Wildlife Control Tips

The Deer Effect on Native Plants

garlic mustard plant

garlic mustard plant

As the years have progressed, white-tailed deer populations all over the U.S. have increased significantly. While a larger number of deer has been beneficial to hunters and the insect population, it’s had negative effects on certain native plant species.

Studies have shown that overabundant deer populations in wooded areas increase the growth of invasive plant species that kill native plant species. In a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Temple assistant professor of biology Rachel Spigler explains the situation:

“When you have these deer coming in, they are almost mowing the forest floor of these native species, like trillium, which the deer find tasty,” she says. “They reduce the abundance and competitiveness of the native species, so it lowers what we call the ‘biotic resistance’ of the native plant community to resist the invasion of these plants species…”

Many invasive plants grow quickly and have no problem spreading, so once a species is introduced, it can easily kill off weaker native plants. One in particular is garlic mustard. Because deer don’t eat garlic mustard, it can quickly cover forest floors. This is a problem because many U.S. forests rely on slow-growing native plants to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

In a study by Carol Horvitz, an ecology professor at the University of Miami, researchers tested whether deer directly affect the spread of garlic mustard. They planted two fields of garlic mustard – one fenced in and one open to the deer in the area. After several years, the researchers found that the number of garlic mustard plants was fewer in the fenced area than in the area where the deer roamed.

The good news is if deer are removed from an area, native plants can usually recover and begin to repopulate the area, however, there may be some controversy as to when the situation reaches the point that this is necessary.

So, if you have a garden, we recommend installing a deer fence to protect your plants from being eaten and from invasive species wiping them out.

8 Rabbit-Resistant Flowers & Herbs

rabbitAt DeerBusters, we know it can be frustrating growing a lush, healthy garden only to see your plants be eaten by rabbits. While rabbits love a wide variety of flowers and herbs, we’ve found a few that they’re not so fond of. Consider growing these plants in your garden next time:

Black-Eyed Susans

While native to the U.S., Black-Eyed Susans (or Rudbeckia) are usually only popular in southern states like Alabama, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. This plant can grow up to 6 inches tall and boasts 2″-3″ golden orange flowers that bloom in August and September, which can be beautiful additions to your garden.

Impatients

Impatients can be found with 1-inch flowers in colors like red, white, purple, pink, and peach, and are a relatively hearty plant. Some species are annual plants and can produce flowers from early spring until the beginning of fall, while others are perennial plants and will bloom all year round.

Basil

This annual herb comes in many varieties such as sweet basil, Thai basil, and lemon basil – each of which has a menthol aroma and a peppery, semi-sweet flavor that varies depending on the species. Basil can grow anywhere between 12 and 51 inches tall.

Begonias

There are over 1,000 species of begonia plants – some flowering types and others foliage types. Flowering begonias can be found in yellow, orange, red, and pink, and most grow to be about 14 inches tall, while foliage begonias are available in a variety of colors, shapes, and textures and can grow between 12 and 18 inches tall.

Oregano

Oregano is a perennial herb that comes from the mint family. It can grow anywhere between 8 inches and 30 inches tall and produces purple flowers. The herb is often used in Italian cooking and has a warm, slightly bitter taste that’s often magnified when dried.

Bleeding Hearts

The bleeding heart plant got its name because of the shape of its flowers. Each heart-shaped bloom has a protruding tip at the base, making it look like it’s “bleeding.” The plant boasts flowers in either red, pink, or white (in some rare cases, yellow). Some species bloom in the spring while others bloom in the spring, summer, and fall in the right temperatures.

Sage

This evergreen shrub is a perennial herb – the most common type (the Old World type) grows about 2 feet tall and has lavender-colored flowers that appear in late spring or summer. Its leaves can be up to 2 1/2 inches x 1 inch and have a woody, slightly bitter taste.

Sunflowers

These yellow-colored annual flowers often bloom in summer and fall and are native to the U.S. If you’re looking for a tall addition to your garden, sunflowers can grow anywhere between 5 and 12 feet high, with flower heads around 12 inches in diameter.

 

How to Keep Rabbits Out…

If you have other plants that rabbits seem to love, we have the perfect solution for keeping them out of your garden. Our deer fencing company has an Ultrasonic Motion Activated Deer and Animal Repeller that emits an ultrasonic blast at a frequency above human hearing level in order to startle the rabbits and scare them away from the area.

Opossum Control Solutions for Home and Garden

Opossums are difficult to eliminate if they find your home and yard appealing. Fortunately, there are several ways to deter and/or permanently remove them from your property. The first step in eradicating an animal from your property is always to properly identify the pest. Since opossums are nocturnal, it’s best to stay up and watch for the animal to present himself. Once you are sure of the identity of your nighttime visitor, there are few different methods in which you can use to be rid of your problem.

opossum trap

Opossum trapped in live trap, ready for relocation.

Traps

The best method is to trap the opossum for relocation. There are many live traps on the market that are highly effective. Here are some guidelines from our deer fencing company on choosing the right trap and how to use it.

First, choose a trap that is at least 10 inches x 12 inches x 32 inches. Next, you will want to place the trap in the animal’s line of travel or near a much visited site, such as a brush line or garbage can. A trap alone won’t rid you of your problem, so proper bait is key. Opossums love over ripe melon, bananas, and other soft fruit – using these in your trap will guarantee you success.

Make sure to check local laws about killing/trapping animals before deciding to take care of the trapped animal yourself. Most areas require a professional wildlife control representative to relocate the animal once trapped. Shooting an opossum is illegal in most areas of the country.

Repellents

If you don’t want to deal with trapping the animal and relocating it to a more suitable environment, you could try using a predator lure, such as coyote or wolf urine to deter the opossum. When you apply a predator lure to the borders of your property, the opossum is led to believe that there is a predator in the area and will then avoid your home. This method requires applying the lure using a dispenser sure as the Garden Sent-Ry Unit and placing them around the area in which you would like the animal to avoid. You should also check the dispensers to make sure they have not dried out in hot weather and reapply the product as needed (about every other month).

Preventative Measures

Whether you’re trying to deter an opossum already in residence or trying to thwart future animals from making themselves at home on your property, preventative measures are important steps to take in wildlife control. The first thing to consider is the habits of the opossum:

Opossum enjoy making themselves comfortable in small spaces and are attracted to rotting food. This means you should make sure all garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and that all pet food is stored indoors or in sturdy air-tight containers. Next, enclose all open spaces under your home, into the attic, under porches, decking or sheds. This can be accomplished by installing lattice or other similar barriers.

Any small dark space (whether man or nature made) is inviting to an opossum as a place to rest its head during the day. Clearing out any underbrush and pruning overgrown trees and shrubs is also important. If you have a burn pile that has been sitting for a while, you will want to take care of that too. Just be sure to check burn bans in your area first. With proper maintenance of your yard and garden, you may never have to worry about removing an unwanted opossum from your property.

For more pest control solutions visit our site at DeerBusters.com

Don’t Be A Mr. McGregor

You have worked endless hours tilling, weeding and digging to create a beautiful yard and garden only to wake up one morning and discover something has been using your garden as its midnight buffet. Your first instinct is to turn into Mr.McGregor, that troubled angry gardener from The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and stalk the prey with a rake.

The best thing to do however, is to take a step back and figure out what exactly is eating your flowers and vegetables. If you have ruled out birds and deer, you probably have a small pest problem. Smaller chewing animals are much harder to deter from the garden than large wildlife pests like deer.

Small Animal Problems

Small animals can chew, push, or dig under most conventional fencing, making your deer fencing useless in defending your garden. The main offenders are rabbits, groundhogs, possums, armadillos and raccoons, which will all wreck havoc in the garden. Lucky for you, there are a few solutions to keep those pesky critters from your garden for good.

For smaller gardens, individual beds or plants, motion activated repellers and liquid repellents can be used with great success. However, if dealing with an entire yard or larger garden, installing a rodent barrier fence is your best solution for dealing with small chewing wildlife.

Rodent Barrier Fencing

Rodent barrier fencing generally measures between 2 and 3 feet in height and can be installed as a standalone fence or in conjunction with a standard or deer fencing system. Rodent barrier is different from other types of fencing since it has a hexagonal mesh with holes as small as 1” and is constructed of galvanized steel. The galvanized steel makes it almost impossible for rabbits and other chewing animals from breaking though the fencing.

The installation of a rodent barrier fence also defends against small wildlife. Traditional fencing sits flush or just above ground level, which allows groundhogs, opossums and other wildlife to scoot under the fencing and into your prized garden. The rodent barrier, however, is designed to flare out and skirt the ground creating an additional obstacle for the animals. The fencing is then staked into the ground to create a dig-proof area around the fence line.

Rodent barrier is easy to attach to existing fencing using hog rings and zip ties. A 20×20 garden should only take approximately 1.5 hours to completely install, making it a great weekday project. With the proper planning and tools, you can save your garden this season and keep yourself from becoming the Mr. McGregor of the neighborhood.

Below is a helpful video on how to install Rodent Barrier Fencing:

For more information on rodent barrier fencing or any wildlife control issue visit Deerbusters.com or email DrDeer@Deerbusters.com.

 

Wildlife Control Solutions

There are few more disappointing moments for gardeners than walking out onto your porch to drink a morning cup of coffee and seeing that all of your hard garden work has been destroyed overnight by the local wildlife. Fortunately that fate can be prevented; DeerBusters.com has several solutions to end your wildlife problems.

The first step in effectively preventing local wildlife from destroying your yard or garden is identifying what type of wildlife you are dealing with. Look for tracks, droppings, nests, and burrows to help you determine what species of pest is taking liberties with your property.  Once you identify your pest, learn a little bit about its habits. After identifying and learning about the pest, you can choose the best control method for that species.

Deer Fencing

When installed properly, a deer fence can successfully prevent deer from destroying your shrubs and trees. Deer Busters polypropylene deer fencing is virtually invisible, easy to install, and affordable. Keeping deer out can have more benefits to you than just saving your plants: Deer carry ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, which means the fewer the deer in your yard, the lower your chance of getting bit by a tick. In fact, the National Institute of Health believes that deer fencing can reduce the risk of Lyme disease by up to 97%.

Animal Control Fencing

Animal control fencing is a great option for keeping small animals such as rabbits, armadillos, and groundhogs from entering your garden or yard. Small chewing animals can do damage even in the winter – especially under the cover of snow. These chew-proof rodent barriers can be used alone or in combination with your deer fencing to prevent small animals from crawling under or chewing through your fence. The animal control fencing is also great at keeping your pets from entering the garden or restricted areas.

If you would like a less invasive method of controlling the local wildlife, scaring devices such as the Ultrasonic Motion Activated Deer and Animal Repeller, can be highly effective. This repeller emits an ultrasonic blast (above the frequency of human hearing) to startle pests from your yard or garden. This humanely hi-tech motion-activated device covers 4000 square feet and can be manually tuned to deter rodents, opossums, raccoons, deer and more.

Whether your property is a small residential yard or a large-acre farm, DeerBusters.com has a pest control solution for your problems. To learn more visit DeerBusters.com or call 888.422.3337.

There Goes the Rabbit…

By Teresa Odle

Jackrabbits can munch on garden shrubs but survive with very little water. That means they can hang out around your garden for days and keep coming back to your favorite ornamental plants, eventually stripping them of their foliage. Cottontails also love many ornamentals and turf, but they’re also really fond of the beans, beets, carrots and peas you were planning to harvest soon.

If you’ve already got deer fencing up, you may be surprised to come outside and find that some critter has been in your vegetable garden. They didn’t go over the fence, so that means…yep, rabbits can crawl under or chew through some deer fencing. So you might need a chew-proof barrier to protect certain plants from rabbits or as an added barrier to deer fencing to keep bunnies from breaking through to your entire lawn and garden.

Barrier Features

Ideal for keeping rabbits and rodents out of your garden

Ideal for keeping rabbits and rodents out of your garden

Although rabbits can chew through most of your plants and many attempt at barriers, they can’t chew through 20-gauge galvanized steel. In a hexagonal mesh pattern, two-foot or three-foot animal control netting comes in 150-foot lengths. If you’ve already got deer fencing in place, simply attach the wire chew-proof fencing to the taller deer fencing using hog rings.

And there’s an added bonus. The lazy dogs who haven’t chased off the rabbits also can’t dig under the fencing and get into your garden to trample your flowers and vegetables.

More Suggestions for Rut Season … 36″ Trunk Guards

Vinyl Tree Trunk GuardsUse these vinyl tree guards from our deer fencing company to protect your trees against sun-scald, severe frosts, rodents, windburn, lawn trimmers, and rutting deer. The tree guards assist with preserving the moisture content of bark. The vinyl tree guards are easily installed by unwrapping them onto the tree trunk from the base upward.

Click here to learn more about our 8-pk of 36″ Trunk Guards.

Deer Fence Virtually Invisible Maximum Strength Millennium Fence

deer

 

The Deer Fence Virtually Invisible Maximum Strength Millennium Fence is for total protection against deer and other large animals.  Click here to learn more about this Best of the Best product!

Rut Season is Here!

White-tailed deer rut season runs from October to December, peaking in November. Bucks are more active and less cautious this time of year, making them more of a problem for land owners, gardeners and farmers.

For over 25 years, DeerBusters.com has been in the business of protecting you and your property from dangerous and unwanted wildlife. Our deer fence company has helped thousands of customers protect their property from deer and other nuisance wildlife. Let us help you too!

Check out our Deer Repellents, Virtually Invisible Deer Fencing, Baited Electric Deer Fencing and Scaring Devices for Outdoor Protection and save!

Special Offer – Take 10% off any order of $50.00 or more. Use Coupon Code rut101 at checkout.

(Coupon expires November 7,2009. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offers or be applied to a previous orders. Limit one coupon per customer. Coupon valid online at Deerbusters.com only. All offers subject to change without notice.)