Planting and growing vegetables, flowers and flourishing fruits can be an incredibly rewarding hobby, but it can also attract many wild animals. Many hungry critters will try to find their way into your garden reaching your edible plants while leaving your crops damaged. Animals can be very persistent, so keeping them away from your garden can be a real challenge. But don’t worry – there are many methods you can use to ward off animals from entering your garden and keep your plants save.
Try Using Animal Repellers
Animal repellers are products designed to keep certain animals away from yards, objects, farms or other animals. They work by taking advantage of an animal’s natural aversion to something and they’re often something the animal has learned to avoid in its natural environment. Generally, animal deterrents are inexpensive and can keep specific types of critters away from your garden. There are artificial and natural deterrents, so you can switch it up if necessary.
Some of the most commonly used artificial deterrents are ultrasonic animal deterrents that effectively scare away unwanted animals, birds, insects or other pests from your garden. These devices are equipped with an infrared motion sensor and as soon as animals enter the protected range, the device starts emitting high-frequency sound waves that are claimed intolerable to rodents.
However, humans and pets cannot hear them. Ultrasonic deterrents are usually equipped with solar panels as a power supply so you don’t need to worry about charging them every day or two. If you want your ultrasonic animal deterrent to work in all weather conditions, make sure that is water-resistant, windproof, rustless and sun protective.
If you are wondering if this device is safe for animals, the answer is yes. It releases ultrasonic signals to disturb the animals’ neuro-system but it doesn’t harm them. One great advantage of using this type of deterrent is that it is programmed to detect around 160 different animals such as rats, raccoons, cats, dogs, squirrels, deer, fox and others. That way, they won’t be able to sneak around in your garden anymore, destroying your flowerbeds, eating your veggies, chewing your plants or using your trees as back scrubbers. Some of these devices come with LED lights that turn on when some little furry thief approaches your property.
Chemical repellers fall into two main categories, odour and taste. Odour repellers mimic natural substances that repel animals, like essential oils of lavender, mint, garlic and others that work better in the warm seasons. On the other hand, taste repellents are designed to taste bad to unwanted animals and work better during the cold months. They can be bitter or spicy hot and are designed to stop animals from chewing and licking things they shouldn’t. However, the downside of using taste repellers is that they work after the animal has taken a bite from the plant. So, if you don’t want to see your plant nibbled on at all, use an odour repeller or a combination of both.
Castor oil is multi-purpose vegetable oil that people have been using for years. Back in the old days, mothers gave their children this oil to regulate digestive health. Nowadays, castor oil is mainly used by gardeners to repel voles, moles and other digging and tunneling animals such as armadillos. Using castor oil as pest control is a natural, non-toxic way to cast away these unwanted digging animals without hurting them or causing poisonous chemicals to build up in the garden. But how do you use castor oil? It’s simple. You just need to apply it directly to the soil once a week. This way it will be most effective in controlling animal damage in your garden.
The smell of garlic can be really annoying. Especially the smell your mouth emanates after eating it. So if you think that this specific odour doesn’t bother animals, you are wrong. There are animals that seem to stand this powerful smell, but there are others to which this smell is as repelling as it is to a vampire. Anyway, controlling garden pests with garlic as an animal deterrent is a low-cost, not toxic solution and it can be done quite simply.
There are many ways to use garlic as a pest control. The most common is to make a homemade garlic spray. If you want to be successful in repelling the unwanted insects or animals from your garden, spray the plants once a week or even twice if it rains frequently. Spray only the parts of the plants that are infested, so that way you will not harm any beneficial insects. It is also advisable not to spray when it’s near harvest time unless you want your lettuce to taste garlicky.
Another way to use garlic as animal deterrent is to use garlic clips. These are handy clips that can be easily attached to trees and shrubs. They are long-lasting and designed in a way that garlic odour comes out but the rain doesn’t come in. They are made with concentrated garlic oil, a thousand times stronger than garlic, so just imagine how hungry rabbits and deer react when they come in contact with these powerful garlic repellent clips.
Another way to ward off these animals is to use predator urine as an animal deterrent. Fox urine works best for repelling small mammals like squirrels, rabbits and cats while coyote urine and the urine of larger predators is a better choice for deer and other larger animals.
However, according to some gardeners, predator urine is not always the best solution to pest problems, as herbivores may become habituated to scent repellents and return to the area. That is why is better if you switch off your deterrent every three or four weeks which might help. But when an animal is hungry enough there is nothing that can stop it reaching your edible plants. Anyway, you can always try using multiple animal repellers simultaneously or set up a fence or netting system.
Preventing Your Pets from Becoming Your Pests
If you own a cat or a dog, you will surely share your garden with them. As animals tend to be wary of other animals in the area, keeping a dog or a cat can be an effective method for warding off unwanted animals. Your dog can easily scare small critters or larger breeds of animals, but it can also cause a mess in your garden.
However, if you don’t want to end up with dug up plants every time you leave your dog playing in the yard, installing a wireless ground electric pet fence would be a win-win solution for both of you. That way, not only your plants will be safe, but your pet as well. Cats make less mess but tend to ward off smaller animals. Their urine has a specific smell that scares away rabbits, gophers or voles. Anyway, they cannot be trained like dogs and will less likely guard the area.