My hope with this garden pests identification article is that you will be able to identify some of the animals that are causing damage to your garden and how to control the damage.
Anyone whose a gardener should know that any plant you grow there’s an insect or animal lying in wait to eat it. From fruit trees to flowers everything that grows hosts a number of insects and other organisms that will feed on it.
I discuss this in a previous article Fencing For Gardens: How to Keep Wild Life Out of Your Garden. We also touch on insects in a very early article that was written Top 10 Harmful Vegetable Gardening Pests (And How to Safely Get Rid of them).
Both articles go over garden pests identification but I wanted to expand a bit more on this article because its important to know what you’re dealing with and how to possibly avoid further damage.
Garden Pests Identification
I live in the zone 7 regions, and if you want to know what zone your in press this link here.
In the Fencing For Gardens article, I went over a few of the animals that are the most common in my area/zone that I have the most trouble with.
Most of these are fairly common in my area but may not be as common in yours. I’d like to list more of the animals you may see in your area.
I touched upon deers, rabbits, and groundhogs in mine lets go over a few more. Some of the ones I’ll be talking about were ones I talked about with you the audience.
Moles: they are digging or burrowing in the ground the same way that you see gophers, they may range between 5-14 inches in length. They are known to eat plants and the roots together with the vegetation that are above the ground.
You will see large molehill piles of dirt, the ground will feel spongy and damaged. You will see ridges from all over the yard.
Voles: they are similar to rabbits and that they are voracious eaters, and they will eat the roots of the plants and the grass.
They may pluck the seed out and eat the rhizomes and bulbs that you’ve planted during the summer or spring. The voles will also create surface tunnels with the landscape and you see the network of tunnels around the surface of the ground.
Other signs of damage will be irregular paths of clipped and trampled grass or soil. The track will be 1-2 inches wide.
You’ll find clean entrances, round holes that are 1.5 inches in diameter. If you have fruit trees you may see a delay in fruit production or production stops entirely. This could mean the voles led to root damage caused by grinding.
Chipmunks: they are cute little critters but they also should not be welcomed in the garden. They will dig up the flower bulbs, seeds, and seedlings within the flower garden.
Their cuteness hides a very voracious critter that will wreak havoc on your gardening efforts.
Raccoons: These are one of the naughtiest and clever animals that gardeners will encounter. They are not only fast, but they are great climbers and smart creatures.
They are nocturnal and will usually lurk at night, which makes them pretty difficult to deal with.
They are omnivorous, which means they will eat pretty much everything. While the garden is a prime target you also have to keep food sources away from them, completely out of there reach like outdoor trash bins they will be a prime source of food.
Very tenacious animals because they aren’t afraid of people and will constantly be a nuisance if not dealt with. Raccoons have a habit to dig holes as well.
There are many animal skunks, snakes, beavers, foxes, possums, and even armadillos. The more knowledge you have of the animals your living with, the more of an idea you’ll have of what they might be looking for, once they come into your garden.
Garden pests identification is important and once you identify them and you know what to look for and what there trying to get too you’ll be able to put together the proper countermeasures for them.
I advocate for more humane ways of getting these critters out of your garden or just protecting your garden in general.
For a lot, of the animals mentioned in this article building a barrier aka a fence around your garden can be a great deterrent.
But you want to be a bit more creative with how you set it up. Now we have the tools available for you but how to utilize them and set it up, is up to you.
For fencing, you want to try to cover the garden with a wired fence so that even some of the critters did try climbing they wouldn’t be able to bite through or get in.
With a fence, you can get one that has a height of a least 6 feet. But what you can do is bury 6 inches or more in the ground. this will prevent them from trying to get on the surface as well as the bottom.
Also, animals also have a great sense of smell so it would be ideal to use that sense of smell to your advantage by creating a repellant that will repel them from coming to your garden.
Bunnies and deer for example do not like the smell of garlic, onions, or spicy foods. It would be ideal to peel off the ends of garlic and onions and mix it with water, hot sauce, and dish soap and turn it into a spray. Spray this around your plants not on them and it should scare the animals away.
Coffee grounds are also another deterrent you can utilize, many animals steer away from the smell of coffee. Caffeine is harmful to animals!
Vinegar is another one that is acidic enough that most animals will leave the area entirely. You can soak hot peppers or corn cobs in vinegar to line your garden with this fragrance keeping them out however long the fragrance lasts.
There also deterring plants, herbs and flowers have an aroma that many animals hate. You can plant them around the perimeter of your garden. It won’t work all the time especially if they are really hungry but it is still something you can try.
flowers to look at marigolds, irises, daylilies, balloon flowers, daffodils, and lavender are some floral options that animals like deer and bunnies will avoid. Herbs like chives and sage or veggies like squash or asparagus will keep them away as well.
Garden pests identification is very important! I hope I was able to expand a bit more on identifying the threats to your garden and even gave simple solutions you can use to deter pests that try to get into your garden.
It’s going to take some work but remember the effort you put in matters not just growing a garden but protecting it.