The last thing you need is some furry creature munching on the garden you worked so hard to create. Here are some strategies for making destructive four-legged visitors unwelcome in your yard.
No Groundhog Day in Your Yard
A groundhog (woodchuck) has taken up residence and the pest control company wants a couple hundred dollars to remove him. What the pest control company won’t tell you is that it’s easy to stink a groundhog out of his home—for zero cost. Each day when you scoop out the cat boxes in your house, dump that foul-smelling debris down Mr. Groundhog’s hole instead of throwing it into the trash can. After a few days of this treatment, the groundhog will pack up and move. Once he’s gone, pour rocks into all of the entrances to the burrow so no other animals will decide to move in.
Keep Bambi Out
Yes, they are cute but a family of deer can wreck havoc on your yard. What to do? Put the shotguns away. Save your money by saying no to high-tech gadgets like strobe lights and noisemakers, expensive repellents, and tall, ugly fences. Instead, arm yourself with eggs. Deer hate the taste and smell of raw eggs, which is why many popular commercial repellents feature stinky egg solids as the main ingredient.
Deer Repellent Recipe:
- Crack half a dozen eggs into 2 quarts (2 litres) water.
- Mix well, until all the yolks are broken and blended with the water.
- Sprinkle the raw-egg mixture on the leaves of the plants you want to protect.
- The mixture should remain effective until the next rain. Reapply after that.
Other odours that deer don’t like:
- Try hanging cheesecloth bags of stinky socks, deodorant soap, or human hair in the garden.
- Choose plants to keep deer away. Deer also don’t like to brush against certain aromatic plants. So try planting artemisia, lavender, and Russian sage as a natural fence line.
- Plants deer dislike: begonias, cosmos, daffodils, foxgloves, irises, marigolds, peonies, snapdragons, and zinnias, along with shrubs and trees such as boxwood, holly, juniper, lilac, pine, and spruce.
Tell Thumper to Hit the Road
Numerous sprays and powders are sold to deter rabbits from the garden, but many of these are not safe for use on garden vegetables. A rabbit-proof fence is the best protection for your vegetable garden. Use chicken wire, and make sure the fence’s bottom is buried by at least 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm), otherwise the rabbits will tunnel underneath it. The fence needs to extend at least 30 inches (76 cm) above the ground.
Try These Other Rabbit Deterrents:
- Remove brush piles and other hiding places for rabbits. Clean up spilled birdseed from feeders.
- Post realistic-looking rubber models of snakes or owls in the garden, or cut an old hose into snakelike lengths and coil them among your plants.
- Hang dog hair in cheesecloth bags or distribute it among the plants to frighten away rabbits. Strong-smelling soaps are also said to deter rabbits.
- You can buy coyote or fox urine to spread among plants, fooling rabbits into thinking a predator is nearby.
- Remember, rabbits aren’t dumb. Eventually they will figure out they’re safe from each of these deterrents, so you’ll have to mix up.
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