Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests

If Britons keep finding their plants and vegetables trodden and half eaten, it is essential steps are taken to make sure their hard work is protected. There are many ways to keep animals such as squirrels, cats as well as slugs and snails out of the garden, according to the experts at The Expert Gate Company.

Block entry points

The experts explained: “To keep animals out of your garden, the first plan of action is blocking off any areas where they can sneak in. 

“Installing fences and a driveway gate is the best way to ensure you have strong boundaries around your garden that won’t allow access to animals. 

“Avoid fences or gates that have large gaps in them, as smaller animals will be able to climb through these. 

“Try a solid wooden driveway gate that leaves minimal space at the bottom to keep out those pesky animals. When paired with brick walls or some solid fencing, a setup like this will be almost impossible for most animals to access.”

Invite in other animals 

While this may sound counterintuitive, the experts recommended trying to bring in other animals to fend off other ones or to eat.

According to the pros, this can be one of the “best” ways to keep “unwanted” animals completely out of the garden.

They explained: “If you’ve wanted a pet for a while, now is the perfect time to get one. Dogs and cats can be very helpful for warding off wild animals, as they won’t want to trespass onto another animal’s territory. 

“Not only will the scent of another animal deter trespassers, but pets may also chase wild animals away from your garden.

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“If having a pet isn’t a feasible option, there are other animals that can be used to minimise pests. For example, owls and other birds can eat insects and rodents that are causing trouble in your garden.”

Use sound and light

Pretty much any animal including cats, squirrels and pigeons can be disturbed by sudden lights or noises, making them escape the garden.

There are a range of motion sensors which can automatically scare off curious animals with bright lights and noises.

The experts noted: “This is one of the best methods to keep foxes out of your garden, as they enjoy the dark and quiet. However, if you don’t want any disruptive noises or lights, hanging a wind chime is a peaceful way to ward off animals with some gentle sounds. 

Grow herbs and plants

The pros continued: “Rabbits tend to stay away from onions and the majority of herbs, so growing these crops can keep them away from your other plants. 

“Plus, you get the added benefit of fresh ingredients growing in your own backyard! Marigolds and lavender are some examples of gorgeous flowers that rabbits don’t enjoy chomping down on. 

“This is perfect if you want an attractive yet low maintenance garden that won’t appeal to hungry rabbits. 

“Squirrels can be easily deterred by planting daffodils, geraniums, and hyacinths in your garden. Similarly to rabbits, they also don’t enjoy onions and garlic, so these can be very advantageous to plant in your garden.”

Cats “hate” strong citrus scents, so gardeners could try planting citrus varieties including lemon balm and lemon thyme in their gardens.

For the most “effective” results, the aptly named scaredy cat plant called coleus canine is “very unpleasant” to cats and other animals, so this could be planted near attractive areas of the garden.

The experts added: “However, the scent of this plant is pretty unpleasant to humans as well so you might want to avoid it.

“If you don’t fancy a nasty smell in your garden, try planting lavender and rosemary for a more enjoyable way to keep cats out.”

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