Curb appeal has an entirely different meaning for a burglar. Rather than admiring your prized petunias and flagstone walkway, he’s looking your property over to see if he can find cover as he tries to access your home.
Here’s how to plan your landscaping to make your home unattractive to burglars, prowlers and other unsavory types:
Mark your territory.
Mark the point where your private property begins with a fence, gate, wall or a line of plantings—a hedge of thorny bushes can go a long way to discouraging unwanted advances.
Be sure, though, that the enclosure is low enough to keep your home visible—from the street and to passersby—so a burglar can’t go to work without being seen.
Make some noise.
Install pea gravel around the perimeter of your house for an audible alert when someone is snooping near windows. Each step on a pea gravel path makes a crunching sound, which blocks a criminal’s ability to prowl silently around your home.
Put plants on the offense.
Install foundation plants that have thorns or spikes (think rose bushes and cacti) to create a hostile environment that could scratch or entangle a potential burglar. You can also use climbing thorny plants along fences for the same effect.
Eliminate hiding places.
Trim bushes near your house so they’re low enough to see over (three feet or less). Trees should be pruned so you have a clear line of sight across the property. If you have trees right next to your house, make sure the low-lying branches can’t be used for a boost up to a second floor or attic space.
Light it up.
Illuminate walkways, entryways, driveways, garbage and recycling storage, and any other areas where you want to see someone approaching your home. Motion-activated lights are convenient for hidden spots and can alert you to a potential problem outside.
Landscaping as a way to protect your property from criminals is something homeowners often overlook when they’re putting together a safety plan. But it can mean the difference between a burglar hitting up your home, or moving on to the next.