Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 42

OB
AL
P

/ GL
K.CO
M
ISTO
C

Armadillos, moles and squirrels-oh, my!
How to critter-proof your garden

I

K.CO
ISTOC

n case you haven't heard, a strange
new animal lurks in the shadows of
fields, forests and backyards across
the state, coming out only after nightfall to scavenge for a meal of grubs
and earthworms: the nine-banded armadillo.
Once restricted to Central and
South America, these prehistoric-looking creatures have
been migrating northward
for reasons unknown.
They were first seen in
South Georgia in the
1950s and have slowly colonized the rest
of the state.
Michael Mengak,
a wildlife specialist at
the University of GeorVE
LD
gia in Athens, remembers
its being the talk of the
town when an armadillo was
first spotted on a highway outside
town in 2005.
"They were unheard-of this far
north before that, so it was a big, big
deal. Everybody around the water
cooler that day was talking about it,"
he says.
Because armadillos are relative
newcomers to Georgia, gardeners are
often at a loss about what to do when
one moves into the neighborhood. If
your garden comprises trees, shrubs
and perennials, digging armadillos
will do little harm. In lawns, they often leave little holes here and there,
which you may be willing to tolerate

ISTOCK.COM / CULLENPHOTOS

BY BRIAN BARTH

M/

D
MI

L
DE

42

if your lawn is
large and the
holes are few.
It is in beds of
annual flowers, vegetables
and bulbs where armadillo activity
becomes catastrophic. They can decimate a new planting in a single night.
Folk remedies for repelling armadillos include castor oil and human hair,
though there is little conclusive evidence of their efficacy. No commercial pest-repellents or poisons have
been registered for use on armadillos, so your best bet is to try to exclude them with a small fence.
Armadillos are excellent diggers,
so the fence needs to extend underground at least 12 inches (use chicken wire or other metal mesh for this
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

part). Fortunately, they are poor
climbers, so a typical 3-foot picket
fence is generally all that's needed
above ground.
A short fence is also the best
method for deterring skunks (which
also dig things up) and rabbits (notorious for munching on vegetable
plants).
"Exclusion-basically, creating a
physical barrier-is the best form of
wildlife control in many instances,"
Mengak says. "I encourage that approach whenever it is feasible and effective, because it's not harmful to the
animal or the environment."
Here are some tips for dealing
with other critters that drive Georgia
gardeners crazy.
(Continued on page 44)
GEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://istock.com/globalp http://www.ISTOCK.COM http://istock.com/middelveld http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - January 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 11
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 12
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 13
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 14
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 15
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 16
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 17
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 18
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 19
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 20
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 21
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 22
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 23
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 24
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 25
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26C
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26D
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 27
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 28
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 29
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 30
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 31
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 32
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 33
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 34
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 35
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 36
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 37
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 39
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 40
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 41
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 42
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 43
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 44
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 45
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 46
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 47
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 49
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover4
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