Keep deer, rabbits & mice away, plus more items too good to miss

deer in Western New York from Donna Brok
Photo by Donna Brok.

Keep deer, rabbits, squirrels and mice away with Bounce dryer sheets

Use Bounce dryer sheets to keep deer away, says Bob Bracikowski of Opportunities Unlimited in Niagara, who showed us recently how to create a succulent garden.

In the vegetable garden at Opportunities Unlimited, everything was being eaten, week after week.

“During my lunch hour I could watch the deer eat the cabbage right in front of me,” he said.

squirrel in Niagara Falls NY from Donna Brok
Photo by Donna Brok of the blog Garden Walk, Garden Talk.

Then he tried a tip he got from a farmer: use Bounce dryer sheets.

Bracikowski used twist ties to attach the corner of the sheet to a bamboo stick that was about three and one-half feet tall. He placed the sticks all around the garden.

“They eliminated the deer the next day,” he said. “It was like an electric fence.”

For the rabbits, he used sticks about one foot high so that the sheets were just a few inches above the tops of the cabbage. It kept the rabbits away, too.

Bracikowski said the dryer sheets works for squirrels and mice as well. In his summer home, he’s going to place sheets by vents and doors to discourage the rodents.

In the beginning, he added new dryer sheets to the bamboo sticks every week, then added sheets less frequently. He stopped completely by the end of the summer.

“By August, they knew not to come,” Bracikowski said.

What amazes me is that one method kept deer away for an entire season. Usually people find that one method will work for a few weeks, then they have to try another method.

For more tips on keeping rabbits and deer away, check out these stories:

Keep deer and rabbits out of your garden

Deer eating your garden? Tips offered by East Aurora Garden Club


Find out how to help your mums survive the winter

garden mum Symphony
Garden mum ‘Symphony’. Photo from Heimiller Greenhouses.

Garden mums aren’t annuals, but they’re not exactly perennials, either. They will come back next year– if you take the proper steps and are lucky.

“They’re called garden mums (rather than perennial or hardy mums) because sometimes they don’t winter over,” explained Ron Heimiller, president and head grower at  Heimiller Greenhouses in Newfane.

There are steps you can take to increase the odds that your mums will come back. Find out more in this article on mums  from last year.


Garlic planting time is coming upgarlic clove grow garlic in Buffalo

You can plant garlic after the last full moon in October,  which this year occurs on Oct. 29, said Tom Szulist of Singer Farm Naturals.

A good rule of thumb is that you can plant garlic in late October through November, and sometimes as late as December, weather permitting.

Garlic  doesn’t like wet feet, he said, so it’s best to plant it in a raised bed, he said. See more garlic planting tips here.


 Now is the time to buy local produce

squash in Buffalo NY area
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko.

It’s harvest season, and that means it’s a great time to buy ripe, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Check our Upcoming Events Page every week to see what new produce Goodman’s Farm Market has in stock.

Also turn to our Shop Locally Page to get details on the East Aurora Farmers Market and Lancaster Market, where you can find fresh, wholesome food and support local farmers.



14 Comments on “Keep deer, rabbits & mice away, plus more items too good to miss

  1. Hi Henry, I’m not sure. Why don’t you try Bounce and another brand to see what works better. Let us know how your experiment works out.

  2. Hi Mike, I’m glad you are enjoying this gardening magazine. Because I focus on gardening issues for Western New York, I don’t know anything about anoles.


  4. Candace, pepper is often used in sprays to keep deer and rabbits away. The solution is sprayed on the plants. It’s not sprayed at the animal. It shouldn’t get in their eyes.

  5. Hi Barbara, if you have squirrels damaging the house, they would be considered a nuisance animal. The person who traps them needs a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. You can see details here. You can find wildlife control operators (people with permits to trap them) through this page. I don’t know how else you will get them out of the house. I hope that helps.

  6. I have squirrels in my walls and so does the man above me. We can hear them in the walls and now they have broke thru the walls and are in the basement . This is due to a hole in the roof and a landlord who is very slow to act. Any suggestions?

  7. I have a BIG squirrel problem. I love to watch the birds in all the seasons. I saw a few squirrels coming around. I bought a few anti squirrel bird feeders and they work for about 10 minutes! All different sorts of seeds and adding capsaicin.

    I had the branches cut back but not enough so that the squirrels couldn’t easily jump back and forth.

    They are now in the walls and in the Attic. I have had an exterminator who did something with the gutters which worked for a while.

    It is spring here in New York City and I miss my birds terribly. Now I can’t see the birds, the trees look funny and I can hear when the squirrels go out for lunch!


  8. Really interesting.. I’m in the industry so I was well aware about dryer sheet’s repelling effect on rodents, but I’m surprised it works so well on deer. It often makes me wonder what IS in those Bounce sheets if animals hate their smell so bad.
    And to @Diane – the only thing I think will keep groundhogs away is a well-structured fence!

  9. Any tips on keeping groundhogs out of the garden? I have a neighbor who can sometimes trap them, but I hate to keep asking. I bought granulated fox urine – only mildly effective. I can’t stand the thought of giving up my vegetable garden.

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