7 Animal Pests

Bugs are bothersome, but these pillagers also ruin your garden. Here are a few tips to help keep them at bay.
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Photo By: Image is courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Photo By: Image courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited


Chipmunks fill their cheeks with flower bulbs, nuts and seedlings from your garden and carry it to their burrows for the winter. To keep them away, try sprinkling bloodmeal around your garden. It's believed that chipmunks don’t like the smell of it.


Deer are ravenous herbivores and eat primarily fruit, plants, nuts, leaves and grasses. Although timid around humans, they are quick to invade unattended gardens and orchards. Like, chipmunks, deer have an aversion to bloodmeal sprinkled around your garden.

Prairie Dogs

While prairie dogs can cause damage to crops and pastures, they are beneficial to the ecosystem because they help till soil through burrowing and add nutrients to the soil. A preferred method of discouraging prairie dog communities is to trap and relocate them.


Rabbits eat a wide variety of vegetation and reproduce quickly. Fencing off your garden is an effective method of keeping them out.

Field Mice

Field mice burrow under the garden, disturbing the roots. They tunnel under a ripening fruit, and up into it in search of seeds. Traps and bait are the most common methods of ridding your garden. If this doesn't work, get a cat!


Birds eat insect pests in the garden, but they also eat entire fruits and vegetables or pick at them, making them inedible. Metal or aluminum wind chimes work well in repelling unwanted birds. They not only make noise but also reflect light, scaring the birds away.


Squirrels can wreak havoc on your garden. Try keeping them away with various strategies including dogs, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, sprinkler systems and other motion devices to scare them away, fences or the distraction of a sunflower seed feeder to keep them out of your tomatoes.