Thinking Citizen Blog — The Dark Truth About Really Cute Animals
Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day
Today’s Topic: The Dark Truth About Really Cute Animals
Periodically, big eared, beady-eyed aliens ransack our vegetables and flowers. Has this ever happened to you? What invaders do you fear most? What counter measures have you taken? Which worked? Which did not? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
DEER — huge eating machines that can almost fly
1. “These four-legged eating machines will mow down everything from your hostas to tulips, winter trees and shrubs, and most anything in the vegetable garden.”
2. They are huge animals but boy can they jump — up to 8 feet !!!!!
3. “Electrified deer fencing does not have to be as tall, but it can be a problem in high traffic areas, especially where children and pets are likely to be present. “Invisible” fencing, similar in concept to the type used to contain dogs, works via special electrified posts that can also be baited with favorite deer foods. Deer that approach the invisible fences get a mild shock that acts as a deterrent.”
RABBITS — fencing must go underground as well
1. “If rabbits are the problem, a low, electrified fence, with wires positioned at 2 and 4 inches above the ground may offer a solution.”
2. “A non-electrified fence made of chicken wire can also deter Peter Rabbit’s relatives, but it should be 4 1/2 feet tall, with 3 feet above the ground and another 18 inches of fence buried underground to prevent the bunnies from burrowing below.”
3. “Before burying the underground portion, bend the bottom 6 inches so the bent strip of fencing forms a 90-degree angle with the upright part of the fence. The bent strip should project outward from the upright section.”
COYOTE URINE — does it work? opinions differ and there is a serious drawback
1. “The Web site of the Wildlife Damage Management Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension concludes that coyote urine “may be effective when deer damage is at low to moderate levels.” But the evidence is all anecdotal.”
2. “One of the few tests even approaching scientific rigor was done by Tom Seamans, a Department of Agriculture wildlife biologist. (The Federal Aviation Administration, which has a strong interest in keeping deer off airport runways, partly financed the study.) Runways are fenced, but Seamans wondered if predator scents could create a sort of chemical fence to keep deer from passing through any holes. He set up two piles of corn, one unscented and the other surrounded by wicks emanating essence of coyote urine. The deer at his Ohio field station went after both piles of corn with equal enthusiasm.”
3. “If you decide to go the coyote-urine route despite its limits, please know that dousing your yard will have one significant drawback. Coyote pee attracts other coyotes; it’s marketed as a way of enticing them into traps. The same pheromones that hook on to the olfactory receptors in a deer’s nose and tell it to flee (an instinct that’s overcome by hunger) hit the coyote’s nose and say: Here’s a sexual partner or competitor.”
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