch a Vervet this could result in very serious injury to the dog and Vervet. Dogs should be trained not to physically attack the Vervets.
Vervets usually fear men more than they do women so, if possible, the Vervets should be chased away by men.
Insect-proof screens on windows and doors serve an additional function of keeping Vervets out of homes. Plastic mesh on windows and security doors/gates is also easily fitted and very effective provided it is approved by SEHOA.
Prevent foraging in refuse bins by securing the lids with a convenient but Vervet-proof clip or strap. Sprinkle Jeyes Fluid inside, on the outside or around refuse bins and bags. Refuse skips covered with shade cloth and treated with Jeyes Fluid will deter Vervets.
Tin cans containing a few stones and tied at intervals along a length of string, which is laid through a garden and attached to a fixed point, then yanked hard when the monkeys are close, will chase monkeys out of a vegetable garden or flower bed as the cans leap noisily into the air.
A piece of hose, with holes in it, swung around whilst advancing towards Vervets will frighten them away.
NB. Pellet guns and catapults are a scourge – Vervets shot with pellets rarely die instantly. Instead the pellets cause injuries that result in a slow and agonising death over days and weeks. Stones, steel or lead balls, marbles, etc., shot at monkeys with a catapult cause severe and life threatening injuries such as smashed eyes and broken bones. Shooting at monkeys with paintball guns can result in serious and even lethal injuries; it is illegal, unnecessary and very cruel – DON’T DO IT!!!