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Vegetable Gardening: Cat Scratch - Gives Me a Fever!

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MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 12, 2012
6:37 AM

Post #9120797

She's a beauty but she will dig in my gardens and it's *so* annoying. I have some hardware cloth and am thinking of enclosing the bed, it's long and narrow, probably 15' x 2.5'. I would need to factor in a couple of gates so *I* can get in but that's adding complexity to the project. I've also thought of laying chicken wire in the bed. Anyone have opinions on what works as a cat deterrant? She has two - count 'em - two litter boxes but prefers the garden.

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gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 12, 2012
9:11 AM

Post #9120946

This link might give you some ideas! I always remember reading something about citrus peelings and it is listed below as well:

http://www.cat-repellant.info/html/diy-cat-deterrents.htm

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2012
4:35 PM

Post #9121293

I guess keeping her inside full-time isn't an option?
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 12, 2012
5:05 PM

Post #9121326

I think it's mean. She loves to bask in a sunny spot. We often see her up on the roof, facing east and greeting the morning sun.

gardadore, thanks for that link, there are some interesting ideas there. I can't see any of the 'deterrant by fragrance' lasting more than a day or so in our sun. I'll forget to refresh and all will have been for naught. Fencing or chicken wire in the bed is probably the only way. Sometimes folks have an idea that never would have entered my brain cells, so hoping for some of that enlighenment. :-)))
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 12, 2012
5:44 PM

Post #9121366

My son lives in Scottsdale and when I see the amount of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit his trees produce you would have a year's supply of citrus peelings and they could dry out every day just to be replaced the next! If you have any citrus trees in your back yard they might be useful for part of the year. Just throw the peels into the garden and enjoy the delicious fruit! It is always a treat when we go out at the time they are producing!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2012
7:18 PM

Post #9121479

Mary ~ I have five girlies that are indoor/outdoor cats.
Yours is very pretty ~ tortoise shell marked?

When I first till or plant the raised beds, I cover the beds with cattle panels laid flat, I feel chicken wire would work also. I just happened to have the cattle panels from a dismantled plant shelter.

I've noticed when the plants get larger, the cats avoid the beds unless there is a bug they want to chase.

I also use short pieces of bamboo that I poke into the open areas of soil to discourage them.

If I plant a smaller new plant, I have some of those wire hanging baskets that are lined with coir. I long since composted the coir and turn the basket upside down over the newly planted items. That keeps the pets away from a specific plant. I also have a couple of those old wire egg baskets that I use in this manner.

Hope you are able to find a solution for your kitty and your garden. Kristi

I also have a small area (removed from the vegetable beds) that I plant catnip, oat grass, etc. This is their area and they guard it jealously. It is like they know that is an acceptable spot for them.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2012
5:09 AM

Post #9121790

gardadore, I have no citrus trees in my yard. Thank you for taking the time to reply, it's appreciated. The area I need to keep her out of is too large for a 'scented solution' but in another area that may work.

Kristi, She's not a tortoise shell, just a grey tabby. Covering with cattle panel type stuff is probably the best idea, augmented with bamboo poles, milk crates, etc. And I'll plant som catnip and oat grass for her. Do your cats lie in it? Do they use a litter box? Thanks for the note.
jomoncon
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9a)

May 13, 2012
5:37 AM

Post #9121812

The neighborhood cats used my flower bed as a giant litter box. I used black pepper as a deterrent. Just went to the dollar store and bought a bunch. It worked great until it rained.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 13, 2012
6:31 AM

Post #9121878

Black pepper might be a cheap and easy solution. I'll keep that in mind here too if needed.

Five cats, three litter boxes should be no waiting...

They will lay around in the oat grass but also will graze it. I find all cats like to eat grass like we eat salads but if mine eat outdoor grass they barf. Seems easy for them to digest the oat grass which is marketed as cat grass. We have a boy cat at work too and I plant him a pot of oats occasionally. He wants his catnip dry. The catnip is an great attractant and the cats will chew on it and roll in it, sometimes so avidly they will kill the patch so I also keep some in a pot. Hopefully you won't make it so inviting, the neighborhood cats will come over...

On using the cattle panel overlays, I also use that as a planting grid. As the plants get larger, it is easy to remove.

The first photo is a bed that I had planted potatoes with winter arugula still in this end.
The next one is one of those wire baskets turned upside down on a new dill planting.
The third is a recently planted bed so you can see how a planting grid would be easy.
The fourth is a grown and mulched bed but if you look to the bottom right, edited to change to bottom left or as DH says ' your other right' lol . you will see a basket that I set in there to protect a newly planted herb.
The last one shows some of the bamboo stakes.
Hope that isn't overload but it works for me...

This message was edited May 13, 2012 8:37 AM

Thumbnail by podster   Thumbnail by podster   Thumbnail by podster   Thumbnail by podster   Thumbnail by podster
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MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2012
6:49 AM

Post #9121903

That's great, not overload at all. Great ideas. I love the third picture, not what I though a cattle panel was. I have two more of these white trellis thingies...the former owner placed these 'gates' across the arches that surround the patio. We do not understand why he would want to block passage - we took them out and opened up the patio nicely. I'll dig out the other two and place them in the beds. It will work for now, just to keep the cat out. It's 104 today so I probably won't get much planting done.

And I'll hit the dollar store today for a good supply of black pepper. Thanks jomoncon...doesn't rain much here. :-\

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
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stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 13, 2012
7:34 AM

Post #9121962

Pod, I should've known that you'd come up with the idea to use the cattle panel as a planting grid! Brilliant!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 13, 2012
3:02 PM

Post #9122340

Mary ~ it is most practical to use what you got. That's all I was doing with my junqueyard of stuff. lol How old is your kitty?

BTW ~ that cattle panel is just a piece of it. We cut them up to build a winter plant shelter years ago. When I got the greenhouse, I took the shelter apart and am using the pieces for trellises, etc.

Stephanie ~ maybe not so brilliant. The seeds got rather rearranged when we had one of those 'toad strangler' rains that we prayed for last summer. They are sprouting but in clumps. I need to uproot and replant them. Grrrr ~ Kristi
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2012
3:55 PM

Post #9122391

Dollar store only had small containers of black pepper, I hit the regular grocery store and got a large container. She also like to pee around one of the mesquite trees - and it smells like it. I'll use the pepper there and once beds are planted maybe I can use it in small spots that will be hard to cover.

Kristi, she's 8 or 9. We brought her with us when we moved from Hawaii back to Phx. Lily The Cat. Here's a good pic of her in a sun spot - that's just a tiny little spot amongst a bunch of yard junque - to coin a phrase. Saw her trying to get up on the roof this morning but the lady banks has grown too thick to let her walk the wall.

Thanks to *everyone* for the suggestions. DH helped me dislodge the trellis thingies from the hedge of thevetia trees that was eating them.

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Click the image for an enlarged view.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 13, 2012
4:21 PM

Post #9122417

For large containers of things like powdered garlic which I use in the garden, check places like Sam's or Costco.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2012
4:22 PM

Post #9122419

I agree, unfortunately there is not one convenient. I'll stock up though next time I'm there.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 13, 2012
8:18 PM

Post #9122726

I have to use cattle panels to keep the pea fowl out of pots, for some reason they will only go in the garden if the gate is open. Lol. I can't imagine keeping my cats in the house but I live very rural one, named Tank follows me everywhere. He even watchs me from the window if he's not with me. So far he has peed in a hole that had water and a tomato plant in it but hadn't been back filled yet, then he sat in a hole that had a tomato plant in it but hadn't been back filled. If I won't let him in the garden he jumps the fence. He was a barn cat for a couple of years but he has really adjusted to being a pet, but I'm not sure if he's meant to be a gardener. Lol
AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

May 16, 2012
10:19 AM

Post #9126050

I put my cat nip plants in cages in the garden so greedy kitties can't eat the WHOLE plant - just nibble on what sticks out of the wire.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 16, 2012
5:08 PM

Post #9126517

I do that too. I've had them turn a pot of it upside down and dump the plant out, roots and all.
I will never know what catnip tea tastes like... lol Kristi
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 16, 2012
5:28 PM

Post #9126545

I'll have to try cat nip. Just what Tank needs another reason to get in the garden. Think I'll grow it on the deck...
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2012
5:41 PM

Post #9126561

Yeah, I'll try it too. Thanks for the tip Kristi.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 16, 2012
5:50 PM

Post #9126572

Lisa... give him his own garden spot. It may help keep him occupied and out of yours. Love the name 'Tank'.

I had a new pot of catnip seedlings sprouting that were tucked back in a corner and I noticed the girlies managed to find it. They are fun to watch when they schmooze around on the pot and the plants.

An old thread but I still have the cat and four more, three of which have joined the obsession. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/607802/?hl=molesting the catnip
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 17, 2012
5:09 AM

Post #9126912

That was a fun thread Kristi. I'll have to find some catnip for LilyThe Cat.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

May 24, 2012
3:18 PM

Post #9137032

I have catnip growing everywhere,that is why when kitty wakes up (yes my cat sleeps all day during hot weather) he's up by the house first thing. Jokes from cat haters about the catnip growing beside the driveway?

MY own is probably the only animal in five blocks that doesn't want to go potty in my garden .For that I am thankful.

Just waving on my way back to sleep

Thumbnail by juhur7
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RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 24, 2012
3:29 PM

Post #9137040

I used chicken wire and it worked fine. I "tented it up" a little. By the time the seedlings were tall enoguh to poke in to the chicken wire, they were big enough that the cats respected them and stayed away.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 24, 2012
6:41 PM

Post #9137298

Bought some catnip seed today!

Rick, do you leave the chicken wire in place all season or take it up once you have sprouts?
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 25, 2012
11:22 AM

Post #9138198

I have the perfect solution for you. If you kitty is spayed and declawed in front send her to me via air freight and I'll pay the shipping cost. :)

My house cat has free range indoors so I don't worry about where my four garden cats rest room in the garden. It's not like every time they go it is in the garden. We have 30 acres neighbored on two sides by 100 + acre ranches.

I can remember only one or two instances where they damaged seedlings. I always plant enough that thinning is required so losing a couple seedlings to cat accidents is no biggie for me.

My cats are real good about catching critters in the garden so they always have the key to the Secret Garden.

Let me know when you are ready to ship her so I can PayPal you the funds. :)

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

May 25, 2012
12:19 PM

Post #9138274

Much of this because many of us are people packed.We are mostly right on top of each other as the saying goes.Without as as much room as you have t'rock the animals can get a little destructive.
Truthfully, I enjoy the animals ,including my adopted feral, even if I don't attach them anymore.
One would imagine yours must really enjoy all that space to roam and run, cats being what cats are.

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 25, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9138279

Kristy-Tank can go anywhere he wants. But the choices he makes, make me laugh. Ive never seen a cat like him. As I type he is laying in the computer chair and Im standing up typing... crazy I know. He was named "harry" but after he knocked over a few hundred things we changed it. He just jumps with no idea about where he is going to land. Hes knocked full glasses off tables because they were in the way when he landed. THen he just looks over the side of the table like "hummm, how did that happen?" I have yet to have cats use my garden as a litter box, The 5' fence deters them I guess, but if Im in there hes going to be too.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 25, 2012
3:17 PM

Post #9138539

Thanks t-rock but Lily's a keeper. Just gotta be creative so she quits digging where she's not supposed to. It's not a once-in-a-while kind of thing...it's over the top.

Lisa, Tank sounds like a wonderful pet!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 25, 2012
5:32 PM

Post #9138697


MaryMcP:
>> Rick, do you leave the chicken wire in place all season or take it up once you have sprouts?

As soon as the sprouts apear, I make sure it is propped up or self-supporting "hooped" up a few in ches above the soil. (The first year, I thought squirrels were doing some of the damage, so I weigthed down the edges a lot.)

Then, when the sprouts are just starting to push through the wire, I remove it. Just before that, and for several days after, I make sure there is a good amount of chili pepper flakes and hot chili or cayenne powder sprinkled around the periphery.

For whatever reason, once they decide it is not a litter box, they stay away. I think the plants have to be above a certain size ... and maybe the fresh-turned soil smell must fade. Or, my soil crusts so fast, it looses its appeal quickly.

TexasRG:
>> 30 acres neighbored on two sides by 100 + acre ranches.

Hmm, I think my whole manufactured home park might be as much as 15-20 acres. Say around 200 human residents and I would guess 30-60 very bored and lazy outdoor cats. We probably have 3 cats for every squirrel, but the cats are too lazy to chase the tree rats.

When my Toby was much younger, he was a great mouser. When I moved to the new plac e, he was imtimidated by all the strange cats (fat lazy cats!!) and didn't go out much. I started teasing him for no longer being the Mighty Hunter, and he must have understood the mockery with which I was saying "mousey".

Well, an hour later he barely dragged through his cat door the BIGGEST RAT I had ever seen.

He flicked his tail at me and went back to sleep.

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA   Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
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texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 25, 2012
5:46 PM

Post #9138712

Rick, Aren't cat doors the greatest? Mine doesn't kill - just brings them in to play with and to show me she loves me. So far two tiny snakes, one mouse and numerous lizards. She has no front claws so I'm guessing that's all she can catch.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 25, 2012
6:03 PM

Post #9138739

Rick, Toby's a beauty, very similar markings to Lily. She has never been big on bringing in the gifts, fortunately.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

May 25, 2012
8:51 PM

Post #9138888

Even if it belongs on another thread I love the pets,were all lucky to have any of them!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2012
4:11 PM

Post #9143856

>> Toby's a beauty,

Thank you! He's a sweetie, even if he is disapointed in me. I'm hard to train.

>> Aren't cat doors the greatest?

YES! I don't mind the rodent playmates as much as the birds. He has mostly stopped doinng that, however.

In a prior house, some raccoon learned to use the cat door. They are MEAN! And smart enough to avoid traps. Once we tied the cupboard doors shut, it got angry and tore the kitchen up several nights running. We finally resorted to poison. :-( I don't know if it took a fatal dose, but it didn't come back.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 29, 2012
5:19 PM

Post #9143966

We had a feral cat that found our dog/cat door, he marked all over the laundry room and even came all the way inside to dine at Lily's dish, then sprayed the wall there. I trapped him and took him to the pound. Sad but true. Can't have that behavior. So the convenience of that door is a mixed blessing around here. So far, that took care of the feral cats in the 'hood. It's been a couple of years.
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 29, 2012
6:02 PM

Post #9144015

My cat's door is a window insert with a plastic night door that is always locked at night. Thankfully, no varmints do far.

Every morning at or a little before daylight Ms Pretty scratches with her no front claws next to my pillow. I know it's time for her to go out.

Here is a couple pics of my canning helper.

Thumbnail by texasrockgarden   Thumbnail by texasrockgarden   Thumbnail by texasrockgarden
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RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2012
7:00 PM

Post #9144113

She's a pretty can inspector! The colors remind me of a pound cat we named "Clara" after the "Clairol" line of hair coloring products.

>> always locked at night.

That's smart. But if I did that to Toby, he would probably be jumping up and down on my stomach from 7 am onwards. He has not had a lot of success training me, but he is very persistent.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

May 29, 2012
8:41 PM

Post #9144237

And the realization they, all the kitties, have litter boxes,but just think how frustrated all of you would be if you had to train them to take you outside,or you had to stay inside until you could convince them to let you out.,
That would be rather weird, wouldn't it?
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2012
9:01 PM

Post #9144247

That's why I have a litter box. They don't use it often but they can if they need to. There is no way I would get a good nights sleep leaving a critter door unlocked at night. Im not sure I would be comfortable leaving it open during the day! I was working in the garden this evening and came across 2 scorpions. YUCK!

Last summer I put food out for the cats and turned around after hearing a funny noise, and the cat had turned into a raccoon
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 30, 2012
6:20 AM

Post #9144524

"The Cat That Turned Into a Racoon!" - sounds like the makings for a Saturday afternoon scary flick!

This is a fun thread, maybe just a little misplaced in the Veggie Gardening forum - oh well. ;-)

It's a long story and has to do with that feral cat noted above but Lily will no longer go through the laundry room doggie door so DH put a cat door in the screen of Lily's bedroom. One morning I went in to Lily's room to fill her food dish and a cat I'd never seen before jumped from her bed out the window. We locked her in for a few nights after that. It's been a few months and there's has not been a recurrance. She is unhappy to be trapped either in or out so we just go with it. She's actually closer to 20 years old, not the 8 or 9 I posted above...time flies...we've been back from Hawaii for 10 years and she was 6 or 7 then! Jeez.
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2012
7:38 AM

Post #9151451

Is there a winner? The cat and lizard love to play chase.

The photo was taken two days ago. Last night the cat brought the lizard in through the cat door. The lizard got loose and immediately ran under the washing machine. Haven't seen it since.

Thumbnail by texasrockgarden
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podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 4, 2012
5:47 PM

Post #9152443

An interesting article that has some additional ideas to deter kitties from the garden... http://www.growveg.com/growblogpost.aspx?id=165
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 5, 2012
5:09 AM

Post #9152901

Some good ideas there Kristi, thanks for posting. Coffee grounds might be the best solution, they're good for the garden and easy to get in bulk.

I placed chicken wire on the bed I planted last weekend and that did not deter Ms Lily. She didn't scratch but did leave droppings. At least the scratching will cease. A friend uses an electric wire zig zagged through the garden and says once a cat has experienced the [very low dose] 'buzz', they never come back,
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
10:42 AM

Post #9153243

Has anyone tried burying moth balls in and about the area? My mother used moth balls to keep away squirrels from her flower beds.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 5, 2012
10:55 AM

Post #9153263

They disscipate quickly. I tried that trick in the horseshoe pits. I get busy with work and anything that needs me to watch it carefully so I can replenish when it runs 'dry' doesn't work in my current [self-employed] life. Someday I will retire from this madness, then maybe. BTW, I covered the horseshoe pits with shade type netting. Anchor the corners with rocks, easy to pull up when we play and replace when done.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 9, 2012
5:12 AM

Post #9157863

Mothballs, just FYI;

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/naphgen.pdf

http://www.silentmenace.com/Moth_Balls.html
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 9, 2012
5:44 AM

Post #9157884

Interesting. I wonder if people really still use them? They were big when I was a kid - in Vermont - but that was eons ago. ;-)
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9157948

catmad, thanks. I guess mom was smarter than I gave her credit. Now I will go out and but several boxes of moth balls and bury them all about the garden. They will probably keep away moths and maybe butterflies too. This could help keep away all the pest worms that eat all my plants.

Glad posted those articles.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 9, 2012
9:18 AM

Post #9158098

Oh dear. I was trying to persuade you NOT to use them. They are toxic to good as well as bad insects, but probably not much use that way unless they're in an enclosed area, like a closet or trunk, which is how they are effective against moths. Outside, I wouldn't want themi my soil, especially when growig veggies, as;

"Most naphthalene in the environment will turn into a gas. Some of it may be
bound to soil, where it can be taken up by plants. It can also be deposited on
plant leaves from the air. Naphthalene is broken down by bacteria, fungi, air, and
sunlight. Naphthalene has been found in wastewater treatment plant discharge.
No information was found on naphthalene and groundwater. The half-life of naphthalene
in the environment may range from less than one day in air to over 80 days in soil"

I don't want to eat that, or be exposed to it as I garden. Considering the sensitivity of cats in particular to toxins, I wouldn't even have mothballs in the house. Maybe this would have been better.


http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/ptype/mothball/chemprop.html
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 12, 2012
9:22 AM

Post #9162104

The ONLY way I will use Mothballs to deter pests is: take a small, empty, plastic water/soda bottle and poke holes in the sides, take the top off and put the MBs in the bottle put the top back on and TI E the bottle upright from a string or something. This way they dont get in the ground, yes they stink, but nothing can get to them.

Every kind of insecticide is lethal to good and bad bugs. I have found this method doesnt kill the pests but the smell deters them from coming around.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 12, 2012
12:29 PM

Post #9162337

You are so smart!!! That's a great idea.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

June 12, 2012
12:44 PM

Post #9162363

That works good with a peanut can also.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 12, 2012
8:29 PM

Post #9162990

I didn't thunk it up myself. I read about it as a good way to keep snakes out of chicken nests and deer away from saplings. I have put it in with my chickens and I did seem to get more eggs. I know people that have tied this hi-tech tool to their small tree and the deer left it alone, but i'm not sure if this was the reason, couldn't hurt.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

June 12, 2012
8:39 PM

Post #9163009

I tried using them to drive away moles or voles as they are called, it worked with some success the only problem with that in the garden was the moth balls drove away the bees also. oh well.

Love them toads for grubs and beetles though!!!!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 13, 2012
8:43 PM

Post #9164391

That's always the problem. It kills or drives away the bad as well as the good. I did think it was a good idea for deer and saplings.

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