Of all the pests that risk the health of your lawns and landscaping this autumn, damage from moles and deer pose one of the greatest threats. As food and temperature patterns change with the season and grubs beginning their first stages of life, you may begin to see more destructive animal activity. Thankfully, moles, deer and other herbivores can be easily repelled, without harming the animal or the environment, by taking advantage of their keen sense of smell and a prey’s flight instincts.
Secondary Damage from Moles
Most commonly found varieties of white grubs hatch in August and begin eating furiously through your lawn as they work through their first few stages of growth, known as instars. That can be bad news for your turf roots, but their presence can also attract rodents such as moles, skunks, raccoons and birds that feast on the grubs—plus herbivorous voles that follow the paths of destruction created by moles. Even though they’re after the insects, these animals will inadvertently tear up your turf and gardens.
Secondary damage from animals like moles often comes in the form of tunnels and mounds that can be unsightly and harmful to the health of your lawn. Moles can even do direct harm to plants when they scrape away soil from plant roots, sapping them of needed nutrients. Some have even reported moles tunneling into homes through weak foundations in their insatiable quest for food.
There are two ways to treat damage from moles: target the problem animals or target the source. Cutting off mole and vole food supplies will usually convince them to move off—plus you can prevent grub related turf damage. GrubGONE! is a biological insecticide that can be applied to lawns for the grubs to ingest and quickly die.
But moles feed on other insects as well. Sometimes it’s best to repel moles and voles directly with products that use natural, harmless ingredients.
I Must Garden Mole & Vole Repellent contains 20% castor oil a natural oil with human medicinal uses that moles, voles, gophers and other burrowing animals find extremely abhorrent. It also uses mint and cedar oil to round out the repellent. Spreading it in its granular or liquid form makes the moles’ food source and environment smell and taste unpleasant. These products are safe for pets and people.
Direct Damage from Deer
Anyone who’s ever tried keeping a garden has run into trouble with deer—and their activity is just beginning to increase in gardens and landscapes as their natural food resources are depleted. While deer are always present, homes that may not have seen deer this season may notice an increase in their activity as the season turns.
Deer follow patterns, but those patterns can be difficult to predict and they change with the dew point, the temperature and wind chill factors. This means that with fall turning to winter, you may soon see more deer coming in to feast on your garden, bushes, and decorative plants.
The deer population in the United States is on the rise with 20 million individuals roaming the forests across the nation. That number is up from just 500,000 animals in 2000. And they’re not picky. The deer menu contains 500 species of plants. Males will eat 10 pounds of leaves daily so it’s best to keep these diners away from your garden.
Deer have a keen sense of smell that they use to detect signs of danger. I Must Garden General Animal Repellent uses dried blood, garlic, white pepper and other scents to fool deer and other herbivores (rabbits, groundhogs, woodchucks) that predators might be in the vicinity, a scent they instinctively avoid. In its granular form, I Must Garden General Animal Repellent is easy to apply around areas you want protected.
For more targeted repellency, try I Must Garden Deer Repellent. It comes in a liquid form that can be sprayed directly on plants and bushes. In addition to eggs and garlic—substances deer will avoid—this liquid repellent contains natural botanical oils (like mint) deer won’t eat. Plus, their deer repellent comes in two scents that make it pleasant for humans.
Snakes, Geese, Dogs & Cats
Most wild animals rely on their senses in the wild. It’s a survival instinct that we can use to prompt creatures to stay away from places they’re not wanted without harming them so we can enjoy nature in our backyards on our own terms.
In addition to repellents for nature’s most common animal pests, I Must Garden offers liquid and granular repellents that cover a variety of creatures.
Scram Versus I Must Garden
Previously, we recommended SCRAM products for defense against damage from moles and deer. Through testing and feedback, we have discovered that I Must Garden offers greater potency at a lower price. In addition, the SCRAM lines were not registered in Connecticut where we are located, so we are no longer able to carry them. Unregistered products cannot be legally sold or applied in this state or others that require exempted pesticide registrations.