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6 ways to keep critters out of your garden

6 ways to keep critters out of your garden
Posted at 9:50 AM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 04:50:44-05

Small critters, like squirrels, rabbits, moles, rodents, larger creatures, such as raccoons, deer or bears, and even pets roaming the neighborhood can damage your garden and lawn. You can often distinguish the type of animals destroying your greenery or produce with paw or hoof prints, the destruction left behind, such as tunnels or bark damage, and even their droppings.

Once you determine what has gotten into your garden, you can start taking steps to keep them out. Following are some of the safest, most efficient ways to deter all sorts of critters, from using the best deer repellent to choosing plants they’ll leave alone. Combining multiple deterrents might be the best course of action.

Apply Repellent

There are several types of animal repellent for critters of all kinds, from deer to snakes to cats and dogs. They have traits specific to warding off those creatures, usually related to their scent or taste.

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For instance, the best deer repellent will have an odor that frightens or disgusts the animals, while mole repellent can upset the creature’s stomach, nudging it to look elsewhere for meals.

Install Fencing

An unfenced garden is practically an invitation for various creatures to come and dine. Therefore, a fence too high for the animals to jump over and close enough to the ground for them not to crawl under is best.

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In addition, make sure the fence is sturdy and unlikely to be knocked down. Wire across the top of the fence might thwart climbers, as well.

Spread Netting

Covering your garden bed makes it difficult for many critters to enjoy a meal, encouraging them to find a more accessible snack in another yard. Netting, barrier fabric and mesh can protect your plants from even small varmints and birds.

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Lightweight row covers and protective frames can also serve double duty. They will prevent hungry animals from enjoying the fruits of your labor and avoid damage from the elements.

Employ Chicken Wire

Wire mesh, such as chicken wire, has many potential uses in your garden. For instance, you can wrap it around trees to keep rabbits or deer from eating the bark or make a cage over tempting plants.

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In addition, you can lay it on the ground under mulch to keep burrowing animals out or to keep cats from digging in your garden bed.

Grow Unappealing Plants

When choosing plants for your garden, try incorporating some that the critters in your area aren’t fond of. For example, lavender, daffodils and rosemary are have an unpleasant flavor to many animals.

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A gardening expert or your local extension office can likely provide ideas for plants that grow well in your area. Then, you can “camouflage” your garden with a border of unappetizing greenery and flowers.

Please Don’t Feed the Bears (or Rabbits, or Deer … )

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Whether you opt for using the best deer repellent, building a fence or another deterrent, one tactic you should avoid is providing alternative food for the critters, no matter how adorable they look.

Not only is human food unhealthy for wild animals, but feeding them can lead to other issues. For instance, they can lose their fear of humans and become aggressive. In addition, when many animals visit one spot, the chance of transmitting diseases to each other, or you and your pets, increases.

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