How to control garden pests and varmints?
- coll Mar 31, 2014 01:49 PM
It was only last year, my third year with an open raised garden, that something discovered the bounty within. Racoons maybe, it seemed to be overnight. Until late last summer I didn't have to worry about anything, but I am sure they are now looking forward to this summer and making plans, and will probably be starting even earlier.
My local farmer had told me that the only thing that works for him is playing an AM radio talk station all night, it scares them all away. Works better than scarecrows or barbed wire he says.
I am ready to go to war...what works for you?
I had problems with raccoons a couple of years ago, a fishing buddy runs a pest control business, he let me use a couple of his live traps. He also advised me to leave a radio on. I baited the traps with the oil from canned tuna fish. The traps worked.
His live traps were ~$75 each, I purchased 6 DP Coon Traps for ~$20 each. I didn't have problems with raccoons last year, but in February I saw 3 on the road. The DP traps are deployed but I haven't seen any evidence they are on my property. I did catch a couple of skunks and a weasel so far this year. I am not playing the radio now, I don't know if it worked, and it took some getting use to, "hearing voices outside at night". I tried sports talk and settled on Mexican Music. I joked with people, that I would find the raccoons sitting in front of the radio listening to Rush Limbaugh, doing fist pumps.
With the live traps one has the option to relocate the prey, with the DP traps, the prey has to be killed.
every few weeks -- I see that should have been "dryER lint"!!
the hair and dryer lint will degrade pretty quickly -- I toss it into my compost bin, too, where it acts as a brown.
Another idea I've heard that works very well, but have not been desperate enough to try....I've also heard that pouring human urine around the perimeter of the bed will keep critters away, too. Some send their husbands and boys out to wee around the edges, some collect it and carefully pour it along the edges (old milk carton or similar) Makes infinite sense, but I've never had critter problems quite that bad....
The AM radio works; it doesn't have to be loud.
Hair and dryer lint will work if the birds don't gather it to incorporate into nests. Dog hair is especially effective.
If you can buy it in large containers for not too much money (Big lots, etc), crushed red pepper flakes, liberally, liberally sprinkled works well.
I have heard, anecdotally, that urine perimeters work. So far it hasn't come to that at my house. :-)
Finally, if you have "prickly" perimeters, that helps....zucchini on the outside edges, etc.
I have a groundhog burrow a few feet from my veggie garden. I blocked it with stones and small logs to no avail. In desperation I even peed down the hole!! I felt a bit like Bill Murray in Caddyshack. Finally I just erected a substantial wire mesh fence around the garden which is fairly small. Success!!
You can buy relatively inexpensive electric fencing--look for it in the pet department, not in the farm store. 'Training' is important for electric fences--depending on what you are trying to keep out, hang bacon on it, smear it with peanut butter (before you turn it on!) or drape some apple slices over it. One sniff or bite and beasties will hightail it out of town.
And it doesn't permanently injure them, just scares and smarts a little.
For more money, you can buy electrified poultry wire.