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Critter Problems

 In this Series 

Houseplant Helper

Here is a list of common garden animal pests and methods for controlling them.  Chemical, mechanical and "home remedy" treatments are covered.

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Mice, Rats and Voles


PestChemical TreatmentMechanical Treatment

DeerMouse.jpg (145x83 -- 3037 bytes)
Deermouse

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Rat

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Vole

Poison Baits containing bromadiolone or brodifacoum

Predator Deterrents:  

Grapefruit-sized clumps of dog and/or cat hair dispersed throughout planted areas

Bobcat urine in scent darts around perimeters.

Home remedies:

Nestle's Quick and polyfilla:  mix 50-50 and leave in areas where it will remain dry but where rodents are active.

Remove hiding places:  exclude from storage areas and foundations by using concrete, metal and hardware cloth shielding, cut down and clean up heavy vegetative and brush areas, tall grasses, woodpiles, etc. where they hide.

Remove food supply: do not leave pet food, birdseed, human food, where they can get it.  Seal garbage in heavy metal or plastic containers, eradicate grubs and soil (voles).

Protective devices:  for voles use tree and shrub guards made from hardware cloth buried at least 6 inches below the soil surface around trees and shrubs.

Traps and glue boards.  Use hotdogs, marshmallows, peanut butter, bacon, chocolate with nuts for bait.

Vibrating and sonic devices:  mixed reviews on the success of these.  A number of them will be required around your property.


Moles


PestChemical TreatmentMechanical Treatment

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Mole

Poison Baits containing bromadiolone or brodifacoum

Predator Deterrents:  

Bobcat urine in scent darts around perimeters.

Grapefruit-sized clumps of dog and/or cat hair dispersed throughout planted areas.

Home remedies:

Hollygirl's: Mix a bottle of " Peppermint oil" with " cayenne pepper"( 1 Tbsp).  Add about 6 cotton balls to soak mixture up, then put down holes of moles.

"Humeseeds Mole formula"1/4 cup castor oil, 2 Tbsp of liquid detergent soap.  Blend together in a blender.  Add 6 Tablespoons water.  Blend again. Apply where the moles are active:  Mix 2 tablespoons of the solution into 1 gallon of water.  Pour it into the problem area.  Lots of Castor Bean plants in the garden drive them away too!

Eradicate grub and soil insects.

Traps. (see above)

Sheet metal:  push sheets 1 foot into the ground through active tunnels.

Flood tunnels.

Vibrating and sonic devices:  mixed reviews on the success of these.  A number of them will be required around your property.

"Yard Doody"  Put used kitty litter or dog doo into the tunnel openings and push the soil in on top of it.  Also, break through the ground into known tunnel locations and do the same.  Faithfully applying "doody" will eventually convince them to relocate.


Squirrels, Chipmunks, Rabbits, Raccoons, Skunks, Opossums, and Armadillos


PestChemical TreatmentMechanical Treatment

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Squirrel

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Rabbit

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Skunk

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Armadillo

Poison Baits:  are not generally available and often illegal.  Check regulations for your area.

Repellants:  containing Denatonium Saccharide or Polybutene.

Predator Deterrents:  

Grapefruit-sized clumps of dog and/or cat hair dispersed throughout planted areas.

Bobcat urine in scent darts around perimeters.

Home remedies:

Naptha:  for pests nesting under foundations, etc., lots of mothballs or flakes in the area are effective.  Once they clear out, see Remove Hiding Places in next column.

Hot pepper seeds:  sprinkle crushed dried cayenne peppers around plants.

Hot pepper spray:  steep 1 cup crushed chilies in 1 gallon water in covered container in the sun for 7 days.  Strain and use as a spray on foliage.  Keep topping up water level as it is used.  Add more crushed chilies as heat dissipates.

Deer and Rabbit Repellant:

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 1 tsp. Tabasco or Habanero pepper sauce

  • 5 to 7 drops liquid antibacterial hand soap

  • 1 gallon water

Preparation

Puree the egg yolks, add a teaspoon of Tabasco or Habanero pepper sauce and pour into gallon of warm water. Squirt 5 to 7 drops of liquid soap into mixture. Apply to bark of trees, shrubs and around base of flowers and vegetables. Reapply after heavy rainfall or as often as necessary.

Remove hiding places:  see above

Remove food supply: see above

Distractions:  Provide corn, peanuts, etc. away from from bird feeders and garden areas.  

Baffles:  Place bird feeders at least 8 feet away from branches and overhangs, and 6 feet off the ground.  Use squirrel baffles on pole mounted feeders. Place plastic pipe and squirrel baffles over ropes or wires suspending feeders.

Animal-proof trees:  place 2-foot wide metal bands around them, 6 feet off the ground.  Or wrap trunks with metal sheeting or using baffles to keep the squirrels from climbing the tree. Remember to allow for tree growth when applying wrapping.

Fencing:  Protect vegetable gardens by surrounding them with a fence of 1-inch mesh wire at least 30 inches high. The fence should extend 6 inches below ground, with an additional 6 inches bent outward at a 90-degree angle to discourage burrowing.

Electrified fencing:  As above, but set at least two electrified strands, one 2 to 6 inches above ground and the other at fence height, off the fence about 3 inches.

Protect bulbs and container plants:  Cover newly planted bulbs and container plants with l-inch mesh poultry wire over the plantings.  Soak bulbs in a squirrel repellent before planting; apply.  Apply repellents to tops and sides of containers.

Traps (see above)

Hose 'em - Yardiac.comimage-1299407-7285555 (1x1 -- 50 bytes) has The Water Scarecrow - effective only on larger mammals.

Soap:  Hang bars of strongly scented soap from the branches of trees and shrubs. Place the fragrant bars in mesh bags and secure with twine or rubber bands. 


Gophers and Groundhogs


PestChemical TreatmentMechanical Treatment

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Gopher

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Groundhog

Poison Baits:  Strychnine and anti-coagulant baits must be placed in main burrows.

Fumigants:  used in sealed tunnels.

Predator Deterrents:  

Bobcat urine in scent darts around perimeters.

Grapefruit-sized clumps of dog and/or cat hair dispersed throughout planted areas.

Home Remedies:

Bloodmeal:  not sprinkled on soil, but put in open tubs with water added and lay a number of these throughout the garden.

Humeseed Mole Formula:  listed above is reported to work on gophers.

Fencing:  Protect vegetable gardens by surrounding them with a fence of 1-inch mesh wire at least 30 inches high. The fence should extend 6 inches below ground, with an additional 6 inches bent outward at a 90-degree angle to discourage burrowing.

Electrified fencing:  As above, but set at least two electrified strands, one 2 to 6 inches above ground and the other at fence height, off the fence about 3 inches.

Traps, Flood tunnels, "Yard Doody" (see above)

Flushing:  Flush the animals from their burrows, then fill entrances with large rocks. 

Vibrating and sonic devices:  mixed reviews on the success of these.  A number of them will be required around your property.


Deer


PestChemical TreatmentMechanical Treatment

 

deer.jpg (100x98 -- 2273 bytes)
Deer

Predator Deterrents:  

Bobcat urine in scent darts around perimeters - husband urine also reported to work.

Grapefruit-sized clumps of dog hair dispersed throughout planted areas.

Home Remedies

Rotten Egg Spray:  In a blender, combine 2 or 3 eggs and 1 quart of water. (Some recipes also call for 1 cup of SKIM milk).  Then pour the mixture into a container with enough additional water to make 1 gallon. Spray on plants.  Or use recipe above.

Wettable sulfur—an organic disease control sold at farm and garden stores. Mix according to label instructions and spray away on new or young plants.  Reapply the spray after rain, watering and heavy dew. 

Hot Pepper Spray:  see above.

Soap ornaments:  Hang bars of soap on tree branches.

Large Pet Dogs!

Fencing:  The only way to keep deer out is an 8 to 10 feet tall fence. Deer will clear anything lower with relative ease.   Use chain link, electrical wire or tape, and plastic mesh for fencing. 

The best is a slanted wire fence—at least 36 inches tall on the outside that slopes inward to a width of 69 inches. [To find a dealer near you that sells this type of fencing, contact Gallagher Power Fence, Inc., (800) 531-5908, or go to gallagherusa.com.]  Or use two rows of fences spaced about 4 feet apart, and at least 5 feet high.

Noisemakers: hang aluminum foil, aluminum plates, mirrors, wood that hits objects in the wind, or string vibrating tape from stakes or between trees.

Human hair:  Gather human hair (from beauty or barber shop) and hang in mesh bags from your trees or from stakes around your garden.

Hose 'em - Yardiac.comimage-1299407-7285555 (1x1 -- 50 bytes) has The Water Scarecrow  - effective only on larger mammals


Cats


PestChemical TreatmentMechanical Treatment

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Gardeners Supply
Cat Scat, set of 5

Repellants:  containing Denatonium Saccharide or Polybutene.

Predator Deterrents:  

Bobcat urine in scent darts around perimeters.

Grapefruit-sized clumps of dog and/or cat hair dispersed throughout planted areas.

Home Remedies

Hot pepper seeds:  sprinkle crushed dried cayenne peppers around plants.

Soil barricades:  chicken wire laid over newly planted beds or crumpled up between plants; rose canes laid on soil; wooden or plastic stakes stuck in soil between plants.

Hose 'em- Yardiac.comimage-1299407-7285555 (1x1 -- 50 bytes) has The Water Scarecrow - effective only on larger mammals.

Try the Cat Scat, set of 5


Birds


PestChemical TreatmentMechanical Treatment

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bird problems


Not many besides poisoned baits.

Predator Deterrents:  

Feline-based predator deterrents work, but must be reapplied often.

Noisemakers: hang aluminum foil, aluminum plates, mirrors, wood that hits objects in the wind, or string vibrating tape from stakes or between trees.

Noisy dogs and large feral cats!

Pretend Predators:  Owl, hawk statues and fake snakes - moved often or ones that are animated.

Bird netting:  placed over trees and shrubs with ripening fruit.

Hose 'em - Yardiac.comimage-1299407-7285555 (1x1 -- 50 bytes) has The Water Scarecrow - effective only on larger mammals.


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