The Q&A Archives: Wildlife Control

Question: Two years ago my husband and I built a home on apprx. 3 acres. I was finally able to have my vegetable garden! It's a contest of wills since, between myself and the woodland creatures that surround us. We have foxes, deer, rabbits, squirrels,crows and groundhogs. Need I say more?

HELP! I cannot kill them, but could you PLEASE suggest flowers etc that are not on these creatures menu favorites. Don't say marigolds. They love them. I have a fence charger around my garden, they still manage to get in. They love Mums too. They love ME! This past fall my beautiful huge mums that I had been pniching back all summer were gorgeous.....the groundhogs devoured them, and even came on my front porch and ate the ones by the front door.

We want to plant flowers along the tree line, but we are afraid that all of our work will be eaten. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Answer: I too live in the country and I know what you mean. I finally put up a tall (8 feet for deer) perimeter fence and keep my gardening inside it. Some gardeners also electrify the fence including a stran about a foot high to deter smaller animals. Groundhogs are very destructive and to keep them out takes a fine meshed metal fence buried parallel to the ground and reaching outside the garden by at least a foot or so. You could also catch smaller critters in live catch and release traps but be very careful because they are wild animals, unpredictable and actually quite dangerous For that reason I would suggest contacting a professional to remove groundhogs. The foxes (and snakes) actually help control and deter the smaller garden munchers as can pet cats and dogs. Some gardeners also report success using repellents, either home made with garlic and/or pepper or the commercial sprays or even the predator urines, but in my experience the multiple fence solution is the most reliable. I'm sorry I don't have a better answer.

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