What’s That Digging in My Garden?
When critters are digging in your garden, they make it very obvious. However, if you can’t catch a glimpse of the animal, knowing exactly what’s causing the destruction may not be as obvious. By identifying the perpetrator, you’ll know what kind of repellent to use, such as rabbit repellent or deer repellent products. There are even helpful deer repellent reviews available online to help you decide.
One of the best ways to tell what animal you have on your property is to inspect the damage.
Rabbits leave clean, angled cuts as they eat leaves. Rabbits also strip bark and chew leaves off young trees. They can only reach about 2 ½ feet up the tree, though. If you’ve got damage on trees above 2 ½ feet, it may be deer. They’re known to stand on their hind legs to get to tree leaves. Also, deer lack incisors, so they don’t leave clean cuts like rabbits. On the other hand, or paw (sorry, couldn’t resist), raccoons typically dig and destroy gardens and fresh-laid sod. And if your garbage was also raided, chances are you’ve got a raccoon visitor or two.
Another good way to identify the nuisance animal is by looking at their prints.
Deer hoof prints are simple to identify: they are two oval shapes side by side. Another animal that leaves easy-to-decipher prints is the raccoon. Resembling human hands, their front feet have long toes that look like fingers, and their hind feet are identical, only slightly larger. Additionally, cat and dog tracks are usually also easy to identify. However, if you see smaller "dog-looking" prints, and don’t believe a dog has been in your yard, it may a fox. And if you see small tracks with two different numbered prints, they are probably from rabbits. Rabbit tracks will show five toes on the front feet and four toes on the back.
So, which kind of repellent should you use?
The best kind of repellent works on a variety of animals. Effective deer repellent products work by mimicking a scent of a dead animal, and makes them run away thinking a predator is nearby. Rabbit repellents work the same way, by targeting their sense of smell. If you’ve got other animals causing damage, like raccoons, look for an animal repellent that deters raccoons too. The best ones keep skunks, groundhogs, and squirrels away as well.