Dealing with Larger Pests-Deer, Rabbits, Rats, Chipmunks, and Gophers
Everyone is familiar with insect pests that might attack your yard or garden, but what about those other, larger pests? Here is some information and pest control tips that I hope will be helpful to you when trying to deal with larger pests. Part 2 of this article will address other large pests not mentioned here.
Deer- In some rural and suburban areas deer do considerable damage to garden plants. They are especially fond of Yews and Tulips. Deer start out eating plants along their run, but they can change their patterns when it gets winter time and food is scarce. There are many deer repellents on the market to help you keep them away.
Some of these repellents are said to last up to 3 to 4 months, and will not wash away in the rain. You will find that some will work better than others. Plants may be protected by spraying them with a repellent. In some cases you may have to resort to professional exterminating companies for help. There are also some homemade deterrents that have been suggested to try also.
Rabbits-These guys can cause some serious damage to a great variety of plants. They do damage vegetable plants. I have found that they even like tomato plants. Whenever possible, keep rabbits away from trees and crops that they are likely to damage. The best method is to use chicken wire guards and fences. I have found a new product that works with rabbits. It comes in a large plastic shaker container and contains ground peppers, garlic and other aromatic deterrents.
You simply sprinkle it around your plants or vegetables and it has worked pretty well so far. Rain doesn’t wash it away too badly. We just applied some of this last week to the vegetable garden and to newly planted flower beds. Some people have said you can put out human hair around the perimeter to keep them out too.
Rats-These creatures cause damage by gnawing such crops as carrots, beets, melons and tomatoes. I’ve even had some hungry ones eat my car plug wires. Yes, car plug wires,four of them and a side of air conditioner wires. It even tore off insulation from under the hood of my car to use for its nest. I put poison out and did finally get her. Now, I just need to get my air conditioner fixed. You may have rats because of other enticements, such as rubbish heaps and other shelters where rats breed undisturbed. Storehouses and other buildings, and feed bins should be made rat proof by putting in cement or broken glass around any possible entrances.
If you decide to use an poisons be sure that they are well out of the reach of any children or animals that may accidentally stumble upon it. Remember to also close any water containers and wells before starting a poisoning campaign as the rats will become very thirsty when they eat certain kinds of poisons. Baits containing Warfarin are especially effective at eliminating rats.
Chipmunks-These little creatures, found in the northern states, love to eat bulbs of all types. They may be caught in traps baited with peanuts, or, if their burrows can be found, eliminated by inserting some gaseous vapors into the burrow and plugging the entrances to the holes. Any traps should be placed in a location where birds cannot be caught in them.
Gophers-These animals cause damage to plants by tunneling and feeding on them. Special gopher traps may be set in the main runways, or a poison bait may be employed. I always lean more to traps than killing the animals. All you have to do is trap them and take them away to somewhere out of the way of other properties.