Dealing with Ravenous Critters and PestsPart #5

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

While I was complaining and getting advice from Ric, Mark was at CVS asking the pharmacist-- he backed you up 100% Ric, almost verbatim. Mark brought home a cortisone cream and and ointment called Chiggerex- bezocaine and herbal stuff. We are doing comparison testing LOL. I counted 63 bites when I was putting mine on.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--

Wearing knee-highs or long pants may help too...don't think Chiggers jump too high.

I usually apply some kind of an repellant if i am going to be working on
shrubs or around tall grass...

It may help--IF you want to spend the $$--to apply the Scotts Step 3 "Turfbuilder
plus Insect Control " all over your lawn...Can't vouch for how effective this is....
Can't believe how $$$$ these all have gotten!!!
G.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Many are petroleum based...

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

It doesn't seem to be in the lawn, but may be in the pine border where a layer of pine needles forms a natural mulch.

Yes I really should use repellant.

I'd consider insect control back there, but not for the whole lawn.What would Doc say?? Once I checked out behind a lady I swear she had four different forms of chemical yard stuff in her cart at once, I wonder if it glowed after that. No, not really, but it was funny how it appeared she would nonchalantly mix a lot of chemicals when other people are so chemical-avoidant.

JumP- dear me, I have bites up to my neck and even had one at the corner of my eye! More in the :elastic zones" as they always say.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--
My well-overgrown Junipers need a pruning back SO BAD!!!
I usually hand-prune it--so when i am done--it does not look like
it was cut back at all.

I dread going "in there"--as so many invisible, biting "things" are all over
these shrubs. I guess Evergreens harbor many, many insects...

I just acquired a 17", Homelite Hedge trimmer for FREE--and I am
thinking---I could use it to do fast work on these Junipers--
BUT--I hate the thought of them looking clipped. Like Lollipop
shrubs....Yech!

So--on a REALLY cool day--I will don a long-sleeved T-shirt, gloves
and thin long pants and go at it with a hand-pruner.
This may not be an option, though--as lately, all the joints of my fingers have
decided to "act up" with painful Arthritis. Pruning will hurt like H---!

Will deal with it the best i can....like i always do.

These Juniper shrubs came with the house--in 1969.
I have kept them "manageable" over all these years by hand-pruning them back
every other year. Did not get to do it this spring--so they look all ratty!

1&2--The hand-pruned difference....two different views..from 2009.

3&4--The Junipers today--sorely in need of pruning...

5--Never got to pruning the Canadian Hemlock nor the Boxwoods by my
front door either. Will still try to do it--but it will not re-grow any more..

Gita

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I have gotten very parsimonious with insecticides after the honeybee colony collapse disorder (actually, I've stopped using them altogether other than DEET on me when I'm outside).

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

New season, new pests! The mice are moving inside for the winter. I keep finding mouse turd trails around the house and yesterday I unknowingly stepped on one that was under a throw rug. Completely squashed him. Then there is this constant squeaking sound. It is so very constant I thought for sure that it was the ceiling fan. After checking out everything I think it is a cricket. I usually don't mind them but this guy just isn't letting up. Only time it stops is when I walk to that area to listen and see if I can find him.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

That Cricket is hot-to-trot------just calling to any female around.

I get them in my basement sometimes--and then go looking for them with a
flashlight. They don't run right away--but stand still...just long enough for me
to step on it...hosta la vista!!!
Crickets seem to like wet areas..maybe if you put a pan of water down with
something yukky in it--it will dispense of them. Just watch your doggy....
G.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I think the Cricket may not be an issue anymore. While trying to figure out where it was I moved a cooler that has been sitting near the door for a few days, waiting to someone to carry it back outside. Since then I haven't heard the noise. Generally I don't bother the Crickets I like them and even like their songs, but this guy was way over the top.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

might need some sticky traps there Holly, that or good mouser cat in the house- hey doesn't Alfie chase mice?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes, I think he just might but there sure are a lot of mice turds close to his feed bowl. So maybe he is throwing a party instead. I have taken steps to get rid of them. Hopefully it works.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Every fall the crickets get inside and chirp all day and night. We do take them outside whenever we catch them, but sometimes our cat "plays" with them until they're.... um, no longer cooperating!

Oh, I missed that Holly had already answered Sally's question about your cat. It sure is nice having a mouse deterrent around!


This message was edited Sep 17, 2013 8:50 PM

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

We don't have cats any more. They affect my allergies but we had them up until a few years ago. Really a lot of them, with the barn and horses people would just drive by and drop them off. Bubbles and Sassy were the last 2 and they were both very old. Ric would love to get another one, he really misses them. There are more cats at the SPCA than they will ever find homes for and I am tempted from time to time to tell him to go and get one. I wonder how Alfie would like a cat.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

If you need to get rid of mice or rats and a cat either isn't doing the job or otherwise is not an option, I have 2 very good suggestions based on experience with the problem. Actually, my experience was with rats that were outdoors, having been attracted to the area by the endless sunflower seeds I put out daily for the birds. I tried several things which did not work. Even when I used peanut butter as advised by others, I found my traps sprung and the pb gone but no mouse/rat. Here is what did work:

(1) Tomcat rat traps. Available at Amazon & home center stores like Lowes. These things really work. I got 2 rats within the 1st few hours of putting one on the patio. Excellent design. The design is such that there is no way for a rat to get the food w/o getting whacked. They also make mouse traps, and while I imagine those are also good, I cannot vouch for them personally - but would try them if I had a mouse problem.

Another good thing about the design of Tomcat rat traps is they are ultra easy to set. You either push two pieces together with your hand or, even better, step on it with the toe of your shoe - designed so you never have to touch the critter or parts touched by the critter. To release critter, you press it again (end opposite from where critter is) to release (and drop critter into trash).

(2) Rat zapper. This is more expensive. $50-70, I believe. It's a tunnel shaped thing, battery operated. You put food in the far end and turn it on. On the way in to get the food, rat passes over a metal pad where it is electrocuted. You dump the rat out, put food back in place, push reset button on unit, & it's ready to go again.

This did not actually work for me - at least not as far as I know. My problem was outdoors, and this unit works much better indoors away from rain and wildlife. I kept finding my unit 'sprung' (indicated by flashing red light) but no body/rat inside. I later saw a raccoon holding it upside down to dump the food out, so that explains part of the problem. I suspect that any rats it did kill during the weeks I used it on the patio were probably also taken by raccoons or opossums who would have learned to check the trap for an easy meal.

Even though it did not work for me, I list it here with very high recommendations because of the plethora of other people here at DG (at that time) who had used it (indoors) and who loved it. My guess is it probably also works for mice, but you should read the info to be sure.

I now have 2 semi-feral cats who patrol my yard with unparalleled vigilance, but if I needed a solution to the mouse/rat problem again, I would get one of these 2 products. If you don't want to do it yourself and have lots of money to throw at the problem, I would suggest one of those 24hr wildlife/pest removal services. They set traps around the premises, monitor the traps and collect the critters. It's a pricey deal though. With the ones I talked to, you pay by the hour, whether they catch anything or not.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I dispatched another ground hog this AM. Acute lead poisoning. Jamie ask me to render it so he can try it out in his crock-pot, which I was happy to do. Hopefully he will like it, I just hate wasting them, but sometimes they are difficult to trap even when using cantaloupe for bait.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks for the recommendations, Dream. I have TOmcat mouse traps and yes they are much more finger friendly than the wooden old fashioned kind. I bought a wooden rat trap once for kicks and it is seriously frightening to try and set it.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

sallyg, Back when I was combating rats outdoors (drawn to bird seed), I bought one of those old-style, wooden rat traps. Trying to set that thing & put it in place w/o loosing a finger really was scary. That would have been bad enough, but in addition to the ordeal of trying to set the thing, it was for me a total waste of time, as I didn't catch a single rat with it. Rats are very intelligent creatures, much more so than we tend to realize. The ones I was dealing with back then were experts at springing the trap & eating the food w/o sustaining injury. One of the many things I like about the ingenious design of the Tomcat traps is that those things get the rat every time.

Glad to hear that you already have traps. I just wanted to pass on what I had learned through my unfortunate experience some years back. As always, the right tools and methods make all the difference.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

We have only had Rats once for a very short time. A near by barn burned and they must have had them. They moved into our barn (back when we actually had animals in it). We got rid of them very fast. We used several methods and were very aggressive about getting them gone.
I just put out mouse bait for the house mice. We have plenty of spots to put it out where Alfie can't get a hold of it.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

As Holly said we were very aggressive in getting the rats out. I loaded small shotgun shells with wheat for shot to reduce any damage to the barn. When you shot a rat, you had a dead rat.When you shot the barn you had flour. LOL

We also had a herd of barn cats then.

This message was edited Sep 20, 2013 7:43 AM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

One negative to poisoning mice with bait in the house is that you never know
where the mouse will crawl into to die. Walls, storage boxes, under things, etc..
Then you have to put up with that awful smell of a dead mouse for weeks...

That is the most disgusting thing to small....and you don't know where it is coming from.

Just my 2cents....Gita

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

They dry up pretty fast and a lot of the new baits are designed to speed that process along. We have been using Mouse Bait for years and never seem to notice a smell. I do on occasion find a dried up body when cleaning out a mostly unused space, usually out in the Garage or attic. Guess that is better than finding a mouse nest with baby mice in it.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I had a very bad experience with rat poison. I'll spare you that story, but I would like to share a few things I learned as a result.

There has been a major change in rat poison in the past decade or so. Sorry, I don't know the exact point at which it occurred. I'm guessing probably somewhere in the 90's. Prior to the change, the chemical used in most rat poison caused the animal to develop extreme thirst as one of the 1st symptoms. This in turn led the animal to leave the house or barn to go out in search of water. As a result, the chance of ending up with a dead rat in a wall somewhere was very small.

For whatever reason, that chemical is no longer used in rat poison. The most common or popular chemical now used does not have the beneficial side-effect of driving the effected rat(s) from the house. Thus the risk of having a dead rat (or other animal) stuck somewhere in the walls of the house is greater today than it was in prior decades.

That is bad enough, but what I find especially worrisome about the chemical(s) now used for rat poison is that is that there is no antidote - at least, this is true for one of the major poisons currently in use. The poison effects the brain and nervous system. Symptoms develop in a few days, and by that time there is very little that can be done. This is true even if a dog, cat, or even a child were to accidentally ingest the poison. All of this is usually stated in the fine print on the package insert, but most of us don't have time to read all of that literature. Most people read the instructions (if that). When I did read the information about the poison I had purchased, I was shocked.

Because of the risk to pets and other creatures, I won't use rat poison ever again. For those who do, I would strongly urge you to read all of the information included in the packaging, especially the information about what to do in case of accidental poisoning - to determine if you are using the type for which there is no antidote. If you find that you are using that very dangerous chemical, you need to be extremely careful to insure that pets & children cannot come in contact with the poison.

If you are using the type that is fatal to pets and for which there is no antidote, I would also urge you to learn from my own unfortunate circumstances. I thought I did everything right. Because I needed to place the poison outside (that's where the rats were), I even took the extra precaution of purchasing a device or container specifically designed to make the poison inaccessible (under lock & key even) to anything larger than a rat. Despite that precaution and due to a bizarre turn of events I could not have foreseen or even imagined, a beloved pet was accidentally exposed with fatal results. Please, for your own sake, be very, very careful.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Ric,

I grew up in a rural area, so I'm inclined to agree that lead poisoning may well be the simplest, most straight forward, and even safest solution to many such problems. In years past, I've even been known to use that method myself - like for the venomous snake I found in my garage on one occasion & treated accordingly. Unfortunately, I now live in the city. It's a small city but a city, none the less, and city's take a dim view of the lead poisoning methodology. Thus my lead injection system rests at the back of the closet, and I am forced to contend with traps, poisons, and the like. Thankfully, we don't have ground hogs around here.

As one who shares her home & property with a couple of semi-feral cats, I totally agree with the idea of barn cats, too. Since the cats took up residence here, rodents are no longer an issue. They have even eliminated all traces of the ground moles that once plagued my lawn. It's hard to beat sentries that are on duty 24/7 and work for nothing more than a handful of kibble now and then. I love the simplicity of such rural solutions.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Both posts beautifully said DreamofSpring.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Thank you very much, coleup! :-)

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

OMG! I was just scanning back through the thread in search of something, when I suddenly realized this is the Mid-Atlantic forum. I'm sure you guys know that, but after my 1st post I totally forgot. The thread pops up in my thread watcher window and I've been chatting like I live here. Sorry.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Dreams---You DO live here now.....our door is WIDE open to you!

Wouldn't be the same without you--especially after reading the post above
where you educated us on the rat poison. So sorry about your pet...

I hope everyone that attempts to buy the poison will remember your warning.
Would you know the name of the active ingredient that is so lethal?
I will then check to see what the ingredients are in the rat poison we sell.

I will tell any customer that asks about rat poison that a TomCat trap is better.
I work at a Home Depot--and, occasionally, am needed to help in the garden area.

Thank you so very much! Gita

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Oh, Gita,

Thank you for that warm & lovely welcome! :-)

I will see if I can find the information. I believe I do have the name. Don't hesitate to remind me if I forget to post it in the next day or two. The poison was sold at Home Depot, btw.

The loss of a beloved pet is difficult enough w/o the knowledge that you actually caused it, however unintentionally.

Thank you again for welcoming me into the group!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Welcome Dreamofspring, Don't worry I have a good spot for my mouse bait where the pets can't get to it.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Ditto DreamofSpring- everyone is welcome here.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes, Welcome Dreams, you may not be our area but you are definitely a mid-Atlantic state. LOL
I didn't realize they changed rodent poison to include neurotoxins, I thought warfarin did a fine job. Most times the victim was so desiccated they had little or no odor. Accidental poisonings if discovered could be reversed with Vitamin K.
Do you have any favorite areas in your beautiful city for a walking garden tour? I know very little of Charleston, but what I've seen I just loved.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Here is the rodenticide info I promised:

Bromethalin

*effects central nervous system & causes cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)
*no antidote (not an anticoagulant. Vit K will not work.)


Quote from Wikipedia: "Bromethalin is a rodenticide which poisons the central nervous system by uncoupling mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, which ... ultimately results in increased intracranial pressure, which damages neuronal axons. This damage to the central nervous system can cause paralysis, convulsions, and death.

There are no tests that will diagnose bromethalin poisoning in pets, but signs to watch for include severe muscle tremors, hyperexcitability, fits, extreme sensitivity to being touched (hyperesthesia) and seizures that appear to be caused by light or noise. Secondary bromethalin poisoning can occur in dogs or cats who eat a mouse killed by Bromethalin. In such cases, the pet owner may notice the "mild" symptoms such as loss of ability to bark, loss of appetite, depression, lethargy and coma."

Here is an excellent article on the subject: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/05/24/bromethalin.aspx
According to this article the change occurred in 2008 (more recently than my earlier guess) when the EPA banned the use of anticoagulants as rodenticides. Ironically, this move was intended to decrease the risk to children & pets. The result, however, has been just the opposite. To comply with the EPA mandate, rodenticide manufacturers have changed to bromethalin, a neurotoxin which is faster acting, cannot be identified by test, and has no antidote.

According to this link d-Con has refused to comply with the EPA ruling and is (or was at the time this was written) still using an anticoagulate. If you are going to use rat poison/baits it would be advisable to look for d-Con products and check the active ingredient to be sure it is NOT bromethalin (in case they changed since this was written). Per this article, d-Con has asked the EPA to reconsider its ruling.

The article also discusses recommendations. They advise against using a rodenticide but also provide guidelines for finding/choosing a less hazardous product should you choose to use one. They advise against using one with bromethalin. For those who have been using baits for years, please note that since this ruling was made in 2008 and manufacturers had until 2011 to comply, it is possible that the product you have known and trusted for years may have changed just w/in the past 2yrs. It would be a good idea to check the product you are using just to see if it does contain bromethalin.

Please note: Although I got the information today from the web, I got my original information on this subject from (1) fine print on the lengthy product package insert, (2) a vet hotline, and (3) the vet ER that treated the effected pet, so I know this is true. I hope this will help you choose the best option for your family. I apologize for taking so long to get the information to you.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

HollyAnnS, sallyg, & Ric,

Thank you all for the warm welcome. I really was feeling uncomfortable the other day when I suddenly realized that I was still in the Mid-Atlantic Forum. But now, after the warm welcome I received from Gita and you guys, I feel like part of the gang. Thanks again!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

My go to has been D-Con. I can't believe they went to something that can't be tested for and is untreatable, that is just so counterintuitive, it sounds like government at it's best. Some of our recent administrations have been known to allow the EPA to lean toward the squeakiest wheel or the most lucrative lobby. "nuf said there.
I've heard of pets getting dosed with warfarin and being taken to the vet and treated with almost no effects.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Ric,

Sorry I didn't answer your question about Charleston sooner. I exhausted my posting time writing about the rodenticide issue.

Charleston has a number of very large gardens which are open to the public (at a price). Charleston (and Charleston Harbor) played a major role in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The 1st shots of one, maybe both, were fired from one of our barrier islands - not that this is anything to brag about, mind you. Due to Charleston's role in these wars and as the site of one of the 13 original colonies, tourism is probably our main source of revenue for the city.

We don't have traditional, botanical gardens like, for instance, the awesome Missouri Botanical Garden. The gardens here are set on large estates that once were major, working plantations owned by some of the wealthiest and most prominent Charlestonians of the 18th & 19th centuries. In most cases the main residence has been preserved along with as much as possible of the original design of the gardens. The gardens are quite beautiful but generally only showcase plants & flowers typically associated with the south (although some such plants like camellias were imported from Asia).

In addition to the gardens, visitors to these estates can also in some cases tour the main residence or mansion, the very meager homes of plantation workers, and so on. The point I'm trying to make here is they are gardens, they are also former plantation sites. As such, most also showcase various aspects of life in the colonial south.

Two of my favorites are Magnolia Gardens & Middleton Place. As these 2 gardens are on the same hwy and only about 4miles apart, I tend to confuse them, in my mind having melded them together into one, giant garden, such that I am largely unable to keep straight about which features belong to which garden. Both have large, lovely walking gardens replete with azaleas, dogwoods, very old oaks, wisteria, roses, & camellias.

Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark & America's oldest landscaped garden, was the home and birthplace of Arthur Middleton, signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is a beautiful estate. This link shows a brief slideshow with views of the gardens from overhead: https://www.middletonplace.org/
There is a terraced sort of garden with steps built into or made from the landscape (if that makes sense). We have spent 4-5hrs or more just walking through the gardens and around the estate. For an additional fee, visitors can tour the mansion. Camellias, both the flower and the plant from which tea is derived, were 1st introduced into the US at Middleton Plantation in the 18th century.

In addition to gardens, Magnolia Gardens also includes some hauntingly beautiful swamps. Yes, they really are beautiful, but its something one must see for oneself. Something which defies description. There are walking paths through some of the more beautiful swamps and gardens, while guided, trolley car tours of other parts of the swamps and gardens run periodically throughout the day.

Magnolia Gardens has these gorgeous, white, walking bridges criss-crossing the swamps and acres of huge, old oaks and magnolias heavy with moss that drips down upon the landscape. This link has a 'must-see' slideshow of its features: http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/

Here are some of the features which reside at 1 or the other of them, the features I mentioned earlier which I am unable to sort out as to which is where. One has an awesome maze made of tall, dense, sculpted hedges. There is a viewing platform at one end of the maze, beckoning visitors to study the maze before entering. My X-fiance & I are both electrical engineers. At the time we college seniors ranked at the top of our class.

He went up on the platform to study the maze and plot his course. Then we both entered the maze together and became so hopelessly lost that we had to climb on our bellies under the bottom limbs of the shrubs to get out. It was quite humbling, and I shall never view rats/mice the same way again. (There is a plaque on the viewing platform that tells how the kids who grew up there often had to climb under the shrubs to get out of the maze, too.)

There is a large, wooden tower that you can climb to get an aerial view of one of these estates. I'm inclined to think it's at MP but am not certain. When I was last there, a very large, rare bird (I know the name but it alludes me right now) had built a nest across the water, and they had installed optical viewers at the top of the tower so that visitors could view this rare bird as if it were just in front of their faces.

One of these gardens has a particularly large, sprawling oak which is several centuries old. As I mentioned, both of these gardens are on the same hwy. The drive along that hwy to reach them is itself scenic. It's a very narrow, 2 lane road flanked on either side by large, old oaks & southern magnolias, their limbs, heavy with Spanish moss & reaching out across the road as if to clasp hands with their partners on the other side. There is a section of that road where the canopy overhead becomes so dense as to block out the sun almost completely, such that drivers need headlights on a bright, sunny day. Even the satellites are unable to penetrate the tunnel thus produced. When viewed on google a section of the road near MP disappears altogether and then reappears again a few miles later.
------------------------

Other area gardens include Drayton Hall (http://www.draytonhall.org/) & Boone Hall (http://boonehallplantation.com/). There are others, as well, but these are some of the more popular.

There is one free walking garden that I forgot about earlier. Hampton Park. It's just outside the gates of The Citadel (military college). It's relatively small. It has a couple miles of walking/jogging paths which meander through stately old oaks and azaleas. Set in the midst of these paths are a couple of large gazebos that are used for weddings, small orchestras, etc. At one end of the park is a water feature with a large, half-moon shaped cement, walking bridge where you can stand and watch the swans float gracefully by. This area is flanked by a couple of rows of tea roses, the only flowers in the park other than the azaleas.

Another free site (or it was the last time I went), although not a garden, is The Angel Oak, the site of a huge, sprawling tree, est 400-500 yr old: http://www.angeloaktree.com/photos/
(We have a lot of really old stuff here.)

As I mentioned before, Charleston is all about tourism, sort of a stroll back in time to the 18th & 19th centuries, so naturally there are numerous guided, walking tours of the city, including tours of major historical homes & buildings as well as many guided carriage rides through the city.

So there it is, surely more than you ever wanted to know about gardens in Charleston. :-)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Ric--

I printed out the info on the rat poison.
Today--I went to Aisle #1 and checked to see what is in the D-Con sold now.

Both in the rat and mouse D-Con--the active ingredient is: "Brodifacoum".
All the other 99% is inert material.

If you want to search this one out--please post your findings here....

Gita

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

As discussed in the linked article above, Broadifacoum is a long-acting anticoagulant, one of the class of products the EPA mandated to be phased out as rodenticides by 2011. So, basically, that is one of the old-style rat poisons, the type that vets can test for, the type that acts slowly enough to give vets 1-2wks to treat the pet, and the type that can probably be treated with Vit K. That means D-Con is still failing to comply with the EPA mandate.

Edited to add: I looked it up & it is treated with Vit K. The literature I consulted listed 2 cases in which humans ingested this poison. Both recovered completely after treatment with Vit K.

Sounds like D-Con would be the best product to steer customers towards.

This message was edited Sep 24, 2013 6:38 PM

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I for one am very impressed with D-Con for taking a stand on this issue and refusing to comply with the EPA mandate. In fact, I am so impressed that I think I will switch to D-Con for all future purchases (of any product they sell).

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

In the last three weeks over two adjacent acres of wild wonderful wild life habitat, deer browse and large trees have been cleared. This has in my estimation put huge habitat and feeding pressure on my small semi wild yard.

I wrote about squirrels on another thread but my immediate concern are with the deer. Right now their usual patterns are totally disrupted and one or two of the five have begun to enter my yard to nibble hosta, euonymus shrubs and the oak leaf hyrangea

Yesterday as I was doing some brush removal/pruning of my own, I began to notice several small trees with significant bark injury. Evidently one of the new to this area deer is a buck though I haven't spotted him yet as he doesn't travel with the two moms and two babies. Then I noticed that one of my Japanese Maples had also been rubbed. I grow a lot of JMs, trees, and shrubs in containers that I would not like to lose.

What have any of you done to repair damaged bark or protect certain trees from rubbing ?

Last night I was going to go outside with a loud bang of the door and a flashlight and fierce growl as a temporary deterrent until I read that a buck in rut may stand his ground and charge!

Thumbnail by coleup
Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I've seen tree trunks wrapped with something black, presumably to protect from deer, but I've never investigated. We just planted a cherry tree near our street on which deer browse; I wonder if I should consider protecting it.

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