SHARE YOUR PROPERTY WITH ANIMALS

Despite ever shrinking green space, the animals that share the Earth with us are trying to survive. Our homes, offices and shopping centers were developed on what was once forest and fields. Chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, possums, skunks, raccoons, ground hogs and deer are not the invaders. We are. Please remember this when these displaced animals forage for food on your property or try to find places to bear and rear their young.

With education and raised awareness, more and more people are choosing the enlightened and compassionate way to protect their homes and gardens from unwanted animal visitors. There are many humane alternatives to killing. Simple commonsense and prevention are the best forms of animal control.

  • Raccoons and possum are attracted by garbage. Keep all leftover food inside until the night before trash pick-up. Seal organic garbage in plastic bags (a good way to reuse sandwich or storage bags) and refrigerate or, better yet, freeze it. The less your garbage smells, the less likely it will attract an animal. Use trashcans, with locking lids, where allowed. Otherwise, use heavy-duty, tightly tied trash bags.
  • With so few places left to burrow or nest, raccoons, possums, skunks and ground hogs will look for safe haven wherever they can find it. They will seek out the weak spots around your home. Neglect invites these animals. A well maintained home does not. 
  • Install lattice under porches and decks to block animals from nesting. Another option is stainless steel screening that can be sunk into the ground around the inhabited area. A one-way gate is installed that allows the animal to leave, but will not allow it to return. Only install this form of prevention when there are no babies in the nest.
  • Keep your garage or shed door tightly closed and repair broken boards at the bottom of cracks in the foundation.
  • Seal all openings under the roofline and cap your chimney. Do not do this if an animal has already entered. Wait until the animal has left to look for food. And be certain that there are no babies left behind. Do not use mothballs or ammonia to flush the animal out. You will kill the babies. A radio tuned to a talk show will sometimes disturb the mother enough to cause her to move out with her babies.
  • Your garden, whether it is a flower garden or you grow vegetables, will tempt any animal that forages for vegetation. There are a variety of repellants commercially available that claim to keep animals away. These range in cost and effectiveness. And there are recipes for homemade, foul smelling deterrents all over the Internet. The same commercial products used to repel cats and dogs often deter raccoons.
  • Another option is a mechanical device. Motion-activated sprinklers can be purchased that shoot a stream of water at an intruder, like a remote squirt gun. Loud or annoying sounds can also be set to go off like a security alarm, whenever movement is detected.
  • Polypropylene netting is sold to cover plants and keep deer and rabbits from eating them, but this netting can put other wildlife at risk. Small birds, toads and other animals could become trapped in the mesh. The netting is also very difficult to work with and expensive in large quantities.
  • By far the most effective “critter control” is fencing. A low voltage, electrified fence can be effective for all animals, but this option can be expensive. Chicken wire has served the purpose for years. A picket fence may be charming, but deer can jump those of average height. Decorative metal fencing looks good and should keep out all but the most intrepid deer.  A low-tech method is simply a nylon string, stretched across your garden perimeter, chest-high. A deer will back off when it feels the tension.

Deer can be the most destructive of all the animals that come into your garden to forage. In addition to the measures above, you could simply plant as many deer resistant plants as possible. The following is a list of plants that deer will “rarely” damage or “seldom severely” damage. Ask your nursery expert or search online. You can find photos of beautiful plants that won’t tempt the creatures in your garden.

  • Allegheny Spurge  (Pachysandra procumbens)-Groundcover
  • American Holly (Ilex opaca)-Tree
  • Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia sp. (Datura)-Annual
  • Anise (Pimpinalla anisum)-Annual
  • Anise Hyssop  (Agastache sp.)-Perennial
  • Annual Vinca  (Catharanthus rosea)-Annual
  • Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)-Shrub
  • Autumn Crocus (Colchicum sp.)-Bulb
  • Barberry (Berberis sp.)-Shrub
  • Barrenwort (Epimedium sp.)-Groundcover
  • Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)-Shrub 
  • Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)-Groundcover
  • Big Bluestem (Andropogon sp.)-Ornamental Grass
  • Bigleaf Goldenray (Ligularia dentate)-Perennial
  • Bishop's Weed  (Aegopodium podagaria)-Groundcover
  • Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)-Perennial
  • Blue Fescue  (Festuca glauca)-Ornamental Grass
  • Blue Mist Shrub  (Caryopteris clandonensis)-Shrub 
  • Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens)-Ornamental Grass
  • Bluebell (Endymion sp.)-Bulb
  • Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)-Tree
  • Broom (Cytisus sp.)-Shrub
  • Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)-Groundcover
  • Bush Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)-Shrub
  • Butter & Eggs (Linaria vulgaris)-Perennial
  • Buttercup (Ranunculus sp.)-Perennial
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia sp.)-Shrub
  • Cactus (Cactaceae sp.) -Perennial
  • Catmint (Nepeta sp.) -Perennial
  • Christmas Fern (Polystichum arcostichoides)-Fern
  • Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)-Fern
  • Clump Bamboo (Fargesia sp.)-Ornamental Grass
  • Coleus (Coleus sp.)-Annual
  • Common Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)-Shrub
  • Common Foxglove  (Digitalis purpurea)-Biennial
  • Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)-Perennial
  • Corydalis (Corydalis sp.)-Perennial
  • Crown Imperial, Fritilia (Fritilaria imperialis)-Bulb
  • Daffodil  (Narcissus sp.)-Bulb
  • Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)-Perennial
  • Daphne (Daphne sp.) -Shrub
  • Devil's Walking Stick (Aralia spinosa )-Shrub
  • Dill-Herb 
  • Drooping Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana)-Shrub
  • Dusty Miller (Centaurea cineraria)-Annual
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica')-Tree
  • European Ginger  (Asarum europaeum)-Perennial
  • False Camomile (Matricaria sp.)-Annual
  • False Indigo (Baptisia australis) -Perennial
  • Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis sp).-Ornamental Grass
  • Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana sp.)-Annual
  • Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sp).-Perennial
  • Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica) -Annual
  • Fountain Grass  (Pennisetum alopecuroides) -Ornamental Grass
  • Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatic) -Shrub
  • Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)-Perennial
  • Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis) -Perennial
  • Germander (Teucrium Chamaedrys) -Perennial
  • Giant Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus floridulis)-Ornamental Grass
  • Giant Reed  (Arundo donax)-Ornamental Grass 
  • Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) -Ornamental Grass
  • Greek Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis sp.) -Perennial
  • Hakonechloa (Hakonechloa macra)-Ornamental Grass
  • Hard Rush (Juncus Effusus-Ornamental Grass
  • Hayscented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) -Fern
  • Heath (Erica sp.) -Shrub
  • Heather (Calliuna sp.)-Shrub
  • Heliotrope (Heliot-opium arborescens) -Annual
  • Holly Fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) -Fern
  • Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) -Perennials 
  • Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) -Perennials 
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) -Perennials 
  • Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) -Ornamental Grass 
  • Iris  (Iris sp.)-Perennial
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphylum) -Perennial 
  • Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergiana) -Tree
  • Japanese Blood Grass (cylindrical) -Ornamental Grass
  • Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium goeringianum) (nipponicum) -Fern
  • Japanese Pieris, (Andromeda Pieris japonica) -Shrub
  • Japanese Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia) -Shrub
  • Japanese Sedge  (Carex sp)-Ornamental Grass 
  • Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)-Ornamental Grass
  • Japanese Skimmia (Skimmia japonica) -Shrub
  • Japanese Spirea  (Spiraea japonica) -Shrub 
  • Japanese Sweet Flag (Acorus sp.) -Ornamental Grass 
  • John T. Morris Holly (Ilex x 'John T. Morris') -Shrub 
  • Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) -Tree 
  • Ladys' Mantle  (Alchemilla sp.) -Perennials 
  • Lamb's Ear  (Stachys byzantine) -Perennial
  • Large Blue June Grass (Koeleria glauca) -Ornamental Grass 
  • Larkspur (Consolida ambigua) -Annual
  • Lavendar (Lavandula sp.) -Perennial
  • Lavender-Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus) -Perennial 
  • Leatherleaf Mahonia (Mahonia bealei) -Shrub
  • Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis ) -Perennials 
  • Lenten or Christmas Rose (Helleborus sp.) -Perennial 
  • Lily of the Valley  (Convallaria majalis) -Groundcover
  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) -Ornamental Grass
  • Lungwort  (Pulmonaria sp.) -Perennial
  • Lydia Morris Holly (Ilex x 'Lydia Morris') -Shrub
  • Lyme Grass (Leymus arenarius glaucous) -Ornamental Grass
  • Marjoram (Majorana) -Perennial
  • May Apple (Podophyllum) -Perennial 
  • Meadow Rue (Thalictrum sp.) -Perennial
  • Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) -Tree
  • Mint (Mentha sp.) -Perennial
  • Monkshood (Aconitum sp.) -Perennial
  • Moonglow Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum 'Moonglow') -Shrub
  • Mountain Pieris (Pieris floribunda) -Shrub 
  • New York Fern (Thelyptens noveboracensis) -Fern
  • Northern Sea Oats  (Chasmanthium latifolium) -Ornamental Grass
  • Oregano (Oreganum sp). -Perennial
  • Oregon Grape Holly  (Mahonia aquifolium) -Shrub 
  • Oriental Fountain Grass (Pennisetum orientale) -Ornamental Grass 
  • Ornamental Onion  (Allium sp.) -Perennial
  • Ornamental Onion  (Allium sp.) -Bulb
  • Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) -Fern
  • Pachysandra  (Pachysandra terminalis) -Groundcover 
  • Pampus Grass (Cortaderia selloana) -Ornamental Grass
  • Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) -Tree
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) -Tree
  • Peony (Paeonia sp.) -Perennial
  • Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)-Tree
  • Poppy (Papaver sp.) -Annual
  • Pot Marigold (Calendula sp.) -Annual
  • Potentilla, Cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.)-Perennial
  • Prince of Wales Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Prince of Wales') -Shrub
  • Purple Moor Grass (Molinia caerulea) -Ornamental Grass
  • Purple Rock-Cress (Aubretia deltoidea) -Perennial
  • Ravenna Grass (Erianthus ravennae) -Ornamental Grass
  • Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) -Shrub
  • Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) -Tree
  • River Birch (Betula nigra)  -Tree
  • Rock-Cress (Arabis caucasica) -Perennial
  • Rocket Ligularia (Ligularia 'The Rocket') -Perennial
  • Rodgers Flower (Rodgersia sp.) -Perennial
  • Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria) -Perennial
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) -Annual
  • Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis) -Fern
  • Rue (Ruta sp.) -Perennial
  • Russian Cypress (Microbiota decussate) -Shrub
  • Russian Olive  (Elaeagnus angustifolia) -Shrub
  • Russian Sage  (Perovskio atriplicifolia) -Perennial
  • Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) -Fern
  • Siberian Bugloss (Bruneria macrophylla) (Brunnera) -Perennial
  • Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica) -Bulb
  • Silver Mound   (Artemisia sp.) -Perennial
  • Small Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) -Perennial
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)-Annual
  • Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) -Bulb
  • Snow-on-the-Mountain (Euphorbia marginata) -Annual
  • Spider Flower  (Cleome sp.) -Annual
  • Spotted Deadnettle   (Lamium sp.) -Groundcover
  • Spurge  (Euphorbia sp.) (except 'Chameleon') -Perennial 
  • Statice  (Limonium latifolium) -Perennial
  • Strawflower (Helichrysum) -Annual
  • Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritime) -Annual
  • Sweet Box  (Sarcoccoca hookeriana) -Shrub
  • Sweet Woodruff  (Galium odoratum) (Asperula odorata) -Groundcover
  • Switch Grass  (Panicum virgatum) -Ornamental Grass
  • Tarragon  (Artemisia dracunculus) -Perennial
  • Threadleaf  (Coreopsis Coreopsis verticillata) -Perennial
  • Thyme  (Thymus sp.)-Perennial
  • Variegated Purple Moor Grass  (Molinia caerulea 'Variegata') -Ornamental Grass
  • Varigated Oat Grass  (Arrhenatherum elatius -Ornamental Grass
  • Weeping Love Grass  (Eragrostus curvula) -Ornamental Grass
  • Wild Ginger  (Asarum canadense) -Perennial
  • Winter Aconite  (Eranthus hyemalis -Bulb
  • Wood Fern  (Dryopteris marginalis) -Fern
  • Yucca (Yucca filimentosa) –Perennial