New approach to Deer and Vole problems.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

I was actually looking for a Hosta and went to a nursery called 'Bridgewood Gardens' and they sell something unusual, its a tablet form of a chemical which is absorbed into the tissue of the plant and makes the whole plant taste like hot pepper.


http://www.bridgewoodgardens.com/cart/home.php?cat=305

http://www.repellex.com/Systemic Repellent Technology.html

This message was edited Aug 14, 2011 6:32 PM

Parma, OH(Zone 5b)

VirginiaRose
Thanks for the tip, I lost quite a few new plantings this spring to bunnies. I think I'll try the systemic tablets. I didn't think we even HAD bunnies as the land is so open. They come from someplace I'll tell you.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

My main problem is Rabbits too, and I live in the city. Something has chewed my Monkey Grass to the ground and nibbles on my Hostas. I have seen several rabbits in the past few years and maybe they use to be someone's pet. In the winter my main problem is Squirrels and this will work on them too. I asked my garden shop about damage to plants, this is what they said:
Smithfield Gardens wrote: "Susan, we read the EPA document concerning Repellex. It looks as if the active ingredient is capsaicin, which is what the heat in hot peppers comes from. Though we have no experience with this product, we do not think it could harm the plant, just don't use it on anything you plan on eating. It is recommended for use on ornamentals only. As with any hot pepper or product containing capsaicin, you should where gloves when touching it and avoid breathing any dust from the product. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you are done. If you decide to get it, please let us know if it works."

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

My dad used to put this in the soil around his peppars to make them hotter.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

You are kidding me!!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

That's what he told me. He couldn't find a chili peppar hot enough for his taste. Don't know if it worked.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Well hopefully that would fix him. LOL.

Greenville, SC(Zone 8a)

What about something to put on green beans to keep the rabbits away? I got 2 'messes' of beans this summer before the rabbits discovered them and ate them all down to bare stalks. Someone told me to put human hair cuttings on ground around them. The beauty salon gave me a small sack and I tried it, but evidently it did not work.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

I have had a few problems with rabbits also, chewing on my Hostas and Monkey grass. I sprinkle some Cheyenne pepper on and around the plant and it is a temporary fix. I got a recipe for Hot pepper spray. Getting ready to mix some up too! It has Tabasco sauce, Cheyenne pepper and to make it stick you add a small squirt of dish liquid. From what I hear if it don't smell go they won't eat it! I will look for the recipe but I would make it as hot as possible. Also I have been mixing Cheyenne pepper with my seeds in the bird feeder. It will keep the squirrels away and the birds do not notice because they have no taste buds! :)

Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

I had trouble with bunnies also this year. They ate my short dahlias, California poppies, beans - they tasted everything except the lettuce! Spraying with "clean out the cupboards and fridge" hot pepper spray and sprinkling pepper flakes and ground pepper on the ground helped. someone also recommended planting daffodils and zinnias - rodents don't like the scent. My friend had no bunny trouble with her zinnias and cosmos. I threw in some zinnia seeds late in the season - not sure if it helps.

I also read that fresh ground black pepper keeps squirrels from digging in pots. I tried that also - so far, so good. Squirrels love to plant black walnuts in my garden.

We had bears and two new coyotes that moved into town following the summer floods. There has been a noticeable decline in the bunny population.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Every spring I use Blood Meal around my lilies and the rabbits leave them alone. This has worked for many years. Anything you want to apply to deter rabbits has to be done constantly to protect the new growth and that could be a major job to sprinkle every head of lettuce with cayenne pepper or black pepper and it would have to be applied after rain or using your sprinkler or irrigation system. Rabbits are up and eating early in the day and keeping ahead of them would amount to a job.

Regarding cayenne pepper, I found this article interesting and if you scroll past the blue ads you'll see the first answer regarding possible deterrents: http://askville.amazon.com/squirrels-awawy-vegetable-garden/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=13329545

Rabbits love new lush green growth just as the deer do. They used to eat the new lettuce leaves but not the old ones. Deer eat the new daylily growth but leave the old weary leaves behind. I have thousands of daylilies and many hostas so I've faced the enemy and know they love the menu here.

Deer are the problem here and in my brain I know 12' fencing is the answer but it's a big investment and would require a lot of tall shrubs to hide the fencing on both sides. At my age (70) I'm reluctant to move forward with fencing and will try faithful applications of Liquid Fence.

I took this photo early in the morning of October 10 as the deer was trying to eat the caladium in the path, which I had blocked (ha ha ha) with mesh as you can see. I then moved the pot back further and put a pot of ripe hot peppers in with the caladiums and stuck one hot pepper through the hole the deer made. The pepper is still there so maybe they can sniff out the fact that it's HOT.

Thumbnail by pirl
Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

Planting some ornaments hot peppers like black pearl may deter the bunnies. I have it growing in a pot this year, but it will look nice planted in front of a taller dahlia. Thanks for mentioning the hot pepper!

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

I just bought some Blood Meal, The owner of a local Feed-n-Seed store recommended it. I thought he said it would last for 2 or three rains. Does that sound right? Also it seems to be a good fertilizer for pansies, etc.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes, it does last quite awhile. Only reapply after an exceptionally heavy rain. The scent of blood must frighten the rabbits.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Love it ! :)

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

I highly recommend the garden scarecrow. I had absolutely no problems with any above ground critters, including birds eating raspberries after I started using this. And how much more organic can you get? You may still need some mole and bug protection, but for rabbits, birds, deer, groundhog, no problem at all.

http://www.amazon.com/Contech-CRO101-Scarecrow-Activated-Sprinkler/dp/B000071NUS

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

This is funny because I first heard about these today. My husbands friend was using one to keep large birds from taking fish out of his pond. I didn't know what it was called though. Great Idea!! :)

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

I could not believe how well it worked. You can set it for the area you want to cover, and my grandkids helped me do that. They snuck along the ground, and walked around the side, and it got them everytime. It was a ton of fun. It covers a very large area.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Who ever invented this must be making a killing!! Awesome idea!!

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