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5 Wildlife Control Tips for the Home Garden

Is your garden being destroyed by certain animals? Looking for wildlife control tips for your garden?

You might be having problems with bunnies, coons or other wildlife wrecking havoc in your garden? For me, the main animal trying to destroy my garden is bunny rabbits. 

For years, I’ve tried to keep them out of my early spring garden. It seems like they just love to endulge in my delicate early spring crops, such as peas and spinach. 

And I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years, which I will talk more about later on in this post. I’m going to discuss ways to keep all sorts of animal pests out of your precious gardens. 

In this post, I will give you:

  • Wildlife Control Tips for managing animal pests and growing a great home garden.
  • Tips for keeping animals out of your vegetable gardens that are low cost and humane. 
  • This will include how to keep animals out of garden without fence (since we all know fencing can get expensive).

Wildlife Control Tips

Why Care About Harmful Wildlife Control Tips? 

Let’s start with why? Why should you care and be proactive about protecting your garden from wildlife? 

Well, it highly depends on your goals for your garden. Think about why you want to garden. Write them down if you have to. 

If your answers included:

  • I want to provide food for my family.
  • Or I want to be able to provide income to support my dreams by selling produce.

Then, why wouldn’t you want to keep your garden from being destroyed by harmful animals and insects? For reals, my friend. If you’re OK with allowing these adorable rodents in YOUR garden because they need to eat, too…well then you obviously don’t care that much about the above two items. 

Because if you let one in to eat, you’ll have 10 more by the end of the week. Rodents keep coming back when they have found a smorgasbord and they bring friends. Why stop a good thing when you got it??

So, if you’re with me by becoming proactive to control these pesky rodents and larger animals from using your garden as an all-you-can-eat buffet, stay right here and keep on reading. The first of the tips for keeping animals out of your vegetable garden is to know which animal you are dealing with. Let’s cover the most wild animal list into classes naming the most destructive animals names. 

Climbing Rodents

Difficult to keep out, these rodents will climb any fence you put up. Except if it’s electrified or loose that they can’t climb. 

The most common problem we have with climbing rodents around here is coons in the sweet corn patch. But most sweet corn growers around these parts will put up an electric fence, which helps immensely. 

  • Woodchucks
  • Raccons
  • Opossums
  • Squirrels

There’s also repellents out there and other tricks out there that could be used to keep these rodents away from the electric fence. Also, you might be able to trap them in live traps. More on that later. 

Tunneling Rodents

Frustrating little varmints! I lined the bottom of my garden fences with wood posts and these tunneling rodents still burrowed under and got into my pea crop. I have a few tips on keeping them in check. But first, here’s the animals you might be dealing with in this class. 

  • Gophers
  • Chipmunks
  • Moles
  • Voles
  • Mice & Rats

Now for control methods. You have to start at the bottom and wire mesh is the best way to keep them out. If you have new raised beds, you can line the bottom of it with wire mesh before you put the soil in and plant the plants. This will keep them from burrowing up into the raised beds. 

Another trick is to use cages around your plants. Once they are in the garden, they will eat the leaves and fruit of the plants. You need to protect the vegetation, so chicken wire cages are a great idea. 

Here are some other rodents you might be dealing with. 

Other Rodents

The most annoying of all creatures fall into this category. And the stinkiest. 

  • Skunks
  • Bunny Rabbits

Bunnies can fit through small holes in your garden fence, so I line my garden fence with chicken wire. For the skunks, the best is to probably live trap. Just be careful you don’t get sprayed!

5 Wildlife Control Tips

Jumping & Flying Animals

The next group is difficult to control because they use air to their advantage. 

  • Deer
  • Birds

Of course, birds can fly and deer can jump fences. The best mode of action for deer is a taller fence with barbed wire on top. You can electrify barbed wire to help. 

For birds that steal berries, there’s a covering you can throw on berry bushes, trees, etc that will keep the birds from stealing the fruit. 

Pets

Your dogs and cats might be special and fuzzy feel good to you. But when it comes to your garden, you really need to keep them out. Why?

Both animals adore digging and your cat will use it as a big litter box. This can change the pH and nutrient level of your soils and make your veggies difficult to grow anything. 

I also have a dog that loves to lay in my flowers during the heat of the day. So, he’s smooshing my beautiful flowers, which is just not ok with me.

Therefore, I strive to keep my pets out. And pets are pretty easy to keep out. You can put an invisible fence around your garden or use a real fence.

Insects

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of beneficial insects in your garden. However, there are a lot of bad ones, too. I think you know which ones I’m talking about. 

If you don’t, read here for information about tomato horn worms.

And read here to learn about cabbage worms that will destroy your cabbage crops. 

It’s very hard to minimize insects in the garden without chemicals. However, here’s some ways for keeping pests out of vegetable garden naturally:

  • Crop Rotations
  • Using Beneficial Animals
  • Planting beneficial plants that deter bad insects. 

All of these tricks are very doable and worth trying. Keep reading and in the next couple of sections, I’m going to leave a link to my post about beneficial animals in the garden. 

Let’s talk about those 5 ways now for how to keep rodents out of your garden and (better yet) how to keep animals out of your garden naturally. 

1. Minimize Attractions Around the Garden Spot

Check the area around your garden. Do you see brush piles or tall grassy areas which could be nesting areas for wildlife? Do you see trees for climbing animals to nest? 

Also, do you see holes near your house or buildings? These are great spots for burrowers to hide. Do you have a compost pile nearby? This will also attract animals, such as coons and opossums. 

Do you have feeding spots or feed stored nearby for feeding livestock? Chances are, there’s feed on the ground that will attract birds, squirrels, mice and bunnies.

These are just a few tricks and tips for deterring these animals away. The next tip is to use other animals.

2. Using Beneficial Animals to Control Harmful Ones

Ahhh – My favorite way! I have 7 favorites, actually. 

Two of them for sure are actually pollinators, which help the health of the plants themselves. The other 5 are insect and rodent eaters. 

They include: Bats, snakes, owls and more. There’s nothing more natural than continuing the food chain. 

For further reading about my favorite 7 beneficial animals to keep in your garden, go here.

3. Trapping

Many home gardeners will trap their problem rodents and animals with live traps. This is a pretty humane way to get rid of problem rodents. 

You can either use traps that kill the animals or ones that just trap them and you can release them back into the wild. I don’t agree with the latter because I think they would just come back to your garden. But some gardeners I know do this and it works for them. 

Trapping is an art and a science. You have to know which animal you’re dealing with here so that you can use the right trap.  You also need the right bait that will be used to get the animal to come into the trap. Again, look for droppings, movement, tracks and you might even be lucky enough to catch it in the act. 

4. Poison & Repellants

If you have pets, I would highly not recommend using poisons for obvious reasons. Even if you have a fence, your cat or dog could high jump or squeeze through and lick it up. Then, you’ll have more problems on your hands. 

Other poisonous items that act as a repellent but are dangerous to kids and pets are moth balls. We use moth balls to deter mice and rats from our grain trucks and it works pretty well. However, you just need to be careful with kids and pets around. 

Other temporary repellents include:

  • Garlic Clips
  • Castor Oil
  • Predator Urine
  • Hot Pepper Products

You do need to keep in mind that these repellents will fade away. You’ll just need to keep reapplying them to remain effective after so many days. 

Repellent Plants for repelling squirrels and other wildlife include:

  • Hot Peppers, such as jalapenos and chili 
  • Castor Bean 
  • Fritillaria 

Finally, I’ve known several gardeners to use visual and loud scaring devices. These include:

  • Motion-Activated Water Sprayers 
  • Ultrasonic repellers 
  • Motion-Activated Noise Makers
  • Reflective Tape
  • Faux Predators 

There’s always (more than likely) chances that these poisons and repellent will be adaptable by the wildlife over time. Therefore, you’re going to have to change up your methods. Luckily, I’ve given you options. So, just bookmark this post and keep coming back for more ideas. 

5. Fencing

The above strategies were how to keep animals out of garden without fence. Well, I think fences are necessary in some cases. Even if they are fairly expensive. 

My garden is worth a lot to me since it is the majority of my income for the year. I want to protect it in the best way, so I’m using fencing. You can build your own garden fence, too! Here’s a couple of the fencing products I use on different garden spots. 

Chicken Wire Cloche for Seedlings 

Polyethylene Mesh 

Chicken Wire 

Now, I’ve mentioned above about the burrowing animals and fences. They will burrow under, so it’s important to watch out for that when your garden is young. If you have burrowing animal issues, you might want to install a cement or rock wall underground or dig out your garden and line with the chicken mesh wire. 

All-in-all, the important thing is to just scout your garden, notice when you have a problem and act accordingly. Be Proactive. 

wildlife control tips

If You Love Your Garden and Want to See it Survive…

You’re going to have to be proactive if you have a problem with animals in the garden. You need to figure out which type of animal is doing the damage to your crops. 

Look for holes that go down and up through the garden. You can also look for holes in your fence and droppings. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch whatever animal is stealing from you. 

Then, you can take action and implement one of the 5 wildlife control tips I mentioned above. I hope you found these tips for keeping animals out of your vegetable garden and fruit crops helpful. 

~ Much Love ~

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What are your Best Wildlife Control Tips that you have used for protecting your garden?


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