How to deter pests from your garden this summer

Gardening: Expert shares advice for watering outdoor plants

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SLUGS, snails, pigeons and squirrels are just some of the pests that can destroy your gardening efforts. From digging up bulbs to raiding your bird feeders, these pests can wreak havoc in your garden. has come up with some top tips to ward these creatures off.

With summer fast approaching many of us will be keen to spend as much time in the garden as possible.

But how can you ensure your garden will look well-kept and pest-free?

How to deter squirrels

Squirrels love bulbs and will happily dig up all your freshly planted tulips and crocuses.

A fail-safe way to protect them is to cover these appetising treats with metal mesh, such as chicken wire.

This can look ugly at first, but don’t worry by the time summer rolls around and your bulbs start to grow shoots you can remove it.

Certain fertilisers have a smell which can attract squirrels, those made from bone meal, blood meal and fish emulsion are the common culprits so avoid these if you have a squirrel problem.

To stop squirrels from digging up your flower beds you need to create a sharp barrier between the soil and them.

By adding sharp gravel or crushed oyster shells to your bed you can deter these furry creatures.

How to deter slugs and snails

There are a number of fail-safe ways to deter these pests which can devastate your veggie plot.

Copper barriers are highly effective, these give slugs and snails an “electric shock” if they try to cross it.

Simply stick copper tape around the rims of pots or place copper rings around your plants to force these critters to retreat.

Broken nutshells, crushed eggshells and sharp horticultural grit can also prevent plant damage.

Scatter these around your plants as these pests do not like to move across sharp objects.

Beer traps are another popular cost-effective way to clear your garden of these creatures.

How to deter pigeons

Pesky pigeons can be a nuisance, but there are a number of ways to shoo them away.

Before you try to get rid of them you need to make sure you do not break the law.

The Wildlife & Countryside Act from 1981 states it is illegal to harm pigeons, their nests and their eggs.

Reflective surfaces are a common deterrence, CDs, tin foil and metal objects can work well.

These make pigeons uncomfortable as it affects their pigeons’ eyesight meaning they won’t bother nesting near them.

Pigeons hate strong spices, fill fabric bags with spices such as cinnamon, black pepper or chilli spice around pigeon nesting areas to keep them away.

For a short term solution, you can gently spray wandering pigeons with a hose to encourage them to fly off.

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