Veto Varmints

first_imgTwo-Fingers Fawn. Swift runner with Bambi eyes and a white tail. Will eat anythingedible within reach. Forages at night, dawn and dusk. Sometimes leaves two-toed tracks andmedium-size dark pellets.An electric fence is the best way to keep deer out. The “Minnesota Peanut ButterFence” is good. It’s a single strand of electrically charged wire 2.5 feet above theground.Power the fence with a six- or 12-volt car battery to prevent fatal injuries regularcurrent could cause.Place strips of masking tape and/or aluminum-foil flaps smeared with peanut butter atthree-foot intervals.Other deterrents soon wear off. Hanging up bars of soap or nylon stockings filled withhair can help. Spraying plants with a water-and-Tabasco-sauce mixture can, too. Rabbits, raccoons, deer, skunks and even bears often do their shopping in your producedepartment. These bushy burglars eat an estimated 20 percent of home garden vegetables.Over the years, people have used soap, dog hair, Winchester rifles and chain-linkfences to stop these criminal critters.Fencing them out works best. But it takes the right kind of fence. A deer, forinstance, can jump as high as 10 feet. A raccoon may shinny up a nearby tree and sky diveinto produce paradise.Look for tracks or fecal droppings. Find out how and when the animals get into thegarden, too. These “fingerprints” may help you identify the suspect.Build barriers early in the season before the animals taste-test your garden. Thenthey’ll be less likely to attempt a break-in.Here’s a “most wanted” list of major pests, clues to look for, favorite menuitems and ways to protect your vegetables from particular plunderers.Taking these steps won’t protect against all pests, but it might keep these fromstealing you blind. Robber Raccoon. Suspect has dark eyes, a black nose and white markings on face. Hasdefinite “sweet corn tooth” but will eat melons. Works night shift, bending cornstalks to the ground and stripping ears clean or stealing them. Often leaves melons withsmall holes in them, which he scooped clean with his paws. Will also leave characteristicfootprints around the scene.Electric fences are the best way to curtail a ‘coon. It takes two strands. Place onesix inches and the other 12 inches high.Use fiberglass posts, since ‘coons can climb wooden ones. Turn off the power in thedaytime, since they feed only at night.Nothing else works. ‘Coons are hardened criminals with a thirst for sweet corn. Theirwell-honed criminal skills will likely overcome any obstacle but a charged fence. Paw Barker (a.k.a. Mr. Bear). Last seen wearing a brown or black fur coat. Haslarge teeth and is heavyset. Gave up Jenny Craig diet for corn and melons. May bedangerous. Don’t approach. Usually leaves Sasquatch-like footprints and large dung pilesbehind.A four-strand electric fence baited with bacon is the best bear barrier. Place the topstrand about three feet high. Flashing lights, loud music and dirty laundry may also keepBig Ben out of your patch. Burglar Bunny. Generally grayish brown with large, pointed ears. Prowls in earlymorning and late afternoon. Devours plants right to the ground and may leave small roundpellets as calling cards.A fence of one-inch-mesh chicken wire is the best protection. Make it at least two feethigh with another four to six inches turned outward at the top. Bury at least another sixinches belowground.Gardeners have used ground black pepper, chili powder, blood meal, rotten eggs, boneoil and hot pepper sauce around plants to keep rabbits away.Train Rover to patrol the garden and Mr. Rabbit won’t likely show his ears.last_img

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