The ultimate guide to deterring garden pests naturally

Peter McNish

How to protect your garden from animals 

What can a wildlife loving gardener do when their peaceful haven has been taken over by rabbits, squirrels, cats and other furry creatures who like to cause mayhem? Your first reaction might be to turn into Elmer Fudd. However, we have some better natural alternatives.

How to deter squirrels

The best defense is a good offence holds true when it comes to squirrels. Of course, you can still use squirrel-proof feeders to stop them stealing your bird food, but it might also be worthwhile thinking about supplying squirrels with their own food source, well away from where you keep your bird feeders or flower beds.

Squirrels take great pleasure in digging up and gnawing on prized bulbs. To prevent this, plant your bulbs at double their own height and place some chicken wire just under the surface of the soil.

How to deter rabbits

Rabbits usually come out when they have protection from predators. Remove tall grass, brush piles, rock piles or low growing shrubs around your home. Furthermore, blocking openings beneath porches, low decks and sheds will prevent easy access for them.

To stop rabbits from jumping over or burrowing under your garden fence, make sure it rises at least two feet above the ground and buried three to six inches below the ground.

How to deter cats 

Stray neighbourhood cats can be irritating for gardeners across the nation. With fencing being an ineffective method for deterring cats, your best course of action is to make your garden look as unappealing as possible. Chicken wire, again, under the surface of the soil, will stop them using your flower beds as toilets and make for some uncomfortable walking. Using a motion-activated sprinkler will also discourage them from snooping around without causing them harm.

How to deter dogs 

A really handy hack for deterring dogs is using used coffee grounds and dissolving bitter orange into it. By spreading it around your vegetable and flower beds, you will not only be repelling your pooch but also keeping away snails and cats, whilst fertilising your garden at the same time!

A low picket fence can also act as a great physical and visual barrier for dogs if you have fear for your flowerbeds.

Try not to go overboard when deterring your dog from the garden - they can act as one of the best guardians against other pests.

How to deter pigeons 

When you feed birds in your garden with a variety of different bird foods, you will attract a cross section of species. One of these species, unfortunately, happen to be the pigeon.

The key here is to prevent your pigeons or larger, bully birds, from reaching your bird food. Hanging bird feeders are arguably one of the best ways of deterring pigeons, as they are usually too big to effectively use them.

However, as smaller birds use hanging feeders, you will notice that sometimes the seed will fall onto the floor when the feeders are shaken, therefore still attracting pigeons.

By fitting a seed tray or base tray under your feeder, spillage is captured and can be replaced in the feeder.

Alternatively, place a bucket underneath the feeder and cover it with some wire mesh. This will collect all the seeds whilst keeping the greedy pigeons at bay.

With no access to food in your garden, they will quickly realise it’s time to move on.

Final thoughts

Defending your garden from pests might feel like a never ending battle. However, the result of perseverance will result in beautiful flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables and endless hours of bliss plodding away in your garden. If that’s not worth it, then we don’t know what is!



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