Living in Harmony
By Cheryl Conley, TRWC Wildlife Center
Cheryl Conley of TWRC Wildlife Center shares tips for saving your garden and preventing accidents around your home, lawn and garden.
Whenever I plant something new, I swear I can hear the deer spreading the word. “Hey, did you know the Conley’s just got some tasty new salad fixin’s? Let’s head over there.” I’ve been doing some research and I’ve found some ways to outsmart them. Now, keep in mind, if they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat anything regardless of what you do but I have a few suggestions that may save those beautiful plants and shrubs.
- Check to see if what you are buying is deer resistant. Some plants/shrubs will say this right on the container but if not, a simple internet search will help you.
- You can buy solutions and granules to put on/around your plants. They don’t like the smell and will avoid them.
- Check out the motion-activated sprinklers. When a deer approaches, the motion will trigger a sprinkler which will scare them away. There’s one by the Havahart Company and one by Contech. I am not endorsing either one but if you try one, let me know how it works.
Let’s talk about birds. How many times have you heard birds crash into your windows? It’s a heartbreaking sound and makes us afraid to go out and check for fear the bird will be injured or dead. If injured, you know that TWRC Wildlife Center is available to help but the best thing to do is to try to prevent the problem from happening.
- Install a window screen or a taut net and apply at least 2 inches from the window.
- Go online and look for a film that is specifically made for windows to protect birds.
- Apply tape strips on outside of window spaced 4 inches apart. You can also paint strips or a pattern on your window using washable paint. You can purchase tape on the TWRC website.
- Install shutters or awnings.
- You can use decals which are sold specifically for windows but you’ll need several of them—one won’t work. Check them out on our website.
- Move your bird baths and feeders away from windows.
- Keep shades and curtains closed during the day.
If you love wildlife, here are a few suggestions to help them.
- Make sure you provide clean, fresh water daily especially in the hot weather.
- Use natural, organic products on your lawn and garden.
- Hang birdhouses, bat houses and feeders.
- Trim your trees and shrubs in the fall. Leaving them full in the summer acts as protection for wildlife.
- If you see an animal you think is in trouble, make sure it is really in distress before you rescue it. Well-meaning people will sometimes rescue something that doesn’t need to be. If in doubt, call TWRC Wildlife Center or check our website for more information.
- Don’t try to make pets out of wildlife. They belong in the wild. TWRC discourages feeding wildlife. One or two can turn into an unmanageable number of critters that come to depend on you as their food source. They don’t have to forage and never develop those skills because they haven’t had to. This is unfair to the animals should you move or stop feeding them.
TWRC Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization in Houston dedicated to helping both people and wildlife to live in harmony. Learn more about TWRC by visiting www.twrcwildlifecenter.org. Questions? Call 713-468-TWRC.