Pesky pests present problems

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

Let’s be straight forward — right now things are tough. After an unbelievably dry April the month of May is not looking any better. The 10-day forecast shows no positive signs for rain.

The good thing is most of our established plants, shrubs and trees have plenty of stored energy in the root system to cope with this stress temporarily, however we have yet to see the hot days of summer, and as we continue to heat up over the next four months let us all pray relief is on the way.

Along with the lack of water and plant stress, people are calling about animal problems. Calls have aimed at armadillos invading landscapes, wild hogs destroying fields, moles burrowing through yards, beavers stopping water outlets and deer eating flowers. I can’t address everything but hopefully here is some help.

Q: What can stop a mole?

A: Moles are difficult to trap and even tougher to control with other options. There is a product out called Mole Gel. It is a product that you put into the tunnels in your yard, while traveling through the mole contacts and ingests the product.

I could not find anyone in the Natchez area that carries Mole Gel but you can buy it from multiple sources online. Unfortunately this is about the best source I can give you.

There are several types of traps for catching moles but they do require patience and time with limited success.

Q: Is there anything new out to keep deer away?

A: We begin receiving this call every year as we plant new lush flower beds and put new landscaping around the house. Deer are difficult to control, period.

I have looked at a few places trying creative ways to control them and some have worked and some haven’t. The two best methods I have seen so far are netting and electricity.

Several homeowners in the area have used netting around the flower gardens for deer control and in the vegetable garden for bird control. The negatives are this distract from the beauty of your hard work and you might soon see a buck with its horns wrapped up in your protective netting.

I have seen a few examples of electric fencing being used with success to deter deer and rodent problems. There are two types of electric fencing; plain wire and netting. Keep in mind both can be costly and time consuming to construct and maintain.

On Thursday I received a product with good reviews from one of our Adams County master gardeners. It is a product called Messina Wildlife’s Deer Stopper. It is an organic solution with multiple oils and other ingredients developed in New Jersey that is gaining popularity. About 15 master gardeners took it home to try it out so I will respond in a few weeks about their satisfaction with the product.

Sometimes it seems there is just no end in sight to all the problems.

But I am here to say we are blessed. We live in a wonderful area, the Miss-Lou, where the landscape and scenery is amazing, most people are friendly, and our kids can grow up healthy, happy and free. So look at the big picture, we have a great life here. If you think not, just look around the region, things could be much worse.

David Carter is the director of the Adams County Extension Service. He can be reached at 601-445-8201.