For many homeowners, their garden is a pride and joy—a little slice of heaven at the back of their home. Yet, attitudes to gardening have become increasingly eco-friendly recently, with many guides teaching how to repel a scourge of insects, from devouring shrubbery, with clever eco-friendly techniques. And for a bonus, they’ll also beautify your garden.
However, rodents and other critters can also cause significant damage but rarely get enough attention. How can we keep these critters out, while making our gardens an eco-friendly paradise?
The Signs of a Pest
Firstly, what are the signs that a pest is present?
Rodents often live in compost piles, garden beds, under lawns, or amongst ornamental plantings. Small openings in houses or sheds allow them to seek refuge in the chilly winter months. Particularly rats and mice, while gophers will stay in their outdoor colonies.
Plants disappearing is a clear sign of critters. Rats, mice, and gophers will disturb the plant from below, while rabbits or deer munch from above. Tunnels can be a clear sign of rats or gophers, especially if near a small hole. A burrow with a small entrance is the sign of a Norway rat. If there are little round mounds, you might have a gopher, whereas a large conical mound is a clear sign of a mole.
Other signs that can help you learn which animal is invading your garden include droppings, semi-eaten plant material, or tracks.
If the infestation is large, you might still have to fall back on tried and tested methods of animal control. However, there are a bunch of eco-friendly solutions that can help prevent the problem; while also beautifying your garden.
There are several plants that are reported to repel mice. Many are attractive or have a succulent aroma, including the fragrant shrub Mint, the delicate lilac Pennyroyal, as well as garlic and onion. Gardeners’ favorites Camphor, Lavender, and Wormwood can also repel rodents. Use these plants to fill up the back of a border, near a fence, or wall, to get maximum benefit. Plus, they’ll provide a stunning backdrop to your garden beds. For more information on green ways you can repel pests, click here to see what pest control specialists have to say.
In recent years, there has been a growing range of rodent-proof bulbs. Here are a few of the most dazzling examples:
- Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis): The perfect way to mark the start of spring, and keep your garden critter-free.
- Daffodils (Narcissi): Reliable and much-loved, daffodils are also pest-resistant.
- Alliums: A member of the onion family, notable for their distinctive smell and flavor which repels voles, chipmunks, and squirrels. Plus, the gorgeous yellow star flowers are a delight.
- Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis): an early bloomer, known for its bright yellow buttercup flowers.
A Big Project
A wall or large sunken planter can be a fantastic way to break up your garden space, dig deep, and it will also form a barrier against any tunnels. Fill with native plants to help out pollinators and desirable insects. Ponds can also serve as natural barriers against rodents and other animals, while attracting wildlife, such as frogs, dragonflies, and some species of bird.