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How to Keep Animals Out of Your Garden

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Protect Your Garden from Nuisance Wildlife

After spending a few months tending to and caring for your garden, it is frustrating to find an animal enjoying the fruits of your labor.

The most effective means to protect your garden from wild animals is to keep them out of it. Repellents and deterrents have limited effectiveness. Scented repellents dissipate outside. Animals grow accustomed to deterrents that rely on sound or sight.

Larger mammals can be difficult to keep out of your yard. It is more cost-effective to protect certain areas of your yard from wild hogs, bears, and deer. To keep burrowing animals like gophers and moles out of your garden, you will need to bury the barrier. 

Keep Wildlife Out of Your Garden

As you are preparing your spring garden, keep these dimensions in mind. The nuisance wildlife will determine how tall, what material, and how deep to bury. Trutech wildlife technicians use the following guideline to keep animals out of your garden.

Non-Electric Fences by Species

SpeciesFence TypeMaterialHeightDepth
Rabbitnon-electric1-inch hardware cloth2 feetBuried 4 inches
Pocket Gophersnon-electric1/4 or 1/2 in hardware cloth1 foot24 inches At least six inches bent away from plants at 90 degrees.
Chipmunknon-electric1/4 inch hardware cloth2.5 to 3 feet high6-12 inches deep
Woodchucknon-electric1-inch hardware cloth

4 feet

1-foot overhang to prevent climbing

Buried 2 inches

Extending 1-foot underground

Molesnon-electricSheet metal or 24 in hardware clothNot ApplicableBuried 1-foot
Bent at 90-degree angle
Deernon-electricMetal, Polypropylene, Brick8-10 feet N/A

Electrical Fences by Species

Electric fences act as behavioral deterrents. After touching the electric fence, animals will start to avoid the barrier.  A properly installed electric fence will not injure, permanently damage, or kill an individual, pet, or animal.

SpeciesFence TypeMaterialHeightElectricalDepth
Deerelectric12 1/2 gauge high-tensile wire 8 feetTwo strands 1 ft and 4 ft from the surfaceN/A
Bearelectric12 to 16 gauge wire4 feet4 strands at 36 in, 26in, 16 in, and 6 inN/A
Wild Hogselectric

Heavy Wire

Holes no larger than 6 inches at posts

3 feet2 Strands at 8- and 18-inchesN/A
Woodchuckselectric1-inch hardware cloth4 feet6 to 8 inches below the topBuried 2 inches
Extending  1 foot underground
Raccoonelectric1-inch hardware cloth4 feet1 strand 6 to 8 inches below the topBuried 2 in.
Extending underground 1 ft or more.
Raccoonelectric1-inch hardware cloth4 feet1 strand 10 inches from groundBuried 2 in.
Extending underground 1 ft or more.

Electrical fences have a lower initial construction cost but require maintenance. Electrical fences fail when they are improperly installed or maintenance is inadequate.

Keep Your Garden Free from Wildlife

Before your garden starts growing, make sure you are not inadvertently attracting animals. 

  • Keep a tidy yard clear of debris to limit possible nesting sites.
  • Bring pet food inside overnight.
  • Secure all garbage cans.
  • Use a compost pile to discard any plant material.


After your vegetable garden starts producing, don’t attract animals.

  • Harvest all ripe fruits and vegetables.
  • Discard any vegetables and fruits off the ground. 


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