How to Identify Garden Pests
It’s inevitable — wherever there are gardens, there will also be pests! Even well-tended gardens are likely to experience a pest problem at one time or another.
Pests can cause plenty of damage, from nibbling on your plants and vegetables to creating holes and tunnels all over your property. Identifying garden pests is the first step to controlling them, and the sooner that garden pest identification occurs, the better your chances of preventing a full-scale animal assault.
Garden Pest Identification Tips
While animals may visit your garden throughout the day or night, the best time for identifying garden pests is usually at dawn or dusk. Sit by a window offering a clear view of your garden and see what critters decide to drop by for a snack.
Some animals are nocturnal, and you will rarely be able to see them, so be sure to check during the day for droppings, which are a telltale sign of their presence. Reliable garden pest identification can often occur simply by describing the size and shape of the droppings to a local wildlife expert. Holes in the ground in and around your garden usually indicate animal activity. Many animals also leave their own unique calling card. Below you will find tips on how to identify some of the more common garden pests.
What’s the Damage?
One of the best ways to tell what animal you have on your property is to inspect the damage:
- Rabbits leave clean, angled cuts as they eat leaves. They also strip the bark and leaves off of young trees.
- Deer tend to damage trees above 2 ½ feet. They can even stand on their hind legs to reach the leaves. Deer don’t leave clean cuts like rabbits when they eat.
- Raccoons like to dig and destroy gardens and freshly laid sod.
What Do the Prints Look Like?
- Deer hoof prints are simple to identify. They are two oval shapes side by side.
- Cat and dog prints are also easy to classify. If you find prints similar to cat and dog paw prints, but they look too small, they could possibly be from a fox.
- If you see small prints with two different numbered prints, it could be from a rabbit. They have five toes on their front paws, and four toes on the back.
Which Repellent Should You Use?
You can find a repellent that works specifically to the animal you believe is the problem, but the best kind of repellent works on a variety of different animals. Critter Ridder® Animal Repellent Ready-to-Use Spray safely repels animals such as dogs, cats, raccoons, skunks, and more. The product irritates their senses of smell and taste, causing them to keep away from your yard. If you tried your best to identify the animal, and just couldn’t figure it out, this would be the most effective repellent to use. To target rabbits and deer, use a specific repellent like our line of Deer & Rabbit Repellents.
If you want to learn more about the animals that could be digging in your garden, please browse our website. Also, check out our Facebook page to share your success stories and pictures. Best of luck on restoring your yard!