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Animal Pest Control

Various wild animals can be severe pests around the home, garden and farm. They include armadillos, skunks, squirrels, deer, wild hogs, opossums and others. Hot pepper (dry or liquid) will repel many of these beasts. Garlic pepper tea has worked to keep raccoons away from trash cans.


Deer can be repelled with human hair and some gardeners have used single wire electric fences to keep them away from landscape plants. Deer Scram is an effective commercial product.


Dogs and cats are best repelled by spraying or drenching a tea made by soaking their poop in water. Sounds gross we know but it really works.


TIP: Use FREE CD's for pest control
"Living on a farm outside of London (Ont.), our vegetable garden is constantly being attacked by voracious deer and rabbits," writes Lesley Fitzpatrick of, well, a farm outside of London, Ont. "Last year, my husband strung wire around the garden and dangled AOL CDs at regular intervals all the way around. It worked like a charm. The slightest motion would set them stirring, reflecting the smallest amount of light and scaring the critters away. Too bad it doesn't work on weeds."


Question: We planted a 5-gallon Shumard red oak about four years ago. It has grown very well without any problems. Recently, I noticed that the bark has been chipped away nearly all the way around the bottom of the tree. Upon inspection, I see that there are several joints where the bark is gone. What is happening to our tree and what should I do?




Answer: It looks like animal damage, which can cause severe injury to trees or shrubs. If the damage is all the way around the trunk, the tree will not survive. To prevent this problem in the future, increase the health of the soil and the tree by following an organic gardening program. A photo you sent indicates that this tree is planted at least 6 inches too deep. Its root flare should be exposed, and any circling and girdling roots should be removed.







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