University of Maryland Extension


In a typical suburban and urban neighborhood you can find a wide variety of wildlife species. Wild animals are an important part of our environment. They are not only part of the ‘balance of nature’, but can also provide us with much enjoyment. As development continues to encroach on woodland and farmland, many wild animal species adapt and even learn to thrive in close proximity to human activity. Certain species, such as deer and raccoon seem to reproduce in larger numbers than they do in the wild, because of shelter and plentiful food provided by people or their landscapes. However, wild animals out of their native habitat can damage gardens and may be unwanted because of their association with Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus and rabies. Thus, depending upon the animal and your point of view, there are wildlife you may wish to encourage and wildlife to discourage.


Horticultural, chemical and physical means of attracting or repelling wildlife are available. Some methods work better than others and are discussed for specific animals in on-line publications from the University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center.  The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has publications at two locations:  Natural Resources & Water Quality and Lawn, Garden & Home.  If you are interested in insects go to the Thorne Labs.


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