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Keeping Critters out of the Garden

Exciting news! If you have trouble with deer, chipmunks, or rabbits, I recently learned about two new products that could really help to keep these critters away from your plants. Gardeners are reporting success with a new product called Deer Off used to repel deer, rabbits, and squirrels through both scent and taste. Although odorless to humans, it applies a scent that mimics a decaying animal causing the deer, rabbits, and chipmunks to avoid the area. In addition it makes the plants taste like garlic and hot peppers providing a powerful, burning flavor which makes them inedible to animals. It is weather-resistant and said to last up to 90 days after one application and is completely safe for humans and pets. Deer Off, made by Havahart, can be purchased in a ready-to-use formula or as a concentrate. In checking on-line, don’t confuse this new product with an alternative and less effective one also called Deer Off which is made from dried blood.

On a recent trip to England, gardeners were raving about a new product called Hum Wire. It has various names including Bird Blinder Repellent Scare Humming Line. This product is a polypropylene tape that is tied between fence posts, trees, or stakes to create a humming sound. This tape is geared towards deterring birds, but also deters deer, chipmunks, rabbits and much more. With variations in wind speed and direction, the vibrations created by the tape are fluctuating so that animals do not get used to the sound. Some descriptions refer to Hum Wire as “scarecrow in a tape”.

If neither of these appeal to you, try another possibility such as breaking up Irish Spring soap into little pieces and spreading it around the plants that need protection. Or put up a fence that is at least 8 feet tall for deer and for rabbits only 2 to 3 feet but 6 inches into the ground so they can’t go under it.  Whatever you do, there are no guarantees but, more often than not, worth the effort.


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