University of Maryland Extension

July/August Wildlife Tips

hummingbird on perch

(More tips from HGIC)

  • Ruby-throated hummingbirds continue to visit flowers and nectar feeders. Keep feeders clean and change nectar solution frequently during hot weather to prevent contamination.

  • Keep bird feeders and baths cleaned and replenished. Change water frequently to avoid mosquitoes.

  • Wildlife tends to feed more heavily on vegetable crops during dry seasons when little water is available.

  • Snakes, turtles, frogs, spiders, and toads are beneficial creatures that should not be harmed. Box turtles may occasionally take a few bites out of low-hanging tomatoes but their damage is very minimal. Let them enjoy a few good bites, there is no need to be concerned about their presence in your vegetable garden. Place a bird bath saucer in the ground in your yard for turtles and snakes to drink water. Keep the water clean the same as you do for birds.

  • The hummingbird moth may be seen sipping nectar from flowering plants during the day. Unlike most moths which feed at night. The hummingbird moth resembles a hummingbird or a bumblebee.

  • Groundhogs can be destructive around the home and garden. ground hog on deckThey feed on a wide range of vegetables and ornamental plants and will gnaw and chew on wooden boards and siding. They dig burrows in soil or may inhabit areas under decks and porches. If you cannot live with the groundhog, you will have to consider live trapping. Some county animal control offices may euthanize live-trapped groundhogs. They will not live long if re-located and you may be adding to someone else’s problems. There are trappers you can hire to take care of your problem. Contact the Nuisance Wildlife Information Line at 1-877-463-6497 for trapping information in your county.

  • Voles may be a serious problem chewing on plant material. Voles are especially harmful to spreading junipers stems, and other woody plants that tend to creep along the ground. These types of plantings provide good coverage for voles. Use snap traps baited with apple pieces to reduce their numbers.
    Natural predators such as black rat snakes will do a very good job in keeping their populations in check.

  • 2-3 ft. high wire fences buried several inches into the ground are the surest method for excluding rabbits. You can also buy repellent products or sprinkle crushed red pepper around vulnerable plants.

  • Where raccoons are a problem, secure trashcan lids with bungee cords and don’t leave dog food outside. Keep soffits and all vent screens in your attic in good working order to prevent raccoons from entering your home.
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