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Ralph Snodsmith's ANTI-CRITTER TIPS


Those Darn Deer!

Garden Guru Ralph Snodsmith recommends using Milorganite to chase deer away.

“Milorganite works to about knee-high, fragrance-wise. They get a whiff and they go off to your neighbors."
“The only thing they won't eat is daffodils," he says. He applies the fertilizer starting when the foliage breaks in spring and every six weeks thereafter.

Another product to try is “Deer Off" which he says is basically hot peppers and rotten egg-whites. Who wouldn't run away! He applies it as a spray around his rhododendrons at Thanksgiving time, and it lasts until mid April. It works by taste and by smell, with some sort of “glue" to make it stick.

On his flowers and vegetables he tries “Deer Stopper" made of rosemary and mint oils. He applies it once a month and says, “The rabbits even stay away."¯ Another deer-repellent is “Coyote Urine." It works, he says. “Deer don't like coyotes. They're afraid to death of coyotes."

Another Snodsmith tip: Use bars of Irish Spring soap impaled on stakes and placed around the garden to deter deer. But leave the wrappers on. If the wrapper gets damp, it constantly gives off fragrance.¯ And it lasts longer that way, too.


Whenever Snodsmith spends time in the great mosquito, black fly and punkie-laden outdoors, he never gets bit. His motto: Be prepared. This following tip works every time for him, but he warns that if you are allergic to vitamin B1 (thiamine), or even think you might be, talk to your doctor first. These are not medical recommendations, he says.

Two-step Recipe:
-- the day before you go out: 500 milligrams of B1
-- the morning of: 200 milligrams of B1
-- the afternoon of: 200 milligrams of B1
-- milligrams may vary according to body weight (Ralph weighs 150)
-- Keep doing this for every day that you're out.

“I have never been bitten by a mosquito while I'm doing this," he says. “Mosquitos will hover around you and never light."¯

On a fishing trip to Northern Minnesota with five doctors, Snodsmith stuck to his regimen. “About the third day, one doctor said to me, 'Don't you get bitten by the mosquitos?' About the fifth day, I started selling B1 to them. It paid for my trip."¯

Although Snodsmith points out this may not work for everyone, he tells of a film crew of 42 who went to South Africa, whose director reported back that not one person got a bite - they all used the B1 regimen.

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published September 16, 2004

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