Sometimes deadbolts and alarm systems just aren’t enough to deter thieves. But there are outdoor security measures you can take to prevent property loss at the hands of a burglar. While pleasing to look at, landscaping can do more than enhance your home’s outdoor aesthetic. Consider whether your current setup promotes security or makes your home more appealing to thieves. Use these landscaping security tips to help prevent your home from becoming the target of a burglary. Here are 9 ways you can help protect your home with a well-planned landscape design.

 

  1. Use plant deterrents. Thorny shrubs and bushes like holly or roses help thwart would-be burglars. Plant barrier shrubs, which are any plants that have sharp leaves or spiny thorns. These help make your property less attractive to robbers. Common areas to plant them include along your property line — this helps to force intruders or trespassers toward visible, “official” access points like your driveway where you’ll be more likely to see them — and under your windows.

 

  1. Prune vegetation regularly. Unkempt hedges provide hiding spots where perpetrators can lurk. Prune back any stands of ornamental grass, hedges and shrubs in your front yard to a height of 2 feet or less. Plants that are taller than this are commonly used by robbers to sneak up to your house without being seen by you or your neighbors.

 

  1. Trim the trees. Leave sufficient distance between tree branches and the roof or second-story windows to limit intruder access. Leave a clear line of sight to windows or doors. Blocking these views leaves your home more vulnerable to break-ins.

 

  1. Invest in accent lights. Illuminate your yard to eliminate potential hiding spots. Check monthly to verify that any existing lights on the exterior of your house are in working order. Consider installing automated lights that turn on with a motion sensor, focusing the lights on access areas to your home, such as a side door or your garage door. Install additional lighting. Don’t just rely on the porch light. Consider adding motion-sensitive lighting to help ward off possible intruders.

 

  1. Put gravel beneath ground-floor windows. Burglars rely on silence; stepping on gravel can be a startling repellent.

 

  1. Protect the back door. Many thieves try this less obvious point of entry first.

 

  1. Replace solid privacy fences. Solid fencing helps intruders go undetected. Partial privacy fencing is a more secure option.

 

  1. Lock all gates. It seems obvious, but it’s still worth a mention. Keep front and back gates locked at all times. Lock up your garden shed and always store garden tools, such as shovels and hammers, under lock and key. Such landscaping tools are commonly used by robbers to break windows or force entry into your home.

 

  1. Keep your grass mowed, yard raked, flowerbeds regularly weeded and your mail picked up. An unkempt lawn or newspapers and mail on your front step often signal to robbers that you aren’t home often. If you plan to travel, hire someone to maintain your landscape while you’re gone.