Three Systems of Electronic Pest Control for Controlling Larger Garden Pests
Electronic pest control devices come in several different forms and the results of these can be quite variable.
Here';s the basics of what I';ve learned from my readers over the past few years.
Electric fences run by the new electronic systems are extremely useful in some cases if you follow a few simple guidelines. The first being that the fence can';t be used in any public area where casual passers-by will get zapped. Let us avoid lawyerly entanglements here – you do not want to zap neighbors (well, maybe you do) but it will cost you. And postal workers do not cross electric fences.
Having said that, if you coat the wire with peanut butter, an electric fence will be investigated by every animal that passes by – from deer to raccoons to skunks. They will not be amused by the shock they';ll get. The trick now becomes one of setting up the electric fencer so the animal can not jump it – get under it or bypass it in some way. Generally this means putting it on top of a solid fence so the climbers get zapped when they';re trying to get to the top. It means putting it back a few feet from the solid fence if the problem is jumping deer. It means having several strands if wandering dogs are the issue.
Do not allow the grass to grow up and touch the wire as this will provide a ground and the fence will not be effective.
I can recommend electric fencing as a first step in electronic pest control for big animals
Sonic Torpedoes Electronic Pest Control
Sonic torpedoes have been used successfully by gardeners for some time now. These short bits of pipe are stuck in the ground and the battery operated vibrator puts out a vibration and electronic squeal that deters moles and voles. Keep the battery charged up and I';m told they have worked very well for gardeners. (I';ve never used one – having had a herd of hunting cats at my disposal).
Electronic Sound Deterrents
Electronic Sound Deterrents are electronic pest control devices that emit a specified sound frequency that is a high pitched squeal – just within the hearing range of some people but high enough to be out of the range of most of us. This squeal is designed to be able to be heard by animals however.
The theory is that different animals respond to differing frequencies so the more expensive units have variable frequency controls.
The expensive units also come with a motion detector so the sound only comes on when an animal triggers it. This prevents the animals from getting used to the sound. If it only comes on when they invade the space, they soon get the message to leave. (the sound masks the sound made by other predators so animals are wary of entering zones where they can';t watch out for their own safety – it is also said to be an unpleasant sound)
The range and reach of these devices differs from unit to unit.
These work. I have seen them keep raccoons away from their nests. I have not seen them work on other animals but I';m told by other gardeners they do. Where they fail is if the unit is left on constantly and the animal gets used to it. I';d be tempted to use either a motion detector on the electronic pest control device or a clock timer so the unit does not run continuously.
If trying to eliminate dogs, cats and squirrels from the garden, a motion sensor will be appropriate, if trying to eliminate smaller creatures such as mice from a basement, then a timer may be more appropriate.
Word of Caution
If you purchase a unit to deter dogs and cats from your yard - remember that the neighbor's pets will be hit every time the unit comes on - whether they are on your property or not. This could become a problem.
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