Pests: Best animal repellents

Lincoln Park, NJ(Zone 6a)

I sure this subject has come up before, but let me canvas the Forum again: Which commercial (or home made) animal repellent works best for you? Squirrels decimate newly planted bulbs in my garden, particularly tulips and irises. I have used Ropel and one called, I believe, Deer Off, with limited success (active ingredient in both is capsicum). Anyone have success with fox urine or broken up shells? The local garden center guru stated that you need to change the type of repellent periodically as squirrels and deer become accustomed to one kind used over a long period of time.
Also, the pepper spray types leave a coating or film on leaves and stems. All the instructions say this is not harmful to plants; but, is this true?

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

If you are not planting an acre of bulbs but rather planting a few at a time then why not try covering the bulbs with mesh, the new growth comes through the gaps in the mesh but critters can't get to the bulbs. Saw this on TV. :-)

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I did 3 things to protect my tulips this year and it worked. First, I planted some dime-sized daffodil bulbs in with them; they are poisonous and repel the squirrels. Second, I planted them at 8" instead of 6" (but no deeper or they will be reduced is size), and third, at about 2" down I put a grid of 1" squared hardware cloth. I also sprinkled the whole thing with pepper when I was through to stop neighborhood dogs from digging in the freshly disturbed soil. I do that with everything because I live in a very rural area and there are no leash laws.

Florence, KY(Zone 6a)

I'd watch out using the pepper sray to detract deer. I once tried that and you would have thought I sprayed the plants with sugar or something. The morning after spraying my plants with the pepper stuff, those plants that were treated were more heavily munched on then those that weren't. The deer even ate sea holly if you can believe that!

barrington, IL(Zone 5a)

i remember the deer eating an entire row of my jalopeno peppers, so i don't put too much stock in pepper spray. try a scarecrow and move it everyfew days. i also string Christmas garland and cd's all over my garden. they move with the slightest breeze and the shine catches the light and startles them. there is also an item that you can hook up to your water hose that has an electric eye in it. when the animal passes in front of the eye he/she gets squirted.

hot pepper wax will not hurt plants and will repel animals
but must be used on a regular basis. if you use garlic barrier you might have better luck, but use with a oz. to
a gallon of water of hydrolized fish. you need to do this
every two weeks but not when plants are being pollinated
insects. so stop just before pollinating and start again after pollinating is over. you can buy 100:1 garlic barrier
only in gallons. they also sell 10:1 but does not work as well. there are garlic products that hang on plants also.

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

I have suffered with deer munching for years. They absolutely love my oriental and asiatic lilys and garden phlox. And despite all the thorns on my several rose bushes, they managed to strip plants of nearly every leaf, not to mention my buds. And even though my garden lies next to a huge hay field, the deer always liked my garden plants better than the hay. I was so exasperated. One day, I was shopping at Meijer's in the garden center section and came across a product called "Liquid Fence". It was on sale and I bought some.

It is kind of milky and is a concentrate. I mixed some up right away and sprayed all my plants and around the perimeter of my garden. The bottle says that the smell (kind of like a rotten milk, garlicky scent) would go away when it dried but that the animals could still smell it. Well, I hope I don't jinx myself, but so far, no more deer damage. Has anyone else used this product?

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

Has anyone ever heard of 'Repellex'?

These are tablets with a very bitter compound.
You put them in at the plant roots and it is systemic so it gets into the plants, and I've read that it protects the plant for 2 years in addition to fertalizing them.
Supposededly effective for gophers, moles and voles as they avoid the bitter taste.

These tablets are also quite expensive, but if they do the job for two years, then I would be interested in anyone who may know about this product, as I do have these critters all over, along w/deer munching any and everything in my garden.

I have tried blood meal, egg mixture, all sorts of concoctions, but w/a rain, must re-apply.
I love wildlife, and don't want harm done, but I don't want harm done to my garden, either!

Edited for clarity!

This message was edited Friday, Jul 25th 8:48 AM

Clifton, NJ(Zone 7a)

My problem is "Cats". Any newly planted ground seems to provide an open invitation for them to dig and do what they must do. I've tried moth balls, cayenne; no luck! Ideas? I have literally dozens in my immediate area. Thanks

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

If you can find the seed pods of a sweet gum tree and litter your beds with them, animals will stay out of the beds. The pods have a lot of sharp points on them and they hurt! Around here seems like almost every yard has a sweet gum tree, if you offered to rake them up you could probably get all you want. Wear gloves!

(Zone 5b)

I always found bloodmeal to be a good deterent for deer and rabbits. Not only is it natural it adds nitrogen to the soil.

For cats I used chicken wire on top of my beds. If they can't dig.. they won't go. I would like to get one of those scarecrow sprinklers that come on when it senses motion though!

Squirrels are just nuts. No hope for them

St. Petersburg, FL(Zone 10b)

Greetings all,
One year was the fruit rats from.... Solution was my 15 pound golden terrier. He would hide under the tomatoe plants. He got 18 that summer! Almost had to beat him in order to get him to come inside and eat dinner. BTW the squirrels must be smarter than rats. They never offer to come down from their trees.

Olds

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

I mentioned this in another forum... I have a large Nile Monitor lizard, & he uses a swimming pool as his potty. I drain the water & doots into my flower garden every few weeks, & NOTHING enters my garden. All they know is that it is big & carnivorous. I kid you not. Try pet stores, friends or a zoo for reptile doots. Snake poop is different, as it will not break down & may become a permanent part of the landscape. Dilute somewhat, or the odor may waft into your windows on a nice day. Too bad my father won't let me put any in his vegetable garden. The voles got the asparagus!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Liquid Fence is great! I bought the dog and cat repellent one. I sprayed it on my landscape timbers and around my beds. It keeps thedogs and cats away for a long time. I sprayed it along the tops of my privacy fence and the squirrels do not run on them anymore (my 135 pound dog used to crunch my plants running along the fence line and in the flower beds trying to catch the squirrels who constantly taunted him). Of course, this didn't keep the squirrels from jumping the trees to get to my bird feeders. The smell is awful for a few days; then it becomes undetectable to humans, but the animals can still smell it. It may keep your neighbors away for awhile, but it works. However, it is a bit expensive.

Barrie, Canada(Zone 5b)

I had to make a path along the fence and behind the flower bed for my dog. He wouldn't stop running along there, chasing the squirrels on the fence, but he keeps the cats away. He stays out of the other areas of the gardens. He knows he's not allowed in the garden, he just can't resist going after the cats.

athol, ID(Zone 5b)

I have heard that a compost called milorganite will repell deer when applied to lawns and flower beds, I have wondered if it would also repell moles and gophers.

erie, PA(Zone 5a)

Ever wonder what barbers do with all the hair left from haircuts? They give it to their customers as animal repellant, at least I do. My customers tell me it will keep everything except skunks away from veggies to flowers. You can mix it into the top of the soil about an inch deep so the wind wouldn' blow it away or stuff it into an old sock and hang it in a tree or from a pole. In time it breaks down in the soil and becomes a source of protein and the worms love it. The theory is the critters smell the hair, think a human is near,fearing humans as preditors, they run off to the neighbors garden, unless he is one of my customers anyway.

Flower Mound, TX(Zone 7b)

That is interesting Snipper - I've been having trouble with beavers in our pond area eating my woody plants down to the ground. They have taken out a neighbors weeping willow, and my swamp rose. I have a Virginia sweetspire I need to plant, and a button bush - but fear they will get them! I have to be careful of sprays and repellants that might hurt the fish, but hair should be safe. I'm a hairdresser - so will have plenty to bring home. Thanks for the idea!

Naples, ME

I, as others have had a terrible problem with deer. But! For some unknown reason, as far as my Hosta's they did not eat the solid colored varieties that I have. But also ate ALL my Autumn Joys. Couple of yrs ago, I had those blue light bug zappers in front and side garden. Never lost a plant. I tried that awful smelling and expensive Deer Away and it made no difference at all. Going back to bug light!

Louisville, KY(Zone 7a)

snipper and shear-
i also work in a hair salon and tried the hair repellent method. it worked for about one day. either the squirrels were too smart for me or too many of my clients are animal lovers and the little buggers could sense that! ended up having to use the smelly moth crystal/cayenne method.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I have tried the hair method too, but not mixed in with the soil. I placed the hair in little bags I made out of the nylon net bags veggies come in and placed them in strategical locations. I even tried using my big old dog's hair after I trimmed him back, but no squirrels were deterred. They ate through the bags and finally dislodged most of them. At least the birds used the hair to line their nests.

Palm Coast, FL

I recently planted 40 serissa plants as a border in my front garden. Instead of growing larger, they became smaller and there was evidence of some type of pest eating the leaves. Around that time I had seen several rabbits in my garden, and can only conclude that they are the culprits. I have over $80 invested in these plants. Can someone help me with a suggestion to keep these critters away from my serissa plants?

Litchfield, ME

What does one do for ground hogs?

Shawnee Mission, KS

I've been inundated with rabbits in the vegetable garden. I may have a small crop of green beans in September. I have spent megabucks on rabbit repellants to no avail. However I tried something different to protect my green peppers by interplanting them with onions. THE BUNNIES ACTUALLY AVOIDED THEM. I know this sounds crazy, but next year I'll plant onions with everything. I might have an over abundance of them, but it will be a heck of lot cheaper!

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

I have found that the commercial 'Liquid Fence' works GREAT!
I've tried the pepper sprays, hair, cat hair...but this stuff really works. And I have ruthless bunnies!! They now have a cat/dog repellant, too.

White Haven, PA

LIQUID FENCE IS THE BEST DEER & RABBIT REPELLENT ON THE MARKET AND THE BEST THING ABOUT IT IS 1. IT REALLY WORKS AND 2. THE MANUFACTURER OFFERS A 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. NOT TOO MANY COMPANIES OFFER THAT ON THEIR PRODUCTS TODAY. I LIVE IN THE POCONO MOUNTAINS OF PENNSYLVANIA, WHERE OUR GARDENS WERE LITERALLY SALAD BARS. NO MORE!!!! THANK GOD FOR LIQUID FENCE!!! APPLICATION IS ONCE A MONTH OR 4 INCHES OF RAIN WHICHEVER COMES FIRST, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TEN YEARS I HAVE HAD TULIPS AND NOT JUST STEMS STICKING UP OUT OF THE GROUND. MY HOSTAS BLOOMED, I HAVE BEAUTIFUL ROSES AND LILIES. MY NEIGHBORS WERE SO JEALOUS OF MY GARDEN THEY ASK ME WHAT WAS MY SECRET. I HAVE TWO WORDS FOR THEM "LIQUID FENCE" THEY MAKE A DOG & CAT REPELLENT, A PRODUCT CALLED SPEEDY-GRO WHICH IS A PLANT GROWTH STIMULANT, AND THEY JUST CAME OUT WITH AN INSECT REPELLENT CALLED LIQUID NET. ALL THEIR PRODUCTS ARE ALL NATURAL, ENVIROMENTALLY SAFE. NO ANIMAL BLOODS OR URINES TO DEAL WITH. WHAT A GREAT ENVIROMENTALLY CONSCIOUS COMPANY. ANYONE INTERESTED IN FINDING A LOCAL RETAILER THEIR 800 NUMBER IS 1-800-923-3623. YOU ARE CRAZY NOT TO TRY THIS PRODUCT, YOU'LL BE AMAZED OF THE RESULTS.

This message was edited Jul 9, 2004 10:13 AM

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Do they make anything to keep the squirrels and chipmunks away?

White Haven, PA

I don't think they they make anything for squirrels or chipmunks yet. When I called the company they told me they are working on a repellent for squirrels, but they are about to release a repellent for geese. Their website is www.liquidfence.com

Thumbnail by havenn
Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks. I hope they come up with one ASAP. LOL

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

Squirrels hate cayenne pepper. We used to use the squirrel proof bird seed which simply has cayenne pepper in it and they would cuss a lot, then leave it alone. Don't know if this works for everyone though.

Shawnee Mission, KS

I HAVE PURCHASED A BOTTLE OF LIQUID FENCE AND IT DOES HELP, ESPECIALLY IN HOT WEATHER. IT WAS THE ONLY REPELLENT I DIDN'T TRY. NOW DOES ANYONE HAVE A SOLUTION FOR SQUASH BORER?? JUST AS MY ZUCCINI STARTS TO BEAR; I FIND THEM SUDDENLY GO LIMP. I'VE TRIED TO SURGICALLY REMOVE THEM WITH LIMITED SUCESS, BUT SOMETIMES THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM, THE PLANT NEVER RECOVERS. ANY IDEAS?

This message was edited Jul 16, 2004 1:16 PM

Wilton, CT(Zone 7a)

I've used two packages of cayenne pepper at varying concentrations mixed in with bird seed and, if anything, it attracts the gray squirrels. I even notice a bit of red`at the base of their tails. Is this from eating so much pepper?

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

LOL I don't know but apparently some squirrels develop a taste for it just like people do. My squirrels took one taste of it and cussed at me for awhile. From what I've gathered, you just have to keep trying until something works for you. I decided to go through and find the solutions that everyone gave and here they are.

Ropel
Deer Off
Liquid Fence
Liquid Net
Repellex
Bloodmeal
Mothballs
Garlic products
Cayenne pepper
Wire mesh
Hot pepper wax
Egg mixture
Milorganite compost
Hair from haircuts
Pet hair
Daffodil bulbs, small
Onions
Scarecrow sprinkler
Waterhose with electric eye (same thing?)
Christmas garland with CD's
Sweet Gum tree seed pods
Small Golden Terrier
Large Nile Monitor Lizard's poop

Eagle, MI(Zone 5a)

I didn't see any mention of Shake Away (for small animals). It's crystallized fox urine, and I used it last summer around my flower beds to deter mainly rabbits (but we have all manner of critters around here!). They recommend that you apply it around the perimeter of the area you want to protect every few days for a couple of weeks. It took about two weeks, but after that, no rabbit munching for the remainder of the summer! I'm going to try it again this year.

The product cost about $15 for a 20-ounce container from the vendor (critter-repellent.com). I used two last summer to protect a 30' border beside my garage and about 15' garden along one side of my house. I've now begun to see the product for slightly more at local garden centers.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have a family of foxes who come every night for their dinner and leave their scent all over the place and we still have bunnies galore. Also I started using DEER OUT this summer...it smells sort of like peppermint (not like gag a maggot liquid fence!) and it has done every bit as well as Liquid Fence and Tree Guard ever did. Lasts through rain also.

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

You know after fighting to keep all sorts of critters from my garden I decided to start with the biggest and work my way down. Deer would eat and browse thru my garden nightly eating my plants. I decided a radical idea was needed so I FENCED IN MY GARDEN(using metal t posts,wire,clips, and a fine mesh wire)! No more deer,rabbits, and many other critters . Of course raccoons,birds,etc. still can get in but now I have increased my odds of having a nice garden. It is nice to go out in the mornings and expect to see what I've planted is still there and not eaten off at the ground. This repellent made of steel has worked well for several years now!

Covington, GA

I HAVE DEER IN MY GARDEN EVERY NIGHT (NOW), NEVER BEFOR. AS YOU CAN SEE I DID TRY A VERY SCAREY BIKER TYPE SCARECROW. (DID NOT WORK) NOR WILL ANY KIND OF PEPPERS. THEY EAT MY JALOPENO PEPPERS EVERY NIGHT. PLEASE, PLEASE, TELL ME SOMETHING THAT WORKS!!

Thumbnail by vpass44
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

LOL Gosh, if that guy didn't scare them away I don't know what would! Seriously, DEER OUT has worked very well for me this summer and I also know that the only SURE way is fencing.

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

vpass44 I know that there are lots and lots of things that will keep deer out of your garden but I don't know for sure which one will keep on working. The deer seem to get used to something and then here they come munching and digging away at your vegetables, fruits, etc. After planting early vegetables 3 times(in one season) because of the deer I got tired of planting.
I decided to fence in my garden once and for all. It has worked to stop the deer and most critters except climbers such as raccoons. I would try deer out and a few of these other things to repel them first then maybe some simple tall t post fencing. I love your scarcrow too!

Pacific, MO(Zone 5a)

IRISH SPRING soap!!! I swear by it. At least for dogs and cats out of the gardens. I did this first during the spring and I renew it when I dont see the little shavings. I know it sounds weird but it has worked for me. Give it a try..a bar is only a buck and it doesnt hurt the plants. You may get some strange looks when your neighbors see you whith a potato peeler and a bar a soap in the garden but pass the hint on.

Mary

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