Nine Remedies for Controlling Animals in the Garden
Help? I have animals in the garden.
So how do we keep animals out of the garden? There's a lot of stuff out
there that is recommended.
There are a lot of products out there that are supposed to work on rabbits and deer. These products
smells like rotting eggs and I'm told it works fairly well if used
according to directions and sprayed regularly.
Hanging bars of soap is often recommended and regularly pilloried as
not working. It is an old recipe and recommendation.
Human hair is similarly recommended and disparaged. You're supposed to
hang it in small bags in the trees around your property so animals in
the garden smell it and avoid the area.
Fox or Coyote Urine
Fox or coyote urine in spray bottles is available – mind you, if you have foxes
already this might not help. But I note that foxes are after the
rabbits and mice so they are good guys. Foxes (of the animal kind)
do't usually eat vegetables.
And no, I have no idea who "collects" this stuff. ;-)
"Dad-watted wabbit," said Elmer Fudd
Some herbs and herb concoctions are reputed to repel all kinds of
animals in the garden in some form of companion planting
Ammonia sprayed and left in dishes at the animals path into the garden
will deter four legged critters (including cats) but it must be
Spraying XXXXX (insert your own recipe) from ammonia to rotten eggs to
soap is recommended by all kinds of gardeners.
Electric and Standard Fencing
Electric fencing works if installed at the correct heights and
maintained. Keeps out anything large as well but is ugly.
Fencing, built horse high and pig tight, is the single most effective
solution for creatures.
Row cloth used for frost protection will offer some protection from
predators but you'll have to put it on and take it off every night once
the weather heats up.
Electronic gizmo's of high- frequency sound and water spraying
controlled by electric eyes are used by many gardeners and they claim
these work well.
They work when the electronic eye senses movement and then activates
another device. This device could be a water sprayer or electronic
sound generator (ultra high frequencies painful to animal ears used on
dogs, cats, raccoons, etc). These have good reviews except of course by
the mailman that gets sprayed by cold water (or you when you forget
about it and walk into the electronic beam).
Turning on the electronic sound maker and leaving it on is not as
effective as using a control device. Animals are reported to becoming
accustomed to the constant sound and the device loses effectiveness.
Bottom Line On Sprays
The bottom line on all these spray products (except fencing) is they
might work for a short time until the animal becomes accustomed to the
smell. If the animal does't sense a problem associated with that
smell, then the smell stops working.
The products require regular renewal – rain and dew take away the
They ALL work if there is't enough pressure from the animals in the
garden (too many animals competing for food.) Once animals are really
hungry, their need for food outweighs any unusual smell.
If they learn your garden simply smells funny but tastes good, well,
your garden is a weird smelling cafeteria – thanks very much for the
and cats control suggestions are here
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Doug's Bottom Line
I know this frustrates gardeners no end. But the bottom line here is
that the animals were here first and we're trying to survive along with
them. Animals in the garden can be a challenge or a delight; I guess it
depends on the animal.
Use physical methods of control (fencing) for best results against animals in the
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