Yesterday I received an e-mail from Joy of Arizona.
I was delighted when Craig sent this great new website, having visions of the yard looking like Home and Garden's. We spend about half the year in cool Ariz. high country at 5000ft. elev. Unfortunately the small birds return from their long migration shortly after we do, just in time to feast on the new flowers I put out in 6 packs each spring. The birds scatter whenever I come outside, thinking I'M the garden pest, SO I made a scarecrow from a broom, plastic bag and my old stocking cap, which worked - for 8 or 10 days - whoopee. The birds are now back for the rest of the flowers. I can't have the flower bed in our unfenced front yard because of another flower devourer, the South West's feral pig, Javelina, whose odor you wouldn't believe is stronger than a skunk's. P.U. If there are any solutions, SOS and Mayday!
Hearing about these Javelinas compelled me to do some searching for them. I thought I had it bad with the deer! These guys stink and destroy your garden!
So in a nutshell here are some suggestions from others like you who have to deal with them. The links below go into greater detail.
1. Coyote Urine, not the Shake-Away powder stuff that is mostly chemical urea or ureic acid
As for fencing, it must be at least 2 to 3 feet tall and not less than 3 inches below ground. Some pet and feed stores sell low-voltage electric or solar-powered fencing, which can be effective. Hang a single strand 8 to 10 inches off the ground around the edge of your garden, the experts suggest.
3. You can try coffee grounds around your plants. The smell and the texture have been known to keep them at bay.
4. Some have tried Garlic Water, Cayenne and hot sauce but I’m not sure if they had any success.
5. Lastly here is an unusual method that this reader uses and claims some success with!
“Here is my Javelina deterrent method: OK, this is really gross but it is free and only for garden lovers who are determined to persuade the neighborhood Javelinas (and rabbits as a bonus) that their garden just isn't yummy anymore. This has worked perfectly so far, and here's what you do. I took several large dog droppings and put them in a gallon of water (I used a plastic pitcher with a top that rotates to open, then you don't have to touch anything that comes in contact with the droppings and liquid mixture), then I just let it sit a few hours to break down and liquify. If you need to mix it up you can use a paint stirrer like you get at a paint store. You want it thin and watery so that when you pour it on the plant you really don't see it, more like dirty water. It doesn't smell as bad as it could because it's so thinned out.
I poured that mixture around the base of the agave and cactus to discourage digging for shoots and poured some on the pads and leaves of the cactus and agave and around the base of the Penstemon so they wouldn't eat the flesh. I have been completely successful, and went from nightly raids where they ripped my new plants out of the ground and dug under my agaves to leaving my plants untouched and my garden pristine for the last two weeks.
At first, I saw hoof prints around my front garden but no damage and after two days of that, now, they don't even set foot in my garden! I used a broom on the gravel to smooth it out to really see if anything was disturbed and it wasn't! The Javelinas and rabbits aren't even walking on my property. And it doesn't smell horrible either to humans because you don't use very much, but the animals can sure smell it.
I am going to repeat this bi-weekly for a while and then space it out to weekly and then monthly.”
One thing I did find out
is never let your dog near them. They hate dogs and will tear them apart!
This is a story I found from a couple that was very interesting to read. I could just picture them doing all this and it reminds me of all my struggles with my deer and what we go through to have a simple garden!
“Actually, Javelinas can show up at almost any time, but they ALWAYS show up for a meal or two in late summer. I don't know where they came from or where they go, but they come in late August and September like clockwork. When they do, expect trouble. Javelinas and any wild pig, being "rooters," can shove their snouts into any kind of ground with enough determination to get under any fencing structure, lift up the fence wire, just enough, to get under the fence, and feast. One has to create a foot-deep trough or so, place the fence into the trough, and keep it covered over with rocks or cement to assure keeping these critters out! But unfortunately, you can't create such structures where it matters most--your garden gate! And it is THERE that Javelinas are most likely to find their entrance into your garden. Even if your gate is thick aluminum or steel at the bottom, unbendable, wild pigs WILL find a way to root and dig under it! And, sure enough last weekend, Saturday morning around 7 am, at least one Javelina (it is rare for Javelinas to travel alone; more likely it was a family) got into the garden and ate a few yellow squash plants, stomped in the dirt where we'd just planted radishes, knocked over some seedlings, and stomped into the ground some greens on the way to the squash. In other words, they only messed up a small section of garden (they could have wiped it out...and I still don't know why they didn't). So, I put some flat, heavy rocks at the fence where it was clear they probably got out and could have gotten in, but of course, they most likely got in under the gate. So for this week we did "Javelina watch," getting up around 7 am to check the garden. So far, so good.
However, this past Thursday (Sept. 19), I got up to use the bathroom at 5:30 am, went out to check the garden and all was as it had been since the last invasion. Went back to bed, and got up again at 7:30 am. When I went out to check, more squash had been eaten! Plus, I noticed that the gate had been pushed up some more! Well, that's enough of that! We are down to our last couple of squash plants, and WILL NOT LOSE ANY MORE!
So this is what we've done: fill up water buckets with water (that can also be used to water the garden); put the buckets right in front of the gate so that Javelinas CANNOT get under the gate without toppling over four water buckets onto themselves (Javelinas do not like water on them! When it comes to water they are as skittish as cats...I cannot vouch for other kinds of wild pigs, however). Further, to make things more interesting, my husband put long, metal fence posts into the buckets standing upward, leaning against the bar that keeps deer from jumping over the gate...that way, if the critters do topple the buckets they will not only get wet. They will also get some heavy metal posts crashing down on them!
The noise enough should scare them away! Plus, the racket will send either me or my husband out to make sure the pests exit pronto!
That is, if you really want to mess with Javelinas! Now, Javelinas aren't mountain lions or bears, but they could, if there were enough of 'em, potentially rip you to shreds anyway. They have somewhat short, but potentially harmful, tusks that act as teeth (sort of like a wild boar or warthog). Make 'em mad enough and they will attack. In fact, if you have a dog that likes to go after skunks, raccoons and the like, you might want to keep it at bay. We had friends once who owned a Rhodesian Ridgeback. These powerful mastiff dogs were bred to hunt African lions. Well, their dog once got into it with some Javelinas and would up going to the vet with a six-inch deep gash in its side! Took at least a month to start looking like it was going to heal. Lesser dogs such as Rottweilers (!), Fila Brasilieros (which hunt jaguars and, formerly, runaway slaves), and German Shepherds are also no match for these porcine pugilists. In fact, if you want a dog that'll take on Javelinas successfully, get yourself a Chihuahua! These little guys can nip the heels off of a bear (provided they don't get stomped on!)
I’m going to leave you with a list of links that I found on the Javelina
This first one is a nice pamphlet from the Fish and Game Department
The following links are from others like yourself that are trying to deal with these critters!
I got the pictures of the Javelina from these two places
Craig found these links about Javelinas.http://www.azod.com/Hunting/Archive/2004/Q1/Javelina%20Essenti.htm