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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Man vs. Beast: Beasts – 2/Man – 0

Man vs. Beast: Beasts – 2/Man – 0

Our site has discussed pests from time to time, but until now, it has not been an issue for me. Now it’s getting personal. I have a home in Lewiston and a cottage on a Maine lake. Between April 1 and May 15th, deer annihilated the creeping juniper garden the grows at my cottage. I have always had a lush looking green bed of junipers that grow naturally with no help from me. We had a mild winter, and now the deer have decided that my four-foot high garden is much to their liking. The picture above shows the damage.

I am not at camp often in the spring, so this damage caught me by surprise. In just a matter of weeks, what started as a few snips turned into a swath 4 feet deep by 15 feet wide. The junipers are a maze of roots that run all over the garden. After an hour and a half of trying to minimize the damage, I realized that I will never find the bottom. So, this weekend, I will clear all the roots with a chainsaw and replant new junipers.

Because I never want to have to do that again, I plan to take some steps to discourage the deer from turning my garden into a salad bar. A few natural remedies will include:

- Installing a couple of mobile devices with bells that will be triggered when the deer approach

- Sprinkling a heavy helping of human hair around the junipers

- Hanging bars of soap over the greens

- Lacing the junipers with thorny branches

- Garlic

If beast #1 – the deer – wasn’t bad enough, a second beast – probably a red squirrel – managed to bite holes in a metal gas line that leads to my grill. Three days after filling my double tanks, something started gnawing on the line and, before long, I lost 124 gallons of gas at a cost of $432. I am guessing it was a squirrel, but it could have been anything.

Has anyone else had a similar problem with a critter actually biting into a metal gas line?

Feel free to share you experiences with garden pests below, and share any tips and tricks you’ve used to deter them.

10 comments

1 norman lee { 03.12.14 at 2:29 pm }

Diet boubble gum.they cant diejest it done deal. Must be diet.

2 lilcajunann { 04.24.13 at 1:53 pm }

I am having problems armadillo digging up my yard. Large holes! All over. You could hurt yourself if not watching where you walk. I need help. Anything that I can spray? Tried traping, that didn’t work! Human hair didn’t work! Any thoughts?

3 Anita { 12.02.12 at 4:55 am }

My problem were a momma and her baby raccoons who moved in one winter and decided to stay. They clawed through my porch roof and found the attic to their liking. Since I live in a watershed destroying them was not allowed (not that I’d hurt an animal) so I made sure they were gone one sunny day, repaired the porch and laid in wait for them to come back that night. I was packing a bb gun and made sure I did nothing more than sting their butts. NEVER saw ANY of them ever again! :D

4 Colt { 08.27.12 at 8:19 am }

I sure can relate Pards! Only it’s Packrats for me. I hate those sobs!!! They destroy so much stuff. Too big and smart for rat and live traps, the poison isn’t working anymore because they have been educated. I have taken to loading my .45 with shot shells and actually hunting them. I shoot ‘em on sight. It just takes patience!

5 chuck1415 { 07.23.12 at 5:02 am }

I just woke up and went outside on my porch to see a oppossum running by my neighbors fence , anything know how to repell these critters.

6 Lisa Dillinger { 07.03.12 at 9:20 am }

Chipmunks have over taken our gardens and our lawn. It is war. They are no longer cute. PLEASE help. We have tried the poison peanuts, they toss them out! I really do not want to harm them but there are so many now and they done ticked me off
Thanks for any suggestions
lisa

7 Jaime McLeod { 06.21.12 at 11:00 am }

Paula – You can see an article about dealing with squirrels here: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/home-garden/2012/01/16/pest-of-the-month-gray-squirrels/

8 paula { 06.20.12 at 12:34 pm }

i have just realized that squirrels, not deer, have been devouring my figs and other produce. i’m willing to try anything to prevent them from eating the second crop. suggestions PLEASE

9 shawn { 05.24.12 at 12:58 am }

Try using moth balls. I had squirrels in my attic. And the moth balls done the trick they never came back. Hope it helps good luck

10 marcie { 05.23.12 at 6:40 pm }

Squirrels have devastated my garden. Dug little holes right into every seedling. As I see it, there isnt much I can do. Does anyone have a way to keep those little devils out of my garden ?

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