Harvesting delicious summer fruits and vegetables shouldn’t come with a constant fear of deer, rabbits, birds, and more getting the first taste. No one trying to enjoy a relaxing day of golf wants to worry about dodging goose droppings everywhere they step. Neither do the friends you invited to the lake for a day spent on the dock.
Installing a fence may seem like the easiest option, but these barriers don’t always do the trick when it comes to determined critters, and they aren’t the most cost-effective. Deer can hop a tall fence, and rodents can tunnel underneath. Considering a spray repellent? While this option is another seemingly simple choice, non-organic sprays risk harming your plants, soil, and can be potentially dangerous to pets.
No matter what animal is paying unwanted visits to your lawn, garden, or dock, these tips for keeping pests off your property are a great place to start.
Identify a Pest’s Natural Predators
First, identify the unwanted animal you’re dealing with. Next, figure out the predators of that animal. Coyotes are natural predators of many of the most notorious yard and garden pests including rodents, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and even geese.
Here’s where Garden Kojo comes in. Developed specifically for areas plagued by pesky pests, Garden Kojo isn’t just a good choice for home gardens. Stationing a decoy on golf courses, near ponds, or in yards with a goose problem will prevent the birds from choosing your property as a safe place to call home.
Developed specifically for areas plagued by pesky pests, Garden Kojo is a good choice for home gardens, golf courses, ponds, yards, and more.
Taking it a step further, audio deterrents such as predator calls are another viable option and can be used with a decoy to further control your goose problem. Can’t get your hands on a coyote decoy or predator call recording? Colorful flags or pinwheels that move easily in the breeze and loud wind chimes are effective alternatives.
While having a real coyote hanging around your lawn isn’t ideal, attracting smaller predators of garden pests can actually be a win-win for you and the predators. Say you have a rodent problem in your backyard. Building nesting boxes for owls or bats not only reduces the number of rodents you’re dealing with but also provides a comfortable home for other non-invasive animals.
Don’t Sweep Away that Extra Hair
As it turns out, many of the animals visiting your yard don’t like the texture or scent of human hair. Pay a visit to your local barber shop and sprinkle that discarded hair around the area you’re trying to protect. You can even gently work some of it into the soil when you’re in the early stages of planting for an added barrier and a natural fertilizer.
Do keep in mind that if you’re going to add hair into the soil, only use unwashed, chemical-free hair. Colored or chemically treated hair still works great as a pest deterrent when scattered around your garden, but can harm your plants if added to soil.
Repel Pests with Herbs and Strong Scents
If you’ve tried the above options and animals are still feasting on your garden, it may be time to plant things they don’t like to eat. You can do your best to harvest fresh fruits and veggies before critters have a chance to eat them, but certain plants can discourage them from entering in the first place. Animals and insects don’t like to smell extremely pungent herbs such as oregano, mint, garlic, and lavender. Plus, these natural pest deterrents add to the beauty and variety of your garden.
Animals and insects don’t like to smell extremely pungent herbs such as oregano, mint, garlic, and lavender.
If you don’t want to plant an herb perimeter around your garden, spraying essential oils around the area can also do the trick. Scents like rosemary, lemongrass, and spearmint will help keep insects away. Adding castor oil directly to the soil will also keep insects and burrowing animals away from your garden, and spraying your plants directly with vegetable oil repels pests with the greasy texture.
At-Home, Quick-Fix Repellents
If you’re looking for a quicker solution, there are plenty of items you most likely already have around your house such as coffee grounds or unused fruit that you can try instead.
Just as hair can act as a natural fertilizer, coffee grounds are another sustainable solution for your garden. The rough texture keeps smaller pests like snails and slugs from reaching your plants.
Citrus is an excellent natural deterrent. Instead of tossing leftover lemon and orange peels, scatter them around your garden. Blending garlic cloves with water and spraying the solution directly on your plants also works similarly to herbs and essential oils. The strong smell keeps pests from choosing your yard as a snacking spot. A drawback of this method, however, is the toxicity of garlic to some beneficial bugs and certain animals when ingested.
Not a fan of spicy foods? Most pests aren’t either, which is why cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes are tried-and-true deterrents for many garden invaders. One bite of a plant sprinkled with the spice will keep unsuspecting critters from sampling something else in your garden. A diluted solution of water and red pepper flakes sprayed directly on plants and yards will also deter a wide variety of animals.Get creative! Try mixing your own concoction of garlic spray, essential oils, and hot peppers to see what works best for the pests on your property.
Try mixing your own concoction of water plus fresh garlic, essential oils, or hot peppers to see what works best for the pests on your property.
These are just a few of the ways you can deter animals from your garden or lawn without using a fence. If just one repellent isn’t working for you, mixing and matching some of the above options might do the trick.
For example, station Garden Kojo in your garden and sprinkle some hair around the perimeter for an extra line of defense. Just remember that no matter which options you test on your own property, don’t give up if the first attempt doesn’t work out. Nature is unpredictable, and the animals in your area may respond differently to certain repellants. Through trial and error, you’ll find the perfect fit for you.