Hard to believe how time has flown, but the16th DG annual photo contest has begun! Find the details here. Best wishes to all the entrants!!!

How do you deal with wildlife in your garden?

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 104 votes:

I have a motion detection system to thwart wildlife. (what kind?)
(2 votes, 1%)
Red dot

I make or purchase items that move in the wind. (tell us!)
(1 votes, 0%)
Red dot

I have a good fence.
(22 votes, 21%)
Red dot

Live and let live...there's enough for everyone.
(39 votes, 37%)
Red dot

No problems with wildlife eating my garden (why?)
(15 votes, 14%)
Red dot

I have scary fake owls and snakes. (do they work?)
(2 votes, 1%)
Red dot

Other. (tell us!)
(23 votes, 22%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I voted " have a good fence" and I do have it in order to keep the scary fake cats and dogs in... lol

Thumbnail by podster Thumbnail by podster Thumbnail by podster Thumbnail by podster
Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have squirrels that eat nectarines and plums from my trees,the last few seasons no tree program and the fruit ain't that good anyway.

Here's camo; I;ve had people that have looked at me like that lately.

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Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

You probably need an "all of the above" button. I live in a well populated suburb, but that has not stopped the deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, red fox, and coyote (yup) from taste testing just about everything I grow. A couple years ago I put up a deer fence garden spot that was about 7 feet high, so I could get some strawberries and tomatoes before the critters could get them. I have 2 cats that love to hunt, so that helped with mice, moles, chipmunks, and rabbits, and to some extent, the squirrels. After trying everything else, I got a solid board, 6 foot fence to keep the deer out of the backyard, and moved their least favorite plants to the front. This has worked, at least so far, because I have neighbors without a tall fence, so the deer have an option to skip my backyard and trot through someone else's territory. I live near a 14 acre estate so I'm sure that's where the deer, fox, and maybe the coyote are coming from. I would have preferred open mesh deer fencing of 7-8 feet, but the city has a 6 foot fencing limit. I was advised that the deer are less likely to jump a fence that they can't see though, and so far, it's worked.

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waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I lied and said no problem, but last year the deer came through and ate my swiss chard right down to the dirt, in the raised beds. Beds are over 20" high so the bunnies chew on the hosta instead but it was just the right height for a deer buffet. They aren't bothering the beets, or the lettuce this year. Maybe they moved on to a less populated area.

Raleigh, NC

The deer love the Hosta, Azaleas and anything else they see fit to nibble on. Have been here 20 years and no problems until a few years ago. Now I use I Must Garden Products for deer, squirrels. My hubbies dirty sweaty work clothes, including undies works well but can't use them all of the time and never in the same spots.

Dahlonega, GA

When I'm home in the summer , my dogs keep the deer away . In the winter , when I'm out of state , they , deer , nibble the bloom buds of my azaleas on the road
The squirrel keep my bird feeders empty . My dogs can't climb trees . LOL

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Had serious feral hog problems until we put in the electric fencing. So far so good! Also have dogs, they are mostly the early alarm system as we try very hard to keep those guys inside the fence as we have some pretty scary predators out there beyong the fence! The Catahoula and Shepherd would be OK, but not the Corgis--despite what they think. They do seem to do a good job at keeping undesirables on the opposite side of the fence which is good.

podster and juhur7, cute pet photos!

goshsmom, your garden looks lovely and tranquil!

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

I'm in a very urban setting and the only critters, other than birds, are lizards, which I like as they eat lots of bugs.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

I'm on acreage in the country, but have not had any problems with wild animals eating anything in the yard. I think our back woodlot is providing enough healthy habitat that the deer don't venture across the open field to the yard. The only squirrel I've seen is a dead one that the dog or cat dragged in. I see coyotes on a fairly often basis down by our pond, and they have become more bold this year but not a problem. I'm fairly certain we also have bear, but I've thankfully never seen one up close (two neighbors have though). We always have a large breed dog of some type, which perhaps helps discourage the wildlife.

The worse wildlife pest I have is the moles. My current dog hunts them with some success, and we continually trap for them, but they are relentless.

Thumbnail by bonehead
Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

The only pests are deer and one squirrel. Since we have dogs, the deer don't bother us too much. I have used fish emulsion fertilizer solution sprayed on the leaves of my hibiscus and roses to keep away the few brave deer who might venture in.
As for the one, that's right one (1), squirrel. I have two bird feeders, but they are actually squirrel proof. He (she?) also goes after the pindo palm fruit, but since there is a LOT of fruit, there's enough to go around.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

It's impossible to keep out squirrels and voles, so I've decided to "Live and let live!" Doesn't mean I like it!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I have ONE stray cat that ignores every veggie, but makes a beeline for my grass! I'm thinking "small animal trap and a can of tuna..."

The squirrels largely ignore my veggies, but hide nuts all over the place...

I caught a couple blue jays attacking a red tomato this past season. First birds to ever attack my produce....EZ enough to throw bird netting over the tomato frame next season....

I haven't figured out which animal is picking my ripe strawberries...soon as I do, it'll go to strawberry heaven....

Paradise, CA(Zone 9a)

I'd have to say a mix of "live and let live" and a good fence... We live in a rural setting and have a diverse selection of wildlife, including deer, bobcats, an occassional mountain lion siting, coyotes, raccoons, tree squirrels, ground squirrels, moles, birds, lizzards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, etc. Also, very exciting! The lone wolf, dubbed "OR-7," has been seen in a nearby part of my county since late June! Supposedly he is the first wolf back in CA since the early 1900s, though I have a feeling there have been others that just weren't caught and radio collared like he was... They are very intelligent and elusive animals and there are lots of rural areas here in the North State...

Chain link fence protects the backyard for the most part, as do the 3 dogs and 2 cats when they are outside. At night the animals are in though, and I have had a problem with raccoons in my koi/goldfish pond... I had about 8 koi and 2 orandas, but am now down to 2 koi and 1 oranda. I've added lots of hiding spaces for the fish and several plants, and so far their numbers seem to have stabilized. I'd like to get more fish again but hate to lose them...

We recently put up wire horse fencing around most of the front to discourage the deer. There is still an opening for the driveway as so they do come in sometimes, but haven't caused nearly as much damage as in years past. I love the deer, but I also love my garden... We've had so many large fires in my area that have destroyed their food sources several times so that they are now accustomed to eating plants that are supposedly deer resistant. I don't mind when the nibble, but the last straw was when they took my 3ft "Dynamite" crepe myrtle down to the ground last year! The poor thing is hanging in there this year at about 6in tall now... I also have a standard Ray Hartman Ceanothus in the front near the road that the bucks decided was a great place to rub their antlers last fall during rut and I found it completely uprooted almost daily. Thankfully it's very hardy, so it has survived. We put ugly wire caging around it until a few months ago, and so far it has been left alone.

Bobcats and coyotes don't do any garden damage, though they make me worry about the safety of my cats. The squirrels are a nuisance when they burry nuts in the yard and strip bark from some of the trees for their nests. The cats like to chase them though, so they aren't too much of a problem. Moles also don't really hurt the plants like gophers will, and thankfully we don't have any of the latter (so far), but their mounds can be a nuisance. Cats and dogs both enjoy digging for them, though I think they cause more damage in their pursuit than the moles cause with their mounds! The domestics really seem to keep all rodents away, though they also hunt the poor reptiles and amphibians when I would prefer they didn't.

The worst wildlife problems in my garden really come from the insect and arachnid families... We have Black Widow spiders everywhere! They love all of the lava rock that is native to our property, and also enjoy hanging out in the wood pile, crevices on tools, and basically anything that has nooks and crannies and sits in one place for more than a day. I never touch anything without looking it over carefully first. I've never been bitten, and do admire other spiders for their pretty webs and insect catching abilities, but I just don't care for the Black Widows at all... We also reportedly have Brown Recluse spiders in my area, though I have been lucky enough to have only seen one in person in my life! My great aunt lost her right index finger to one in the 1940s though, and one of my cats had a suspicious wound that the vet said was likely a BR bite. The first day it looked like a gash, but then the flesh around it kept deteriorating and the vet ended up having to cut a fairly large portion of the tissue away before it stopped spreading. Expensive, but thankfully she is fine now :). Also beadles are a problem eating some of my plants, especially in spring. Slugs attach some of the more tender Hostas, and mosquitos abound almost year round, though thankfully their numbers drop off in the hottest parts of summer...

I love our home and garden though and wouldn't trade it for anything :).

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

My neighbor has seen deer in my garden; squirrels have not gone into it, I don't think. There are MANY rabbits nearby; they can be seen daily. I have a dog who thinks he's a mighty hunter, but when it's all over, it's just been a game of chase for the critters, because he Never has caught one. I can see by the way he smells and hunts that he knows they've been there, but I've never been given a 'present'.

So far, my garden has more trouble with lack of water and the bugs than it does with the critters. So, my creed is 'live and let live' for us.

Southwest , NH(Zone 5b)

I checked "other" because we have so many real owls and garden snakes that an occasional deer or moose is the only thing that reaches over the fence to get the sunflowers.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I never realized there were Moose in southern Florida? You are joking, right!?

Southwest , NH(Zone 5b)

ROFL!! I forgot to mention we are at our summer home in New Hampshire! OH MY!! :D)

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

we have squirrels, rabbits, an occasional possum....hard to believe but none of them do any damage to my flower gardens. i actually love the rabbits. they nest in the garden but never disturb a thing. ! !

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I live in the country so wildlife abound in my yard but rarely do they eat any of my plants. We have a pasture next to our place that the owners have let go wild so there are plenty of food sources in there and there is about 2 acres of woods and grass in front of us for the wildlife also. Plus on the otherside of my neighbor's place it's all woods so there are alot of wildlife in there also. They cross our yard alot and during good years will eat the clover that comes up but otherwise keep moving. The squirrels do stay and eat the cat food and bird food along with the birds.

Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

Very tall and sturdy fence, 7 feet or so surrounds my vegetable, berry, and fruit tree areas. Path goes through the center which leads to my greenhouse. I also have a motion sensor sprayer near my formal rose garden.

Thumbnail by kosk0025
Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

The only trouble I have is with insects. One year the mocking birds ruined my tomatoes as soon as they got ripe. I got a fake snake and placed him near the tomatoes. No more problems-worked really well. I grow things for the birds to eat so I do not feel guilty scaring them off my tomatoes. I really love the mocking birds but I have my boundaries!

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I did'nt have any problems untill this year. We're in a drought.The deer have hit my daylillys twice.

Irving, TX

Lol the only problem we have are squirrels, they have stripped the pears and persimmons and are now after the peaches. I have four cats and two dogs, which some do try to chase, but the trees are on the fence line so it really doesn't make a difference. We really don't bother with protection, we might one day though.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Ya'll would find me passed out in the Raised Bed, cause I would've walked up on my tomatoes and forgot that the snake was a fake!

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

my herding dogs take care of keeping things out of the yard.LOL

(Tammie) Odessa, TX(Zone 7b)

I actually do my best to provide water to the birds and any any squirrels that can get into my yard. The drought has caused such problems we don't have much wildlife. I live in town and don't have a garden other than the yard plants.

Jasper Co., MO(Zone 6b)

Squirrels ate all the peaches for last 2 months... It was size of golf ball! So, I let creatures come into my yard and JuJu chase them off but creatures will come back and look for foods in my yard...

I love to see wild rabbits playing hop around!

This message was edited Jul 12, 2012 7:08 PM

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I voted a good fence. Works for deer anyhow.
2 strands of wire at 2 ft & 3 ft off the ground. Very high powered electric fence box hooked to it. No deer in their right mind even try it. I think they can smell the electric!
It is also portable. Started out protecting tulips, then asparagus, & now it is around the carrots & beets. Also another around our sweet potatoes.

Irving, TX

Oh, also we have a huge fake owl, but he just scares the dog.


Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

I said, "live & let live..." We've got the Racoon family, the 4 baby skunks who lost their mother and live under the stairs at the side, birds, my cat and dog. Momma skunk, who died recently, and I had an unspoken agreement to avoid each other. She kinda knew I was there having my smoke and I kinda knew she was coming out to ravage my garden for grub. Having all this wildlife in the centre of the city isn't what most people would expect. There's other animals including Flicker woodpeckers, Seagulls, Squirrels, etc. What I find the most amusing is watching drunk people leaving the bars and running into the skunks.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

growin, you live in a beautiful place on this globe! I got to visit Vancouver Island once for a few days. It's a alot different there from southern Illinois!!

As for the skunks, my mighty hunter rat terrier mix dog has gotten "into" skunks twice this summer. The top of his head always smells like a skunk...but I love him anyway.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

I voted "electronic methods" because the whole house has motion detector lights around it. I also have an awesome motion detector sprinkler called a "Scarecrow" that fires a 3 second burst if it detects motion. I use it when the fruit trees have fruit, and it's good to scare off the squirrels and birds, but if I leave it on at night, the cat always comes in wet and thoroughly p'd off with me. The lights don't scare off anything. Raccoons walk through, the lights come on, they stand there blinking for a second, then amble onwards.

I do also hang CD's and fake owls in the fruit trees to deter the birds. It works for about a week against the squirrels then they figure it out.

I grow most of my veggies in the winter, so there's a lot less wildlife around then and it really hasn't been much of a problem. Although, when some of my scented orchids are in bloom, the raccoons will come in through the cat door into the pool cage. The darned orchids smell like spice cookies!

My son at 32yr. old is into air guns, and I have two Nerf guns. They're really just for fun, as they certainly aren't any kind of a deterrent. The pellet pistol fires so softly, I've hit the squirrels with it on many tries, and they turn around and look at me saying "What the heck was that??" The hose with a good spray nozzle is still the best deterrent for both squirrels and raccoons, I've found. Wish I could hire somebody to stand by at night with the hose . . .

This message was edited Jul 15, 2012 10:04 AM

Concord, CA(Zone 9b)

So far this year the raccoons have not been a problem and there have been very fews squirrels, thanks to the arrival of a murder of crows.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

I give the birds and critters their own food and spray LIQUID FENCE about once every week or two. The only mishaps have been when I've gone too long without spraying, but we're willing to put up with it because we love having wildlife in our yard.

We have birds of all kinds, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, deer, opossum and occasional other critters. They bring us a lot of joy so it's worth a little extra work to be able to have both a garden and wildlife.

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Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Neighbor's dog helps---- except when HE is the culprit!

bertrand, Canada

I rather enjoy the visits...I must admit there are few animals that wander in arround my property...must be my wuss of a cat that keeps them at bay...or the barking of my 2 labs... :-)


Recently, I've had a MAJOR woodpecker problem. (No joke). I bought a very nice pressboard shed for the garden equipment. One day I notice a 1" diameter hole above the door on the eastern side. I put a metal plate over it. Then another hole. Another plate. Then more "starter" holes. Metal plates. I bought two fake owls; had one placed ominously at the top of the roof looking down. More holes. Finally I taped up a shingle over one area, an old saw over another, and I taped every single seam above the door with duct tape vertically, then I double side more duct tape and put it over that tape and sprinkled cayan pepper over the tape. Woodpecker hasn't come back for at least a week. It's a stopgap measure until I put up some old saws and things that look nice and antique, but serve the purpose of woodpecker protection.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

You may want to try little aluminum plates on string moving in the wind. It might scare them away.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

LoMaintenance ~ that is tough. You are fighting an uphill battle. The woodpecker is using your building as a territorial marker.

I've seen homeowners use dangling mirrors or aluminum on string and it is worth a try.

When they select a power pole in this area to do that, our power company would replace the pole but it would not matter to the woodpecker. The solution that the power company has arrived at is to simply wrap it in hardware cloth. Unfortunately that is not a cheap solution. Perhaps you could try a less expensive metal siding?

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