Pests in Your Yard and Garden

What Do Rabbits Say Before They Eat?… Lettuce Prey!

Friday while busy working in the greenhouse with my two dogs by my side a bear (I’m assuming) climbed over the fence and completely demolished one of my bee hives. The greenhouse is about 50 feet away and I heard nothing.   I notified my husband who went out and straightened the mess and supplied the bees with new supers and frames.  Later that day after doing some research I found a few articles on using human urine to deter bears and the jury is out regarding whether this is a sound or even effective practice.  After thinking it over I came to the conclusion that with this little a guarantee and the awkward position this could put me in with my pants around my ankles,  in a vulnerable position in front of already angry bees  this might not be the way to go.  Although not anaphylactic I am allergic enough that I may need to seek treatment If bitten many times.  That brought up another whole can of worms and decided to let fear and good judgment be my guide.  I decided to leave some lights on in the greenhouse and the TV on CNN.  That should do the trick!

Research does show that human and dog urine and human and dog hair are very beneficial to the yard and garden and will also deter many pests.  Fresh urine is clean and bacteria free.  It’s make up is 95% water, 2.5% urea and 2.5% hormones, minerals, enzymes and salts.  All these things are required by plants although excess nitrogen and inorganic salts may be too rich for some plants.  However not considering this as a fertilizing program my interest is how well will it work in deterring pest and it is believed to be very effective in deterring deer, rabbits, ground hogs and skunks.  It will need to be reapplied after significant rain or waterings.  Hair is another excellent deterrent and also will release nitrogen into the soil while decomposing.  Human hair is higher in nitrogen than manure but it should have no sprays, colouring or any other additives if your going to use it in the garden.   This too will need to be replaced every couple of weeks.  Dog and Cat hair works as well and will deter deer, rabbits and other small rodents like mice.  It may take some time to accumulate enough hair to be affective unless you approach a hairdresser or barber for donations.  Coffee grounds too will deter deer and is very good for the soil. The use of grated bar soap especially Irish Spring can help and here is a recipe for a spray that you can try although I would be careful about spraying it on some plants , try a test plant first.  Bring to a boil 1 gallon of water and 3 tbsp of pepper flakes.  Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from heat and add 2 tsp of dish soap.  Allow this mixture to set for 24 hours then strain it and put in a sprayer.

If none of these methods appeal to you try some companion planting.  Here are a few plants and the pests that they will deter.

  • Herbs such as peppermint, oregano, camomile, chives, fennel, coriander and dill all will help with aphids and spider mites.  Fennel and dill will also help with slugs.
  • Citronella grass will deter insects and cats.
  • Basil is good for whitefly and mosquitoes.
  • Lemon grass, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme and Rosemary deter mosquitoes.
  • Rabbits don’t like onions.
  • Petunias will deter aphids and the Tomato Hornworm.
  • Catnip will deter ants, aphids and cockroaches however it may attract cats.

Although none of this will deter a bear so it looks like an electrical solution may be needed.

Don’t get caught with your pants down and Happy Gardening!

Samantha Nason

BS Ranch & Greenhouses

250 547 6567

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