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Protect Your Lawn and Garden From Animal Pests
There are times when trying to grow anything in your yard might seem like waging a war against armies of garden pests. Just when you get a handle on insect control, rabbits hop into your vegetable patch, while tunnel-loving moles dig under the lawn and into your marigolds and zinnias. No matter where you live, garden pest control can become complicated and expensive as you experiment with ways to keep animal pests away from your garden buffet.
Controlling animal pests in the garden
Before resorting to drastic and dangerous measures, try eco-friendly solutions first. Animal garden pests are smart and should not be underestimated.
- Fencing — Large animals, such as deer, foxes, skunks, coyotes and dogs can be kept out of your yard and garden with a well-maintained fence. Go one step further and electrify the fence for double protection against pests in the garden such as raccoons and feline climbers. Other gardening tips include adding chicken wire or hardware cloth at the bottom of the fence, and extending 1 foot below the surface, to keep out burrowing animals.
- Netting — Bird netting is a very effective way to protect plants from animal freeloaders. The downside is that you’ll have to remove the netting for harvesting or to work on the plants because new growth has lifted the netting. Any undetected net movement can open a hole that quickly turns into an invitation.
- Traps — While trapping, relocating and releasing animal garden pests sounds like a humane solution, it’s not very practical if the animal you want to move is a skunk. It’s also not a good idea to get close to certain animals that are prone to rabies. Rather than using this method yourself, consider hiring a company that specializes in this service.
- Animal repellants — Gardening tips include many suggestions for animal repellants that can be effective short term. Materials suggested include animal fur, blood meal, castor oil, garlic clips, hot pepper products and predator urine. How effective they really are depends upon whether you’re able to watch what happens firsthand. If you want to try a commercially made repellant, read the label to determine if it can be applied directly to food-bearing plants, the frequency of application and water hardiness.
You can forget about a scarecrow, hanging clanging objects and loud music as a deterrent to pests in the garden. As soon as the animal discovers that there is no real danger, their effectiveness is lost.
Keep in mind that animals come into your yard and garden seeking food. Don’t unwittingly attract garden pests by feeding your pets outdoors. Other gardening tips to prevent animal garden pests include making sure that your garbage can lids fit tightly, that you use enclosed compost containers and that you always clean your barbecue grill after every use. Many animals will inhale remnants from last night’s steak or chicken dinner.
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