Cats, George, How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control

homemade cat repellents

Neighbourhood cats strolling into your garden and fouling on the lawn can soon become an unmanageable problem. If you’re at your wits’ end then it’s time to get creative to keep the kitties away. Our homemade cat repellents are simple to make and are usually very cheap too.

1. Homemade cat deterrent spray

Mix together lemon juice, rosemary and white vinegar – three things cats detest. Put the liquid in a spray bottle so it’s easy to use around the garden. Simply spray near where the cats spend time – on planters, the patio, or even inside.

2. Lemon or orange peel

Cats hate citrus scents, so take your leftover orange and lemon peel and scatter it where you’d like to deter the offending felines. Just be sure to replace the peels once they get old and lose their smell.

lemon peel

3. Sandpaper

Cats have sensitive paws and will avoid treading on uncomfortable surfaces. Placing a few bits of sandpaper around your flowerbeds should keep cats from clambering around where they are not welcome.

4. Essential oils

There are a few scented oils that are known for repelling cats – peppermint, lemon, orange, lavender and citronella. Mix one part oil to three parts water for the perfect deterrent liquid. Pop it in a spray bottle for easy use.

essential oils

5. Cat deterrent plants

If you want to keep your garden looking clean and natural then try planting some cat deterrent flowers – our list includes rosemary, lavender and the scaredy cat plant.

6. Dried herbs

Buy some of the herbs cats find most offensive, like rosemary and lavender, and scatter dried bunches around the areas you’d like them to leave. This works great inside too.

dried herbs

Tips for naturally repelling cats

  • All cats are different and will react better to different deterrents, so try experimenting with all these ideas.
  • A cat’s sense of smell is 40 times more effective than a human’s, which is why these scented options work so well.
  • If you’re using one of the spray methods, make sure to reapply after each rainfall has washed the previous effort away.

naturally repelling cats

We hope you find these homemade cat repellents successful. They’re all natural and non-toxic, so completely humane and won’t harm the animals. If you’re still having trouble with invasive cats then you could try boosting your efforts with our ultrasonic repellers. These are also humane and come with a money-back guarantee!

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.

Cats, George, Pest Advice, Pest Control, Plants

Cat deterrent plants

Cats and plants do not go well together. Since cats are free to roam throughout the neighbourhood, visiting felines are a common sight in many gardens – but they are not always welcome. Not only do cats eat precious plants, they use your garden as a toilet, ruining the soil with their infertile faeces. But there are many solutions for keeping cats out of your garden, including cat deterrent plants.

Which plants repel cats?

Cats won’t generally be repelled by plants as such, but they can be deterred by the scents or textures of particular shrubs. By carefully placing these plants at entry points you can cut down on cats wandering into your garden. Mixing them into borders can prevent cats from climbing over your flowerbeds, where they dig and disturb plants and seedlings.

Cat deterrent plants

Scaredy cat plant
Photo by Amazonia Exotics U.K via Wikimedia Commons

1. Scaredy cat plant (Coleus canina)

The scaredy cat plant was bred in Germany specifically as a garden pest repellent. It emits an odour when animals brush past and can be effective against cats, dogs, foxes and rabbits. Unfortunately the smell of dog urine it gives off is so strong that it is unpleasant for nearby humans too. It’s easy to grow, likes the sun and is drought resistant, but will need protection from the frost during the winter months. It grows best in dry soil, which is ideal as cats usually avoid damp patches anyway. You can expect it to grow no taller than 2 feet and have beautiful blue or purple flowers.

2. Lavender (Lavandula)

Luckily, lavender comes with a scent that’s nice for us but unappealing for felines. These purple flowers are evergreen, so they act as a year round deterrent. Choose the tall varieties and plant them at the front of your borders as cats won’t jump over if they can’t see where they’ll land.

Rosemary

3. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Another fragrant option is rosemary, a herb that’s great for cooking as well as keeping cats at bay. It likes dry soil and a warm climate, but is also evergreen.

4. Rue (Ruta graveolens)

Rue is a shrub that kitties are adverse to. Plant it outside and sprinkle some of its leaves on the patio or inside if you need to warn cats away from these areas. But be careful since rue is poisonous, so always use gardening gloves when handling. If eaten it can cause nausea, vomiting and convulsions.

pennyroyal
Photo by Gardenology

5. Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

Also known as pudding grass, pennyroyal is the smallest of the mint family. But unlike a lot of mint, this variety is a deterrent for cats as it gives off a very strong spearmint fragrance. Once used in Roman cooking, pennyroyal has also had medical uses (despite the oil being poisonous) and served as a pest deterrent for early settlers in America.

6. Curry herb plant (Helichrysum italicum)

Cats don’t like curry. This spicy plant grows into a thick bush that releases its odour when animals brush past, offending the creatures with both its smell and coarse texture. You may want to use this one sparingly, however, as it is seen as a weed by many due to the harmful effect it can have on other flowers.

Lemon balm

7. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and thyme (Thymus citriodorus)

Citrus is well know to ward off felines, so plant some lemon varieties to help with your natural defenses. Lemon balm produces white flowers in the summer and is great for attracting honey bees. Lemon thyme is an evergreen shrub that needs lots of sun and good drainage. It has pink flowers in late summer that attract bees and butterflies.

8. Thorny bushes

Cats won’t tread on uncomfortable surfaces, so covering exposed ground with spiky plants can be a great natural way to keep the kitties off. Grow thorny plants like roses, perennial geraniums or pyracantha over any bare soil in the flower beds. You can also make a spiky wall out of hedging like blackberry, hawthorn and holly to prevent cats from even entering your garden.

Naturally repel cats

How to use plants to deter cats

Place some of these plants around the boundaries of your garden to ward off cats passing through the neighbourhood. Others work well around the front of flowerbeds as they stop cats climbing in to mark their territory. Cats spread their scent through urine and faeces as a reminder that they can visit this spot again, so preventing this is crucial for keeping them out. Cat deterrent plants ward off cats and physically stop them from digging up the flowerbeds to use as a litter tray. Layer mulch and pebbles around your plants to make it even harder for cats to dig the soil up. It’s also worth putting some of the plants in pots, so you can move them around if you see cats entering via another route, or if they come across the patio.

Using plants that attract cats

As well as deterring cats through planting, you can direct them to specific areas with attractive plants and so control their impact on the garden. Cats are attracted to catnip (Nepeta cataria) – hence the name – mint and honeysuckle, so simply plant these in the places you’d prefer cats to visit.

Cat In Garden

Other ways to repel cats

At Primrose we know a thing or two about pest control. We’ve written a list of ways to keep cats out of your garden and stock a range of cat repellers, including ultrasonic devices and water sprayers.

Our bestselling Pestbye Cat Repeller would make a great companion to deterrent plants to boost your defenses against feline invaders. Simply place it in your flowerbed and it will emit high frequency pulses whenever cats come near to send them running!

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.

How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control

Most gardeners might find the presence of birds in their garden very relaxing and interesting. It’s lovely to hear them singing and they are a great help with insect control.

But sometimes birds can become pests themselves, causing more harm than good! Tired of big birds scaring away other wildlife? Fed up of cleaning bird mess off your patio? Here are some helpful precautions you can take to be free of birds in your garden.

 Keep birds away from garden

1. Removing Food Sources

Stop attracting birds to your garden by removing or protecting any food sources. If you grow your own fruit or have put down seeds recently, consider covering your crops with netting so birds can’t ruin your efforts.

If you’re still keen on regular visits from smaller birds, try using hanging feeders. Larger birds such as pigeons find it  difficult to get the food so will give up. Alternatively, if you are using a flat table feeder, try putting a hanging basket dome upside down on the table so only smaller birds can reach the seeds.

2. Ultrasonic Repellers

One modern and very effective way of scaring birds away is by using an ultrasonic repeller. They give out an output that birds can hear and will deter them from resting in the area. Different ultrasonic repellers allow you to change the frequency of the ultrasonic output meaning it will not affect people or any pets within the house, but will still stop the birds.

pestbye bird repeller

3. Anti Bird Spikes

Anti bird spikes are easy to lay and can be placed anywhere such as window sills, guttering and fencing. It will stop larger birds from perching and soiling the garden. They are long lasting and and are blunt at the tips so will not cause any harm to birds. Anti bird spikes can be made from different materials, the most popular being a translucent polycarbonate which helps with blending into the surroundings so they don’t cause too much of an eye sore.

4. Bird Proof Gel

Bird proof gel is a tacky substance that can be applied to anywhere that birds will try to rest such as fence tops and window sills. Gel works similarly to anti bird spikes in that it makes perching on ledges very uncomfortable to birds due to the sticky effect. It does not harm the birds and is very discreet compared to spikes, so could be used as a more efficient alternative.

bird in garden

5. Bird Distress Calls

Another way of keeping birds away is to play recordings of bird distress calls or predator calls. Birds are very sensitive to sound so when they hear these calls they instinctively leave the area as they think they are in danger.

6. Visual Deterrents

Decoys and scarers such as figures or statues of larger birds or animals might intimidate birds into leaving the area. You can also use objects that move in the wind such as scare rods or wind chimes, simply hang them up and the wind does the job.

bird scarer
Have a go at making your own windmills or wind chimes! It is a fun activity for children and is very effective in scaring birds away, with a bonus of adding a bit of colour and decoration to your garden.

 

Animals, How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control, Spiders

A video has surfaced on social media, reminding us of our great fear of spiders (scroll down to see it – it’s a great watch). In late summer/ autumn, there is an abundance of our eight legged friends, who seem to appear from nowhere.  For the majority of us, these cause minor heart attacks, and we do anything to rid of them. Thankfully there are various ways to rid of spiders, so fear not. Also, if you’re reading this and you’re in the UK, the chances of you seeing a poisonous spider are very, very low so please don’t worry.

Electronic Repeller – a modern way to repel spiders, electronic repellers work through simply plugging the device in a plug socket and emitting sound waves to deter spiders. The ultrasonic wave frequencies (which are distributed per room) are uncomfortable for spiders, but inaudible to humans, children and pets. Electromagnetic wave devices operate throughout the whole house via the wiring of your house (but electric devices aren’t affected).

Hand held catchers – coming in the form of a hoover or a brush, hand held catchers are a humane, simple method to manually remove spiders you see hiding in the corners of your room or underneath furniture. Depending on which device you use, you simply extend the catcher arm, catch the spider and then release it elsewhere (say at the very back of your garden).

Sprays – used as a preventative method, sprays are an effective and humane way to form a natural barrier to prevent spiders from arriving in the first place. Ideally you should spray where you think a cobweb will form ie window frames or doorways.

Webs – similar to sprays, removing the source of the issue is a good preventative method. By removing the spider’s home, they will be forced to locate elsewhere (and yes this might mean elsewhere in your house if you’re really unlucky). If you notice a web with a spider on it, wear gloves and place both the web and the spider in the garden if you’re feeling brave.

Cobweb, Network, Networking, Nature, Close, Lichtspiel

 

Homemade – although one of the most common ways to rid of a spider you see, it can be a challenge for those with a huge fear of arachnids. You will need a piece of paper and a glass for this homemade method.  Simply place a glass or cup over the spider, slip the piece of paper under the glass (ensuring the spider doesn’t escape) and carry until you reach somewhere far, far away from your house (or the back of your garden maybe).

Let us know how you plan to rid of creepy crawlies from your house!

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

To see the rest of Amie’s posts, click here.

 

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