So you spend time and money creating the perfect landscaping to compliment your home, but to your dismay, that same landscaping is immediately being attacked by animals! Read below to see how you can help your garden and landscaping thrive.
- Deer and Rabbits-
Probably the worst of the offenders on this list. Mature deer can eat 6 to 10 pounds of food daily, and your garden is a prime spot for nutrition. Luckily there are multiple ways to keep the deer out of your yard.
- Build a physical barrier. Fences are the most effective method you can use to keep deer at bay. Unfortunately, deer are jumpers and a motivated deer can leap as high as 8 to 12 feet. You can also use row covers that you place over plants so deer can’t reach them. Covers work well with shorter crops, like squash, lettuce, or bush beans.
- Dogs are a great way to deter deer but be aware that a constant barking dog won’t stop them for long. Deer quickly find out if a dog poses a true threat and will ignore non-stop barkers and dogs that are kept in a run.
- Chemical and natural repellents can also be effective in deterring deer from eating your plants. Research shows that repellents that emit sulfur odors provide the best control. Also repellents applied to leaf surfaces are more effective than those that release an odor intended to create a perimeter. Just be aware of applying repellents to veggies and herbs that you’ll eat. Make sure to follow label instructions carefully so you don’t risk making your harvest inedible.
- Finally, plant some crops around the edges that deer don’t like. Rhubarb, asparagus, garlic, rosemary, and oregano, are all crops that deer do not like. By planting these around the edges, you can deter deer from reaching your inner garden.
As we all know, there are many poisonous snakes found in yards every day. These snakes can be a potentially deadly threat to our pets, family, and friends. However, some snakes can actually benefit your landscaping, gardener snakes can help keep unwanted visitors away from your garden, and black snakes keep the mice away. Check with your local authorities to see what kind of snakes are indigenous to your area.
- Keep your yard free of clutter. Snakes like to find warm and dark places to hide. Piles of leaves, compost piles, straw mulch, wood chip mulch, stacks of firewood, and piles of cut grass are all perfect places for them to burrow. Make sure to remove these items from your yard to prevent snakes from invading.
- Avoid tall growing plants. Just like clutter, some shrubs and other plants provide the perfect hiding spot for a snake. Shrubs and packed gardens with thick plants will also attract snakes. If you are concerned about a potential snake problem, remove or thin these plants out. If you want to keep the plants, consider moving them to the far side of your yard, away from the foundation of your house.
- Remove ground-level water sources. Some snakes are actually drawn to water and can even be found in the water. Large puddles should be drained before they attract any snakes and ponds should be positioned away from the house and monitored closely. Even bird baths can be an issue because they attract insects and rodents that attract snakes.
- Remove pest issues and patch up any holes. If you have a mice or large insect problem, your odds of a snake problem also increase. Those issues can also be caused by holes in your home or foundation. Check carefully around your house and patch any openings that may be found.
- Use repellents. Chemical repellents can be purchased online and in most home improvement stores. Some repellents are more effective with different species, so it’s important to do your research. Also, these repellents can be dangerous for people, other animals, and the environment. Make sure to carefully read the label and follow the directions precisely.
The best deterrent to raccoon activity is prevention. Raccoons will seek out homes where food is easy to find.
- Seal garbage cans tight. Raccoons have opposable thumbs and can remove any loose or broken lids. Use locking garbage can lids, or secure garbage cans in a shed or garage.
- Don’t feed them. If you have pets, feed them during the day and don’t leave their food or water dishes outside.
- Control access. Inspect your house carefully and seal any holes that may be found. You may want to consider a professional to seek out and cover these places.
- Scare tactics do not work. Don’t even try, they may temporarily work but the raccoons will always find ways around them.
- Natural repellents are the only approved repellents when trying to deter raccoons. Using coyote urine or mothballs, you can deter raccoons by creating a predator-prey environment.
- If you see a raccoon during the day, move erratically, or aren’t afraid of humans, they may have rabies. If you suspect there is a rabid raccoon on your property, contact your local wildlife control immediately.
Stopping moles from invading your yard is way easier than getting rid of them. Moles may not eat any of your vegetation, but they can cause unsightly, and potentially dangerous, tunnels through your yard. Moles have very good hearing and can see perfectly in the dark, which makes it tricky to stay ahead of them.
- Moles are diggers. While they don’t eat any of our vegetation, they actually do something worse. As they burrow around your yard they destroy the root structures of plants. Not only will that turn your lawn brown, when pressure is put on the topsoil, the tunnels collapse making long ruts in your yard. One solution is to lease a spike aerator. Using a spike aerator breaks up the grass’ roots, and by punching up holes at regular intervals, you’ll split apart the thatch that builds-up underground.
- Consider replacing some of your lawn with rocks. Moles feed off of insects below the ground and by removing the lawn, you remove their food source. Landscaping with stone is not only nice to look at, but very low maintenance.
- Use castor oil to ward off moles. Go to a home improvement store and purchase a big bag of castor oil granules. Spread the material around your yard as directed.
- Looking for something more natural? Plant borders or clusters of euphorbia, castor beans, marigolds, and fritillaria around the yard. Moles do not like these types of plants and will avoid them at all costs.
- If you are unfortunate enough to have amole invasion, place traps throughout your yard. Be careful if you have kids and/or pets playing in your yard, you may want to forego the dangerous traps and use live catch traps.
Animals are a part of life and you will never truly be rid of them. However, if you follow the tips above, you may be able to deter them from visiting your landscaping. Talk with your custom home builder about ways to prevent pest attacks and visit www.joyconstructioncompany.com for more information.