I'm a gardening expert – there are three cheap items in your kitchen that can banish animals without hurting them

A GARDENING expert has said there are three cheap kitchen items that can help stop animals from eating your plants without hurting them.

Homeowners can use mint, cayenne pepper, and soap as a tactic to stop the mischievous critters.

Gardeners can use peppermint-scented oil or scatter mint teabags across their plot of land as animals don’t like the taste or smell of the herb.

If animals detect the smell, then it’s likely they will run away from it, according to Bobvila.

Animals such as mice, moles, and skunks are known for hating the smell of mint.

QVC’s Gardening Expert Richard Jackson told The Express: “Smelly oils should last at least two weeks, even if it rains.”

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Cayenne peppers are commonly used in hot sauces and can be added to meals to give them extra flavor, but experts say they’re a good pest controller.

Critters such as raccoons and squirrels don’t like the taste of the spice.

They’re likely to get a shock if they try to chomp on leaves that have been covered in the pepper.

But, not all gardeners think cayenne pepper is a great deterrent.

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In a TikTok video, gardener Sean Patchett said: “I think a lot of people have heard the myth that using cayenne pepper will repel squirrels.

“Well this may p*** them off temporarily but you will not keep them away forever.”

He claimed: “In fact, it's been noted that squirrels will adapt their taste buds and eat it anyway or what's worse is if they get that cayenne pepper in their eye and their eye gets inflamed and they keep scratching it and their hands are covered in cayenne pepper so they make it worse.”


Scented soap such as Irish Spring has been used by gardeners to stop pests such as raccoons from clawing and munching at trees.

The household product smells of bergamot and citrus and it also has a floral scent.

Experts at PestPointers say while there’s no scientific evidence, it is also a useful tool in protecting your gardens from deers.

To stop raccoons from scavenging in trees, you should cut your bar of soap in half.

And use string or rope to tie it around three feet away from the trunk.

Or, the soap can be put in a bag and hung from a tree.


Meanwhile, we have revealed a series of tips that gardeners can follow to keep their land in good shape this summer.

Managing Director Jamie Shipley, from Hedges Direct, said plants need to be in the right place to thrive.

Shipley said it's important to give plants just the right amount of water, as too much or too little can cause problems.

He said: "This is particularly important during periods of either really wet or really dry weather, to ensure it’s as near perfect as possible."

And, combining manure or leaf mold with compost can help plants get the nutrients they need.

Another gardener has used waste paper bins to help deter squirrels from eating vegetables.

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The cost-effective strategy has been likened to kryptonite online.

Gardeners can also use a solution of white vinegar and table salt that will help get rid of weeds.

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