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Part II: How Do I Keep Bugs & Animals Out of My Garden?

Yesterday, we talked about how to identify garden pests and vermin by the signs they leave behind, and today we’re going to address how you can stop them before the damage is done.</br></br>If you didn’t <a title="Part I: What's Eating My Plants?" href="http://www.atgstores.com/ourblog/part-i-whats-eating-my-plants" target="_blank">catch yesterday’s blog</a>, we organized the most common garden invaders into three categories: “rippers,” “chewers” and “suckers.” Each leaves its own mark, which is your clue to how you can stop them.</br></br><strong>1. “Rippers” are animals that rip out large chunks of plants.</strong></br></br>Deer are the most common culprit in this class and there are several ways to deter them from causing damage:</br></br>- Plant herbs that mask the scent of plants deer love (roses, berry bushes, azaleas and hosta).</br>- Place the plants they love closer to your house.</br>- Use garden décor and/or <a title="Wind Chimes" href="http://www.atgstores.com/outdoor/curb-appeal/wind-weather/wind-chimes/" target="_blank">wind chimes</a> with moving parts that will startle deer.</br>- Put up a fence.</br>- Employ a natural (e.g. garlic) or manufactured repellent.</br></br>Birds are also rippers, and it’s admittedly much more difficult to stop them if they decide they want your veggies and berries. The tried and true method: a scarecrow, or something similar to it.</br></br><strong>2. “Chewers” are bugs and animals that chew their way through your garden like rabbits, caterpillars, grasshoppers, snails, slugs and flying insects.</strong></br></br>Rabbits are notorious for chewing up new shoots and the tender parts of plants. Thankfully, they’re also sensitive to smell. They don’t like:</br></br>- Rotten eggs</br>- Ammonia</br>- Onions</br>- Wild animal urine</br>- Some other plants, like cucumbers, squash and corn</br></br>Methods vary when it comes to the bugs. Salt and slug traps work for the slimy critters, and you can try these different tactics for the rest:</br></br>- Caterpillars: There are several different kinds, but methods include planting herbs to mask other plant smells, attracting more birds to your yard with baths and feeders, and using neem oil.</br>- Grasshoppers: They also don’t like herbs, and can be further managed with a homemade garlic spray.</br>- Flying Insects: Again, birds are your best bet for many flying pests, or even bats for the bugs that invade at night.</br></br><strong>3. “Suckers” are the pests you don’t notice until their ill effects start to appear, and include aphids and mites. </strong></br></br>Aphids are the bane of many a gardener and their never-ending assault supports entire industries devoted to killing them. The top prevention methods:</br></br>- Insecticide</br>- Constant watering/spritzing</br>- Ladybugs</br></br>Ladybugs also like mites, which are another pernicious plant attacker. Neem oil is also effective, or you can try a commercial spider mite spray.</br></br>Use these tips to keep bugs off your plants and grow a healthier garden this year!
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