Animal Enemies of Your Garden

Be aware of the damage these small and large animals could do to your garden.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Addison Wood

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited


Deer certainly can leave their mark in your garden. You'll know they've visited when you see jagged leaf edges on the eaten plants and of course their distinctive hoof prints. Deer won't discriminate when they're hungry enough, though they generally leaves these plants alone: succulents, poisonous plants, pungent flavored plants and plants with hairy of furry leaves.

Mice, Voles & rats

Mice and moles are pests that burrow under the garden, disturbing the roots. More importantly, they tunnel under a ripening fruit, and up into it from the bottom in search of seeds. They can be controlled by traps, but discourage use of poisons in garden. Look for partially eaten potatoes or carrots as evidence of mice and vole activity. These furry fellows also will devour newly sown seeds, and feed on most flower bulbs, though they will leave daffodils alone.

Squirrels Can Make a Quick Mess

Squirrels will attack young seedlings, berries, fruits, and vegetables. Chipmunks are well known for their ability to dig up bulbs, eat freshly-planted seeds and eat maturing root crops. Squirrels are particularly crafty at garden theft. Fencing can be successful at preventing squirrel damage, and you may be able to annoy the pests away with sprinkler systems, sensitive motion lights, high-frequency sound emitters or a variety of scent-based repellants, like garlic, hot peppers, or animal urine.

Birds are Berry and Vegetable Pickers

Birds eat insect pests in the garden yet they also eat entire fruits and vegetables or pick at them, making them inedible. The focus of pest control in the garden is to protect plants or trees from bird predation through physical barriers.


Chipmunks' burrowing can damage landscaping and sidewalks. Use cayenne pepper to keep them away.

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