Garden critters are every gardener’s, or homeowner’s, nightmare. Whether daytime or nighttime, there are always animals and insects waiting to munch through your flowers and crops.
Knowing how to keep these pests out is important for all gardeners. This blog explains how you can keep your outdoor space safe from all critters, from deer and rabbits to birds, insects, slugs, and snails.
Step 1: Identify the Pest
The first step to keeping pests at bay is to identify what kind of creature is causing the problem. If you don’t know what you’re dealing with, it’ll be difficult to find the right solution.
Slugs and snails are easily identifiable and can often be found at the scene of the crime. Some insects are similarly easy to spot; particularly blackfly, which cluster around certain crops in the summer.
Larger animals such as rabbits, deer, and even badgers can be harder to catch and keep out, especially as they normally strike at night. However, these animals cause the quickest and greatest destruction to your plants, so need stopping sooner rather than later.
Step 2: Put Up Fencing
If you have a garden you want to keep looking lovely, then installing a solid fence is the best – and often only – way to keep larger animals out. Although panels can be expensive to buy and maintain, a fence is always an effective solution.
Deer in particular can jump incredibly high, so proper deer fence installation is essential. If the fence is too short, the animal can simply leap over. If, however, your garden is enclosed by a tall fence, deer are far less likely to attempt entry. This will also keep out the smaller and medium-sized critters, like rabbits and badgers.
Step 3: Use Chicken Wire and Netting
Chicken wire and netting is much cheaper than investing in new fencing. These materials work well to deter all kinds of pests, particularly birds and egg-laying butterflies like cabbage whites. Both systems also work well to keep out cats that may use your flower and vegetable beds as a litter tray.
Wire and netting are great, temporary solutions that are easy to set up yourself. All you need to do is buy a roll of either or both and cut strips to fit the desired areas. Both defenses are also easy to remove when you no longer need them.
Step 4: Use Repellents
Insects can be difficult to remove entirely, so keeping them under control is key. Blackfly clusters are a big and common problem, but they’re by no means the only ones.
While you can buy chemical sprays to kill unwanted insects, finding natural solutions is better. You can buy natural sprays, but you can also create your own solution using washing up liquid and water.
Step 5: Create Natural Deterrents
Slugs and snails are common garden critters and a continual nightmare for gardeners.
The best way to get rid of snails is to either kill them or take them far away from your garden – though you can’t always be standing watch. For slugs, digging holes and filling them with jars of beer works particularly well. You can also get slug and snail repellent products.
For both slugs and snails, however, placing crushed eggshells or dried coffee grounds over your garden may help to deter them.
The Bottom Line
As a gardener, you’ll face a constant battle over keeping your crops safe from critters and creepy crawlies, but these five steps should keep the majority at bay!