Gardeners often contend with wild animals that sneak in their yards occasionally to scavenge for food. The traditional way of deterring pesky creatures is to put up fences of all kinds, such as wire or wall fences around your yard.
But there could be situations where a fence might not make sense. For instance, a fence might restrict or block the view to your fabulous rain garden.
Also, a live or electrified fence could hurt your playful pets.
This article suggests various methods to deter stray animals without having to fence your garden.
Table of Contents
- 1 Garden-Loving Animals
- 2 Identifying Attractants In Your Lawn Or Garden
- 3 Keeping Your Garden Animal Free Without Erecting a Fence
- 3.1 1. Animal Repellent Garden Plants
- 3.2 2. Grow Animal Repelling Flowers
- 3.3 3. Spray Your Garden With Chilli Pepper Spray
- 3.4 4. Mix Garden Soil With Coffee Grounds
- 3.5 5. Install Noise-Generating Equipment
- 3.6 6. Plant Alternative Food Sources
- 3.7 7. Lay Prickly Stems Near Plants
- 3.8 8. Sprinkle Foul Smelling Natural Fertilizers
- 3.9 9. Install Motion Sprinklers
- 3.10 10. Spread Dog Fur/ Cat Fur/ Unwashed Human Hair
- 3.11 11. Use Floodlights With Motion Sensors
- 3.12 12. Use Predator Urine
- 3.13 13. Train Your Dog To Scare Animals Off
- 3.14 14. Use Wire Mesh Or Chicken Wire
- 3.15 15. Use Flashy Bird Tape
- 3.16 16. Avoid Putting Pet Food, Leftover Food, Or Trash Cans In The Yard
- 4 Conclusion
Before we get rolling on what works in keeping animals out of your garden without a fence, let’s find out what animals visit your garden.
Animals usually don’t invade any garden unless a plant or a food source attracts them. If wild animals have been frequenting your garden lately, you need to find the catch.
Below is a list of potential rodents and other animals that could be in love with your garden:
Identifying Attractants In Your Lawn Or Garden
Animals visit gardens to fulfill three basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Any assurance of bountiful supply and the animals will hang around your garden long enough.
Moreover, fruit-bearing plants will easily attract wild animals because of their scent.
Also, if you have natural or man-made water sources within your yard, you are very likely to be frequented by them. Wild animals can trek long distances to quench their thirst.
Look out for sources such as watering troughs, fish ponds, and birdbaths.
If not in search of food and water, animals may visit your garden to seek shelter. Typically, wild animals are accustomed to living in natural vegetation.
However, human-made structures can be equally appealing, especially if they find them inhabitable.
Decks, shades, and overgrown bushes are some places that will make wild animals shift their place of stay into your garden.
Shades, for example, protect against predators and harsh environments.
Keeping Your Garden Animal Free Without Erecting a Fence
The methods mentioned below are based on the DIY approach. Feel free to modify them according to your situation or suitability.
1. Animal Repellent Garden Plants
Wild animals are susceptible to strange smells. Luckily, some perennial and culinary herbs produce strong scents that easily keep out pesky intruders.
Perennial herbs to plant include:
- Tansy and
Culinary herbs to plant include:
- Dill &
2. Grow Animal Repelling Flowers
You can also keep invading animals away from your garden by growing animal repelling flowers.
These elegant flowers can serve more than one purpose in your garden, including checking soil erosion, beautification, and repelling animals.
Additionally, your garden will also smell good with the sweet aroma associated with them. Take a look at the following list of animal repelling flowers:
- Oriental Poppy
- Four O’clock
3. Spray Your Garden With Chilli Pepper Spray
Deter animals from your garden using homemade chili pepper spray. Here are instructions on how to prepare one.
- Mix ½ a teaspoonful of chili flakes and ¾ cup of water in a wok.
- After covering the wok with a lead, boil the mix for about four to five minutes.
- Switch off the flame and allow the mixture to cool down.
- You should avoid inhaling the steam or allowing it to come in contact with your eyes since it can cause severe irritation.
- Finally, strain the mixture into a spray bottle.
Spray the chili pepper liquid around your garden, paying attention to areas frequented by wild animals.
4. Mix Garden Soil With Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds help add nitrogen to the soil and increase its acidity. However, you can also deter animals like slugs, cats, and deers from invading your garden using them.
Simply purchase the coffee grounds from a local coffee shop. You could also deploy used coffee grounds. They decompose naturally over time.
5. Install Noise-Generating Equipment
Did you know noise-generating equipment can instill fear and deter animals from hanging around your garden? Most of these devices come with sounds that mimic predators.
This will make your garden feel unsafe for animals that want to hang around. Some DIY devices include wind harps and wind chimes.
Ideally, you should place the device around the perimeter of the area you wish to protect in your yard.
6. Plant Alternative Food Sources
The other way to keep animals out of your garden without a fence is to grow plants that will act as bait outside your garden. This is preferable if you are trying to protect your fruit and vegetable garden from pests such as rabbits.
Rabbits, for example, love clover and dandelions.
Similarly, birds love nuts and seeds; thus, you can place bird feeders at the peripheral end of your property.
However, you don’t want to make your yard a hub for alternative food sources and attract more critters. Know when to do this.
7. Lay Prickly Stems Near Plants
If you have identified spots where these animals enter your garden, you can lay a row of prickly stems to prevent the critters from moving further.
Alternatively, you can spread these thorny stems near the garden plants that the animals love to feed on.
However, deers don’t become deterred by prickly plants.
8. Sprinkle Foul Smelling Natural Fertilizers
Keep animals out of your garden by spreading foul-smelling natural fertilizers into your garden soil. Most critters hate the smell of these and will avoid visiting the sprinkled areas.
These fertilizers also help add nitrogen to the soil.
Take care not to pour on the leaves to prevent burns on foliage.
9. Install Motion Sprinklers
Motion sprinklers have also proven effective in deterring critters from your garden. Set the sprinklers to trigger using motion sensors. This will scare and keep animals off your garden.
10. Spread Dog Fur/ Cat Fur/ Unwashed Human Hair
Another near little trick to get rid of wildlife in your yard is spreading dog fur, cat fur, or human hair in your garden. These deter rabbits, deers, and snails.
Unwashed hair is the preferred choice since washed hair may contain scents that achieve the opposite effect of attracting deers instead of repelling them.
You could also collect human hair from salons or barbers and use them to restore peace in your garden.
11. Use Floodlights With Motion Sensors
Apart from being useful as home security devices, motion-enabled garden floodlights can also prove effective in helping you repel wildlife.
Some rodents, such as owls and bats, get scared of seeing sudden white flashes.
The downside to using floodlights is that they will attract insects, causing another problem in the garden.
12. Use Predator Urine
The foul-smelling urine of predators such as wolves, coyotes, and foxes can scare the wits out of deer, monkeys, rabbits, or other troublesome animals.
It may also keep the predators out themselves as urine is used to mark territories indicating another animal’s presence.
Make sure to sprinkle it around the entire perimeter of your garden.
13. Train Your Dog To Scare Animals Off
You could also train your dog to chase away troublesome animals on spotting them.
Some specific species such as the Dobermann, Bullmastiff, and German Shepherd have been traditionally used as guard dogs and are good at scaring animals off.
However, dogs tend to dig up plants and cause collateral damage. Proper training thus goes a long way.
14. Use Wire Mesh Or Chicken Wire
You could cover up fruit-bearing plants or vegetables using wire mesh covers. This is particularly helpful if rodents or pests frequent only a small section of your garden.
However, larger animals can knock these protective covers over easily. So make sure to secure them properly using wooden stakes.
15. Use Flashy Bird Tape
Yet another easy way to keep birds off your garden is to deploy flashy bird tape.
Allow it to move freely in the air by tying it to a stake or branch. The light reflections make it difficult for the birds to land.
16. Avoid Putting Pet Food, Leftover Food, Or Trash Cans In The Yard
You should avoid putting up leftover food or trash bags in your yard. Some mammals such as grizzly bears, elephants, cows, and Opossums and birds such as kiwis can smell food from 20 miles away.
Use air-tight bins if putting garbage outside is necessary.
Also, prefer feeding your pets indoors instead of putting pet food outside in the open.
We hope that the methods listed above will keep your garden fenceless, still protecting it from the menace of pesky rodents or wildlife.
As said earlier, do feel free to mix-match and experiment.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.