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Letters To The Editor

Last week we asked readers to write in with any suggestions or experiences with keeping pests out of the garden. You know the ones I’m talking about – those pesky squirrels, raccoons, deer, and everything else that is destructive. Well here are some hints from our readers

Dear Editor,
I read about someone asking about deer and or rabbits in the garden. The answer? Take a plastic bag of dried blood from the garden center, pinch a small hole in the plastic bag, walk around the garden and with every step, squeeze a puff of blood onto the ground. No more deer or rabbits. It works wonders!


Dear Editor,
In response to your article about pests in the garden… we have deer in our yard almost daily.  We have spent much money on repellants, as well as trying dog hair, soap, CDs, motion-activated sprinklers, etc.

The bottom line is that nothing deters them.

The only sure solution is a barrier. We have put deer-resistant netting around each fruit tree, as well as the garden. They have even found a way to poke in through that, and consequently, we use strong white cord and weave it through the netting horizontally, about ten inches apart, starting three inches from the ground. It is wrapped tightly around each post.

I have also created noise makers by putting a few small rocks in an empty tin can and squeezing the end shut. When I see deer nibbling, I toss it at them. They run, but I don’t know how long that is effective.


Dear Editor,
We put up chicken wire around and over our garden. It does a pretty good job of keeping most critters out. Every once in a while a small bird or a rat can find a way in, but we’ve not had any trouble with squirrels eating our tomatoes or our fruit any more.


Dear Editor,
I have some gardens away from the house, which I’ve rabbit and deer proofed. For the rabbits, surround the garden with chicken wire, otherwise called poultry netting. The deer are kept out by tying bamboo or ¾ by ¾ poles onto the fence posts, eight feet apart. String twine around the garden on these poles at seven feet and eighteen inches above the chicken wire. Then cut up some cloth about eighteen inches long and tie two pieces on each strand of twine between each post. This looks like the same thing they do for horses, only closer together. I had deer eat ¾ of my strawberry plants one night. Did this and haven’t had a problem in years.


Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions. We appreciate it when our readers let us know what does and doesn’t work for them. We don’t have all the answers – in fact, no one does. It’s only through the sharing of ideas that we can learn more than we ever imagined.

The Editor



Dear Editor,

I have peaches approaching perfect “ripeness,” but I have been unable to enjoy even one because pesky birds are eating 1/4 or 1/2 of them before we can harvest! Every day we find more destroyed peaches that we just have to toss in the compost bin. Please help, are there any tricks you can tell us to deter these destructive thieves?

Dear KC,
I can tell you what folks around here use—in the orchard and on the airfield—to keep birds away from fruits and airplane parts that don’t need birds nesting anywhere near them.

Rubber snakes. Plastic T-Rexes. Anything with mean, glaring eyes. You can also try tying aluminum pie plates in the trees, as well as CDs and soda cans. Strips of metallic tape fluttering will deter them for a while. The thing is to change up the method of running them off. Birds, as with animal, will get used to anything after a while.


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