Rodents rabbits and other miscreants

Mice, shrews, moles, voles, gophers, and other little rodents often burrow in mulch, either to nest or to root around for seeds to eat. Replace the mulch with gravel. Or reduce it, or at least scrape it away from the bases of your plants. A cage or barrier of chicken wire or poultry netting under or around the perimeter of the garden can also discourage the rodents, provided the holes are too small for them to squeeze through. You can also try trapping them or flooding their holes/tunnels with the hose. A cat who's a good mouser is the best bet.

Rabbits, woodchucks, raccoons? These brazen marauders may make you homicidal enough to reach for a gun, hand grenade, or poison-baited trap, but you can choose from some less drastic (and more humane) tacks. The best defense, quite honestly, is a good garden fence (include a gate, of course, so you can get in and out). Select one that's tall enough to discourage climbing over, but also sink it several inches into the ground to discourage digging under. Other remedies that are said to work include hot sauce, commercial repellents, bags of human hair (collected from a salon), a noisy radio, water-gun repellents, and leaving an alert dog nearby.

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