Keep the Critters Out of Your Yard & Garden

Living in the Lowcountry is wonderful, but it comes with challenges. Now that warm weather is here and we’re spending more time in our yards, we are once again dealing with deer, rabbits, mosquitoes, moles and other critters.


The Lowountry has its challenges, but just today I had a customer inform me that “The grass isn’t always greener somewhere else.” He has a home in Virginia and he has a family of deer that eat very well at that home also.

With that being said, we are in a constant search for ways to repel these unwanted guests.

Being a fairly new grandmother, I find myself now more than ever wanting to make sure I am protecting the environment that my grandchildren will inherit. I would rather not put down poisons, harmful chemicals and toxic glues in the products I use to deter these pests. I want to know that what I am using is not harmful to our pets and children.

The “I Must Garden” line of products is wonderful. It includes deer, rabbit, squirrel, ant and mosquito repellents, to name a few.

We are frequently asked if the products work. My answer is yes, but like everything else it is not a one-time cure. I like to use this analogy with our customers: When you dust, do you eliminate the need to dust again?

We all want overnight success that is permanent, but it is not likely in most cases.

How often should we use these products? With regular use, we like to recommend two times a month during the growing season and that can be cut back to every couple months in the dormant season.

The deer repellent has been very effective. Once again, the best way is to monitor your plants. Every situation is unique and tweaking the frequency and time of spraying may help you achieve better results. You should allow at least an hour for the product to thoroughly dry.

The repellent is formulated to stick on the plants. Each product is designed to taste and smell bad to the deer and other hungry pests thus sending them on their way. The best time of day is morning, late day or early evening to spray your plants. During the heat of the day you run the risk of burning your plants.

Controlling ants is frustrating. How such tiny creatures can be such a big problem in a short amount of time is beyond me. For those of us with gardens, we do not want to use harmful, poisonous chemicals. The allnatural ant repellent is a great choice.

Mosquitoes are a part of our lives and so is bug spray. I choose to use an all-natural, deet-free product on my family and myself. The “I Must Garden” mosquito repellent is pleasant smelling and environmentally safe.

Let’s talk about moles. What destructive creatures they are. We have seen them devastate lawns over night. There are companies that offer to trap and remove them. This is a ongoing process and is a labor-intense alternative. The mole and vole repellent contains castor oil, mint, thyme, clove and soybean oil.

When used as directed you can help control the damage moles are capable of doing. It is important to remember each situation is different. Your home may be located on a golf course and they use very strong chemicals to rid the course of moles. If this is the case you may have a harder time relocating them. It’s not impossible, but you may have to up the frequency of use. Once you have them under control it is important to remember you have not gotten rid of them forever and you need to treat occasionally (you can adjust based on activity) so they do not return.

We all have choices to make when combating “pests.” I believe we owe it to future generations to be environmentally responsible. If given the opportunity to use an all-natural product over one with chemicals, why not choose the product that is ecofriendly?

Mary Ann Bruno and her family own Bruno Landscape & Nursery on Hilton Head Island.