UC Master Gardeners

Controlling pests, from deer to gophers and more

UC Master GardenerJuly 17, 2013 

Find out how to keep ground squirrels from destroying your yard this Saturday.


Q: Deer are eating my bushes and I have gophers in my vegetable garden. What do I do? — Carol H. Atascadero

A: This is the time of year when vegetables grow in your garden and beautiful flowers bloom throughout the landscape. It is also the time of year when insects and animals enjoy sharing your hard work in the garden.

While it is nice to see the wildlife, I am not so sure I want to share my peaches with the birds or my vegetables with the ground squirrels. This Saturday’s Advice to Grow By is all about how to control insects and critters in your garden.

We will start with how to use integrated pest control to hopefully minimize any damage. Integrated pest control is a pest-management strategy that focuses on long-term prevention or suppression of pest problems through a combination of techniques. It involves a decision-making process that anticipates and prevents pest activity and infestation by combining a number of different strategies to achieve long-term solutions to pest problems.

Using these techniques can help to reduce the need for pesticides in the garden and landscape.

We’ll start out talking about our most common insect pests. Next we will talk about those pesky gophers and voles and what control methods are available. We will give you a few tips and techniques to make your efforts a success.

Don’t know the difference between a mole and a vole? We will clear that up with the next segment of our presentation and how to control the moles to hopefully lessen any damage to your lawn.

Are deer ravaging your landscape bushes and ground squirrels taking the best of your harvest from your fruit orchard? We will show you methods for ground squirrel control and why they can be so detrimental to your property. And although there are no deer-proof plants, we can provide some tips to hopefully make your landscape a little less appealing.

Finally, we will finish our presentation with raptors and bird issues. We will talk about owls for ground squirrel control and how to minimize bird damage to your favorite fruit tree. Join us at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. We recommend you bring a hat, sunscreen and camping chair.


Contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners: at 781-5939 from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday and Thursday; at 473-7190 from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Arroyo Grande; and at 434-4105 from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Templeton. Visit the UCCE Master Gardeners website at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo or email mgsanluisobispo@ucdavis.edu.

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