If you are interested in having an organic garden, there are certain methods of wild animal control that you can implement. These methods of animal control must comply with the organic regimen – and this means using animal repellents that are approved for organic gardening by the USDA or OMRI®.
How to Identify Repellents for Organic Gardening
Repellents are products topically applied or attached directly to a plant and are intended to deter animals. Repellent sprays, concentrates, granules, and stations that are approved for use in organic gardening work effectively in this way to keep nuisance animals from your garden or lawn, without the use of harmful chemical pesticides.
When identifying organic repellents for gardening, the USDA will have a label on the approved products which will likely show the “For Organic Gardening” seal as shown below:
Another certification that assures compliance with an organic regimen is the OMRI® Listed Logo:
How to Choose the Best Repellents for Your Garden
Repellents work by targeting animals’ heightened senses of smell and/or taste with ingredients animals hate, creating an unpleasant experience that will keep them away from the protected area(s). Some ingredients, like capsaicin or pepper oils, create a physical discomfort by burning the animals’ senses of taste and/or smell. Other ingredients, like putrescent egg or dried blood, induce more of a psychological discomfort, naturally inducing fear in animals.
The most effective repellents for organic gardening repel by both scent and taste. These types of repellents are considered dual action deterrents. There are three different categories of organic repellents for your garden, which are liquid, granular, and repellent stations.
With liquid repellents, you can use repellents like Safer® Brand Animal Repellent Spray, which is already pre-mixed and ready for use right away. This product repels dogs, cats, skunks, squirrels, and raccoons. Plus, with liquid repellents, you can spray it on your plants, gardens, or other outdoor surfaces to prevent damage without causing any harm to animals you want to deter or the plants.
Granular repellents, like the Safer® Brand Animal Granular Repellent, work just as efficiently as liquid. This repellent can be spread by hand, or by a lawn spreader. You can put this near the perimeter of your lawn and garden, or any other hotspots that critters frequently visit. The granular repellents will keep the cats, dogs, skunks, squirrels, and raccoons away by the scent and taste.
Repellent stations can work well for repelling deer from your garden. By placing these stations on the ground, the scent will deter the deer and ensure that your garden stays untouched by these animals. Stations like our Safer® Brand Deer Off® Weatherproof Deer Repellent Stations, are easy to implement and are a great way to keep your plants untouched.
All three of these options are OMRI® Listed and compliant for use in organic gardens.
How to Use Repellents Efficiently
The first thing that you need to do when finding and using the right repellent, is identify the animal that is causing your garden trouble. Depending on that animal, what you want to use and where you want to use it will change.
Once identified, it’s important to get the repellent that is specific for the animal you want to deter. Certain animals are affected by certain smells, so you must be sure that what you’re buying matches the animal you want to keep out.
After getting the correct repellent, placement is the next step. It’s important to spread or spray the repellent around the area you want protected, such as by creating a perimeter barrier around your garden beds. It’s also a good idea to treat the area near the animal’s suspected living. This way, the smell will drive the animal out of its location in your yard, finding a new spot, away from the protected area, that doesn’t smell to them.
Repellent spray can be put right on your plants, bushes, and any other parts of your lawn and garden where you commonly find damage. This way, if the animals get past the perimeter of granular that you set up, they don’t try to eat the plants because the smell will be too irritating and the food will taste bad to them.
As for repellent stations, you can place them in your flowerpots, stake them throughout the ground in of your garden, or even hang them off trees. You can also use these stations as perimeter protection if you place the stakes around the edges of your yard.
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