Maintaining a beautiful yard requires quite the commitment, especially when there are unwelcome animals that constantly sabotage your hard work. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution for blocking pets and other creatures from coming into your yard, but there are a few solutions that may discourage them from coming back. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems that these furry trespassers may create for your yard and how to quickly get rid of them.
Man vs. Mole
Moles are notorious for inflicting havoc on yards by digging burrows and creating small potholes throughout your lawn. In the Pacific Northwest, this is a very common issue because the large amount of annual rainfall creates rich, moist soil–ideal mole conditions. Moles can also cause problems with your home’s irrigation and plant root systems. Moles are insectivores so they feed primarily on invertebrates (insects). A wet yard brings plenty of earthworms and other tasty grubs to the surface, essentially creating a haven for hungry moles that are constantly on the hunt for food.
So how do you keep moles from destroying your yard?
Well, you could always hire Carl Spackler from Caddy Shack to eradicate these destructive pests, but there’s an even easier way: limit their food supply.
To reduce the number of insects in your soil, always fertilize with a feed that contains bug control and try not to overwater your yard. Poisonous gas, toxic bait, or ultrasonic devices are mostly ineffective, and generally only work as temporary repellents. Aside from trapping or inhumanely killing the beast with your weapon of choice, you could always get an outdoor cat— they’re great mole-hunters.
Litter Box Yard
Speaking of cats, there is nothing more frustrating than when you catch Mittens, your neighbor’s tabby, violating your flowerbed like it’s his personal litter box.
When this happens consider the following:
- Take a deep breath
- Calmly walk outside
- Find a hose or a Super Soaker
- AND UNLEASH ON MITTENS!
On second thought, this is rather cruel and it probably won’t provide long-term results. That’s not to mention you may find yourself in hot water with your neighbor.
A simple solution is to place garden mesh or chicken wire in the soil. Cats will not dig or walk in flowerbeds or gardens when this is placed in the ground.
You can also buy motion activated lawn sprinklers to thwart off uninvited intruders. Just be sure to avoid putting them in areas where people may walk.
A cheaper solution is to use repellents such as mothballs (be sure to place them in a container or jar if you have children) or buy plants that cats find stinky (rue or lavender).
If you live away from suburban areas, then you’ve probably seen deer in your yard. The biggest threat that these animals create is actually to your plants and crops. Just like with moles, you can generally keep them away by making your yard less appetizing.
Here are a few tips:
- Plant scratchy foliage or herbs with strong odors (garlic, mint, or lavender)
- Conceal your garden with large plants, hedges, or fences
- Scatter repellents throughout your garden
- Avoid delicious plants (strawberries, lettuce, beans, etc.)— Or at least plant them within close proximity to your home