7 strategies that keep wildlife out of your garden

July 27, 2015

The best tactics against garden wildlife is to stop the problem before it starts. Here's how to keep all manner of critters away from your garden:

7 strategies that keep wildlife out of your garden

1. Rabbits

Protect certain areas, such as a vegetable garden, with chicken-wire fencing. Bend the bottom 7.5 centimetres (three inches) of the wire outward and bury it in the soil to prevent burrowing.

2. Deer

  • Place 2.5 metre (eight foot) deer fencing around the entire area.
  • Or try spraying shrubs with a mixture of one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent, one egg and one litre of water. The smell, repulsive to deer, is imperceptible to humans.

3. Squirrels and raccoons

  • Put rounded baffles on bird-feeding posts to deter squirrels.
  • Secure garbage can lids to keep out raccoons.

4. Mice and rats

  • Never use rodent poison in homes with small children.
  • You might be able to reduce a mouse population by eliminating their food supply or at least their access to it. Put pet food and bird seed in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Keep garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Don't feed birds in summer. They have many other food sources and the seed can attract rodents.
  • Keep outdoor areas clean and free of garbage
  • Regularly mow grassy and weedy areas to minimize potential nesting sites.

5. Birds

  • Drape mesh over fruit trees and strawberry patches just as fruit begins to form.
  • Build a chicken-wire fence, complete with a mesh roof, to keep birds out of a vegetable garden.

6. Snakes

These beneficial reptiles help control rodents. Few are poisonous. However, if poisonous snakes are a problem, use a commercial repellent and eliminate habitats, such as wood or rock piles.

7. Burrowing animals

Moles, voles, gophers, shrews and other burrowing animals improve soil texture in your garden. If they aren't damaging plants, it may be best to live with them.

Some notes on poisons

  • Using poisons is dangerous as they pose a dire threat to children, pets and other animals you may not be targeting. What's more, they're only marginally effective.
  • Using a trap to capture or kill an animal is illegal in many areas.
  • To find out about your local laws, check with the local animal control office.

It's best to prevent them from invading before it turns into a problem, and it's better if animals stay out of your garden. So follow these tips to encourage them find other places to live.

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