Keeping Critters Out of Your Garden

Can scarecrow devices really work?

The garden is ready to harvest. As you start to pick your ripe, much-anticipated berry patch, you notice that there aren’t as many berries as yesterday. What happened to them? The most likely culprit is a bird. If you want birds in your yard, grow blueberries or strawberries, they’ll arrive before the berries are ripe and they won’t leave until there isn’t one left. The second most likely pest is a small animal like a rabbit or a digger like a squirrel or skunk. Mr. McGregor’s garden situation is now your garden situation. And last, but not least, deer can decimate a garden crop in one night. Scarecrow devices like plastic owls and blow up snakes can make a difference in your efforts to deter these pests.

Scarecrow devices modeled after the Great Horned Owl are particularly effective. Also called Big Hoot Owl, Cat Owl and King Owl, the Great Horned Owl™ can be used to scare off birds and other small predators in all kinds of situations. The Great Horned Owl is sometimes referred to as “the tiger of the sky” because of its fierce nature and ability to capture a wide variety of prey even including skunks! At night, they strike from above and can kill and carry animals several times larger than themselves (a typical Great Horned Owl weighs between 2 and 5 pounds). Dalen Products ( makes a wide variety of owls including a traditional Great Horned Owl, a blow-up owl, a Rotating Head Owl and a SOL-R Owl that can be filled with sand or gravel and mounted on a pole, placed near gardens, berry bushes, boat docks, patios, porches or anywhere you need a predatory presence.

Snakes, the 6 foot blow-up kind, can terrify and scare away the diggers of the garden. If you’ve ever planted bulbs, then are mystified to find big holes where they used to be, the culprit is most likely a squirrel or skunk.

There are many other types of scarecrow devices that work. Anything that flashes or makes noise also can scare deer, bears, and small furry critters. Dalen also makes a holographic tape that can be particularly helpful with crows and deer in corn fields. It can be hung as streamers similar to your grandmother’s hanging of pie pans or strung on stakes.

There is also a GARD’N Eyes balloon that is frequently used in orchards and vineyards. And don’t forget the original old fashioned scarecrow – he can still work as well, but benefits from the presence of some scarier predators alongside him.