How to use tea bags to keep cats and foxes away from ruining plants – ‘will last 2 weeks’

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With so much outdoor space to explore, gardens are havens for animals and pets like foxes and cats. While they may love entering different gardens, causing damage to them is far from ideal. Keeping animals out of the garden completely can be hard, but an expert has shared one method to protect plants and flowers.

Cats will sometimes chew on grass and tender leaves, but not cause huge problems in the garden.

Most cat damage is done as a by-product of their natural behaviours such as scent marking and digging.

Foxes however can dig up plants, flower beds or lawns searching for insects and worms. They may also attempt to bury surplus food.

Speaking to, QVC’s Gardening Expert Richard Jackson, said: “Keep cats off your seedlings and young plants with tea bags.

“Spray old tea bags with deep heat type muscle treatment.

“Then place it in problematic parts of the garden and, if needed, cover with a sprinkling of soil to disguise them.”

Tea bags can also be dabbed in peppermint or eucalyptus oil.

Cats do not like these strong scents and will stay away from them.

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The expert added: “These smelly oils will last two weeks.”

They will also still smell in the garden if it rains. This trick can also be used to deter a number of other animals from ruining the garden, including foxes.

Sophie Thorogood, from the technical team at Pest Stop, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of high-quality pest control products, has shared the best way to protect your garden from foxes.

The expert said: “Foxes are optimistic feeders and are often in search of food or secluded locations to create a den to raise their families, making gardens a prime location for foxes to venture. 

“At this time of year, foxes will have already created a den and birthed their cubs, so it’s not unusual to see adult foxes roaming around to hunt and feed their cubs.

“To protect your garden from foxes, your efforts are best invested in fencing. Build a fence around the perimeter of your garden that is at least two metres high and ideally buried in the ground to stop the foxes digging underneath. 

“If you own rabbits or chickens that are housed in outdoor structures, add an additional fenced barrier to protect them from hunting foxes.

“Fences and walls can also have spikes placed on top of them to prevent foxes from climbing over and along them. Also consider adding a hard structure to the edge of your pavement to deter them from digging in these areas too.”

Britons can also prevent foxes from tipping over bins by placing them on a firm ground with a lid.

Cutting back on vegetation that could provide shelter can help to keep them away.

The expert added: “Discourage neighbours from feeding foxes as this will lead to frequent visits from adults and their cubs.

“If you do want to use fox repellents, they are available with differing effectiveness to deter them from your garden. Outdoor repellents are also a way to prevent foxes from entering the garden without causing harm.”

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