Preventing Animal Damage

Landscape contractor Tom Hollow of 24 Kt. Green in Thousand Oaks, CA has a great tip for those of you battling to keep your landscape from being gobbled up by wildlife. Tom’s company maintains the landscape of a beautiful university campus in the Santa Monica Mountains. This area is also home to many mule deer, rabbits, etc. that love to forage on the lush campus grounds, especially those tasty rosebuds.

To prevent damage to specific plants we spray a hot sauce mixture directly on the tender new leaves and buds that the animals are fond of. This is an organic technique that does not harm the plant or the animal but quickly teaches them to avoid those bushes. You can use regular hot sauce from the market in a handheld sprayer however it will wash off when your sprinklers water or it rains, so it must be reapplied frequently. We use a commercial-grade pepper sauce that is very concentrated and mix it with an anti-transpirant which allows the product to adhere to the plant through multiple showers of rain. Using this technique has prevented deer and rabbit damage while employing an organic and humane approach that was so important to the university?

Well, there you have it. An ingenious approach to an age-old problem. Tom said that you can find the commercial hot sauce and anti-transpirant at an agricultural supply or large garden center.

Landscape contractors and garden enthusiasts are invited to submit their tips for consideration. Credit to companies and individuals will be given to all tipsters whose ideas are used.