You’ve probably noticed that you’re not the only one interested in your garden. Dealing with unwelcome animals is a common problem, including deer, rabbits, squirrels, and even slugs. Once they find something good to eat, they’re persistent in coming back. So, here are ten ways to effectively (and ethically) keep wild animals out of your garden.
1. Homemade Garden Spray
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Animals rely on their sense of smell to lead them to attractive fruits, vegetables, and flowers. One way to prevent them from chowing down on yours is by creating a homemade solution; mix one part vinegar, one part coffee grounds, and one part water. Spray it on leaves and surrounding soil (don’t worry, it won’t hurt the plant). This mixture creates a bitter-tasting substance that many pests do not enjoy, and coffee grounds are a natural fertilizer for your garden!
2. Unpleasant Plant Aroma
Some flowers, such as marigolds and lavender, are known to discourage wildlife from approaching your garden. Their scent is unpleasant to most pests; plant them around the perimeter of your garden. Several herbs and Perennials like garlic, onion, daffodils, and sage are also great plants to deter unwelcome critters.
3. Animal Byproducts
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Another way to keep pests out of your garden is by sprinkling animal byproducts (blood bone or bone meal) on top of the soil. When animals smell it, they are alerted that a peer has already claimed that space. Additionally, the byproduct is also a natural fertilizer!
4. Faux Animal
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Staging a fake animal in your garden, like an owl, causes many animals to think twice before approaching since one has already established dominance in that space. This method works well with smaller animals, but try a large faux animal sculpture to keep deer away.
5. Wind-Powered Objects
Incorporating an object that constantly creates movement, like pinwheels or ribbons, deters small animals from your garden. Insert stakes approximately 3 inches into the soil, and stagger multiple pinwheels/ribbons to capture each direction the wind might blow. This approach is simple, harmless, and adds to your greenery!
6. Chicken Wire or Trellises
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To keep your vegetable garden from being an all-you-can-eat buffet, try chicken wire to block off access by building a wall around your garden. Or, if you do not like the look of chicken wire, you can use trellises! It is a great way to keep your plants out of sight of wildlife while avoiding the unattractive look of metal fences.
7. Motion-Activated Sensors
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Installing a motion-activated sprinkler or floodlight can stop wildlife from approaching your garden, especially at night. A sudden bright light seems unnatural to nocturnal animals, so this startling change hinders them from stepping foot on your property.
8. Cat Litter and Talcum Powder Mixture
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For ground tunnelers, like moles, slugs, and groundhogs, mix urine-dense cat litter with talcum powder (the key ingredient in baby powder) and pour it down the holes or on mounds. The intense smell of the talc will make them uncomfortable, and the cat litter will give them a clear warning sign that a predator is nearby. You can also sprinkle the mixture around the soil to prevent insects from attacking your plants' leaves.
9. Human Hair
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The scent of unwashed human hair can deter small animals (like rabbits and snails) away from your garden. Wrap it in the cheesecloth or nylon sock, tie the bundle to a stake, hang it from a tree, or hide it within your plants. Some shampoo scents attract animals, so it's best to use unwashed hair from your hairbrush, or ask your local salon for hair trimmings.
10. Ultrasonic Sensors
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An ultrasonic sensor uses inaudible (for humans and some dogs) high-pitch frequencies to avert them from your plants. You can place them in your garden or right outside, which is one of the most effective ways (and it does not harm the animal). However, be aware it might make some dogs uncomfortable as well.
Wildlife in your garden is a common issue, but learning how to manage it can improve the success of your flowering season. Which tactic will you be using? Comment below, or share with us on social media!