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Garden Pests or Guests?

Updated on November 8, 2015

Welcome (or NOT) to my Garden- Fun Garden Signs

When I moved into my home (about 14 years ago now- my, how fast time does fly!) from a big city, I was so excited to see rabbits in my backyard! Amazing! They were so cute. So, I kept the cute little "Welcome" garden tile with cute little white rabbits that I found in the backyard.

Fast forward 14 years... I just finished planting what will be my secret garden after removing ALL of the grass from the back yard. And what do I see munching on one of my poor defenseless plants? You guessed it, one of the formerly cute garden friends. Now, they're not so cute anymore and I am hurriedly looking for ways (not harrmful of course) to keep those little furry critters away from my plants.

Just for fun and laughter (My mom always says, 'It's better to laugh than cry') I've created some funny signs that I wish my garden pests (and guests) could read!

Squirrel Eating my Flowers - Caught in the Act! Unwelcome Guest in my Garden

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hmmm that looks interestingWhat's this?Let me try itMaybe...Naw!Yeah, that's what I'm talking aboutI need some dessert. Where's that peanut I buried?
Hmmm that looks interesting
Hmmm that looks interesting
What's this?
What's this?
Let me try it
Let me try it
Maybe...
Maybe...
Naw!
Naw!
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about
I need some dessert. Where's that peanut I buried?
I need some dessert. Where's that peanut I buried?
No nuts allowed
No nuts allowed

No Nuts Allowed

Crazy Squirrels in my Garden

I have to admit that I am partially to blame for the popularity of my yard for the furry rodents (squirrels) that are my constant visitors. I will often throw out the outdated bread or some grapes that are getting mushy, etc. for the birds and the squirrels to eat. And so it is no surprise that they love my yard (now my secret garden). The squirrels have also provided lots of entertainment for me. There are three particular squirrels that put on quite a show! They often chase each other around the yard and up the trees and across the wires, chattering away. It was hilarious watching them trying to get into the bird feeders that I had hanging on tree branches. One in particular was a fabulous acrobat and jumped from the tree branch onto the teeny little platform on the birdfeeder and managed to hang on until he had gotten some of the bird seed!

I actually feel sorry for them now. I see them all day long wandering hopelessly around the yard, digging here, digging there- obviously searching for their precious nuts which they had diligently buried last winter way before I decided to cover my entire yard with three layers- paper, soil and mulch! Poor squirrels, they must think they're losing it! I can imagine them saying to themselves, "I could have sworn I buried that peanut somewhere around here!" They must be getting desperate because now THEY'RE even eating my plants! Crazy squirrels!

Havahart Critter Ridder 3146 Animal Repellent, 5-Pounds Granular Shaker
Havahart Critter Ridder 3146 Animal Repellent, 5-Pounds Granular Shaker

I like the smell although animals do not- this is a larger amount

 
Bonide 238 1-Quart Shot-Gun Repels-All Animal Repellent Ready To Use
Bonide 238 1-Quart Shot-Gun Repels-All Animal Repellent Ready To Use

animals are irritated by the smell- lasts up to 2 months

 

For the "Unwelcome" Guests in your Garden - Animal Pest Repellents

Trying to keep those "cute" little rabbits away from my plants. Here are a couple of products I am trying. One is a spray to repel many animals. You can spray right on the plant and leaves and it does not hurt it. You spray it on when you know it is not going to rain and you do not water the plants for a day. It is supposed to last for up to 2 months. It has an unpleasant smell that irritates the animals. The other is used to repel squirrels, cats and dogs. You sprinkle on the area right around the plants or any other areas where you don't want those particular animals to go. It has a pleasant cinnamony smell which I don't mind unlike the spray repellent. The motion-activated sprinkler is great to repel unwelcome cats and dogs who like to do their business in your yard or garden. The owl, with its rotating head movement, scares away birds who are also too comfortable in your garden.

Gardeneer By Dalen Natural Enemy Scarecrow SOL-R Action Owl
Gardeneer By Dalen Natural Enemy Scarecrow SOL-R Action Owl

the owl's head rotates every 2 minutes and the eyes glow in the dark- scares away birds and even cats

 
Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler with Day and Night Detection Modes
Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler with Day and Night Detection Modes

humane- sprays water- can be set for day, night or all the time- good quality parts

 
NOT your SALAD BAR
NOT your SALAD BAR

Silly Rabbit, Flowers are for People

Please don't eat the coneflowers!

Looking out my kitchen window, what did I see but a rabbit munching on one of my new perennials I had recently planted. I ran out the door like a crazy woman shooing the rabbit from his breakfast. I wondered, "Why do you have to pick my brand new, beautiful flowers when there are so many fantastic weeds behind the garage that you are so welcome to help yourself to!" He ran to the back fence by my patio swing and turned to look at me. I headed towards him waving my arms madly. He gave me a defiant look, turned and hopped away behind the fence. Oooo! I went back to the house to see what I had in my "pest repellant" arsenal. I have tried sprinkling cayenne pepper around the flowers that the rabbits seem to like. Hmmm- he must like hot stuff! I also read that they dislike cinnamon- obviously didn't work! Okay, we are going to get serious. I went to my local gardening center for some pest repellant products. So I found one that supposedly repels rabbits and other animals. It was an organic spray, non-toxic. The cashier looked at it and said, "I tried this and it didn't work for me, but maybe it was a different kind." She unscrewed the top and took a whiff. "No, maybe it was a different kind." I bought it. When I got home, I opened my trunk and to my dismay a strong odor of animal urine wafted up at me! Oh no! The cashier had not screwed on the top completely and the repellant had spilled out all over my trunk! Well, maybe the rabbit will stay away from my car at least!

not a public restroom
not a public restroom

Feathered Friends in the Garden

Birds Making Themselves TOO MUCH at Home!

One of the things I liked best about my back yard was that it attracted so many birds. I loved to see the family of blue jays that came to visit regularly. The cardinals were also my favorites and whenever I saw them, I would just stare until they flew away- so beautiful. Once, about two years ago, I even saw a hummingbird- so amazing!

I have a large assortment of birdhouses and hang them all over the back. They have been home to several different bird families and it's been so miraculous to see the little baby birds being fed by their mothers. Birds are very resourceful and will use whatever they find to make their little nests. They also find any nook or niche- I've found a nest in the window box outside of my bedroom window. One industrious little morning dove was even constructing a nest on top of the sensory light near the back door. It was such a tiny space! I could imagine her sitting on her little nest on her little eggs when suddenly, the door would open, the light would go on and scare the poor bird each time.

I thought, "That's not an appropriate place to raise your little ones, my dear! I'll save you from that traumatic experience!" So, I pulled out the pieces she had started and stuck something handy in the space. I think she must have come back a couple of times, but eventually she got the idea and built her home elsewhere, hopefully not near a sensory light!

Making your Garden Welcoming with Birdhouses and Windchimes

I love birdhouses and windchimes. I have them hanging all over my garden. My latest is a "Spartans" birdhouse. For those of you non-Michiganders, the SPARTANS is the name of the football team from Michigan State University. My daughter just completed her first semester there, so this birdhouse is a tribute to her college. Let's see which birds are smart enough to pick this house to live in :)

Do you have any welcome or unwelcome animal friends in your garden? Please share your stories with us. Thanks!

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