If you live in an area with a lot of moose there’s a good chance you’ve had one (or a few) wander into your property or garden.
To keep moose out of your garden and yard, make sure your property is clear of food that moose like. You can also add fencing around trees, avoid certain plants, put up poles, fence in your garden, or purchase a repellent.
Moose are big animals that can cause a lot of damage if they make it onto your property or into your yard. Seeing a moose in the yard may be very exciting for some but can also cause a lot of anxiety for others. Let’s take a closer look at these tips and the best ways to implement them.
Keep Your Property Clear of Food That Moose Search For
This is the first and most important thing to keep in mind:
Make sure your yard is free of food that a moose could scavenge for, and make sure that you’re not leaving food out for them.
This will only encourage them to stay because they will start to view your property as a food source, which could potentially lead to damage to your property.
Not only that but feeding them will reduce their respect and fear of humans, which will only encourage them to become more urbanized overtime.
Now, here’s the catch:
This point becomes difficult to accomplish because moose love to eat many readily available plants, including branches, leaves, and more as they are hebivores.
The best way to combat keeping your yard “food free” is to keep an overall clean and tidy yard.
Avoid Planting These Plants That Moose Like
Another thing you can try to prevent moose from coming into your garden is to plant flowers and trees that moose don’t find appealing. Moose are primarily herbivores and like to eat anything plant-based.
Try to avoid these plants when thinking of ways to deter moose as these are plants that are frequently damaged by moose:
- Labrador tea
- Apples, crab apples
- Quaking aspen
- Mountain ash
- Highbush cranberry
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, these plants listed above are generally highly damaged plants by moose, meaning they like to go for them. In order to keep moose away, try not to have these plants around!
Purchase a Repellent Spray
Even though the moose is a member of the deer species, deer repellents won’t always work due to their quick loss of potency.
A serviceable spray comes in the form of Plantskydd. This spray is made from blood meal and the smell will drive moose and other critters from your yard and garden.
The Plantskydd mixture, also keeps away rabbits, deer, hares, voles squirrels and chipmunk along with moose.
The only downside is that if the wind shifts while you’re spraying (or a day or so after), you will smell it. However, it’s worth a good look into if you’ve been having issues with moose and other herbivore critters.
Give The Moose Space To Leave on It’s Own
Now, this is the approach you’ll want to take if you’re just worried about getting the moose to leave in the short term.
If the moose isn’t causing extreme damage to your yard or garden, the best thing you can do is to leave it alone, and let it leave by itself!
The moose may stay in the area for a day or two and maybe more if your property isn’t a substantial food source to them.
It is more likely that the moose will leave your garden or yard without the need to do anything else.
Of course, there is a likelihood that the moose may come back to your property, which is why leaving the moose alone is more of a short term option. If they found food in your yard or garden, they’ll probably scope the area out again sometime in the future.
Add Fencing Around Your Trees
Okay, back to the long term approaches.
As a male moose is preparing for mating season, they will use trees to strip their antlers of the velvety fur that grows there. When this happens, they will use both young and old trees, whenever they need to.
This rubbing that the moose do can cause severe damage to the trees that can’t be fixed. If this happens, putting up a fence around the trees can help SIGNIFICANTLY.
The fence will save your trees AND keep moose from stopping and rubbing their antlers on them. Generally, for moose you’re going to find that mainly that springtime is a common time for bark stripping to take place (usually with females).
You’ll want to set up triangular fencing around the trees you wish to protect. Make sure that there isn’t a large amount of room between the fence and the tree so that the moose can’t get in between the fence.
You’ll always want to make sure the fence is tall enough as well. You’ll want to aim for a fence that’s around 5ft-7ft tall. From there, you should install some posts in the ground around the tree (3-4 would be best) and then install some galvanized wire fencing as a sturdy material that moose won’t be able to penetrate.
Put Up “Rubbing” Poles
In addition to fencing in your trees, consider installing a stable WOODEN pole in a designated location on your property, preferably near the edge of your yard or next to your garden (only if it has proper fencing). This pole would be used by the moose to rub against instead of using your trees for that purpose.
The biggest issue with this method is that moose are strong and are capable of ripping up a pole that isn’t installed properly. The pole should be thick enough to at least, mimick a budding sapling.
If you don’t have experience installing something like this in the ground, contact a professional with experience to help!
This method will be more successful if you have your other trees fenced off so moose or any other horned animals have no choice but to rub their horns on the pole.
Install a Fence in Your Garden or Yard
Just as you would fence in your trees to prevent the moose from damaging them, fencing in your garden or your yard will also help keep them out and away.
The fence doesn’t necessarily need to be a fortress. Much of the fencing is meant to deter them by sight but of course, it doesn’t hurt if they physically cannot get through the fence.
Luckily, many types of fencing will work just so long as you have something tall and sturdy.
The important thing to keep in mind when constructing your fence is the possibility of the moose (or deer) jumping over it. Try to make it high enough that the moose will be too nervous to jump.
Call Your Local Wildlife Department
Most of the time, a moose will leave on its own or not give you too many issues besides eating your greenery. However, sometimes they will linger and need to be moved.
This type of thing should always be left up to the professionals. You should never approach a wild animal unless you have the training to do so.
If you have a moose problem, call your local pest control department or wildlife services office to ask them to remove the moose for you.
Wrapping It Up
Now you can keep the moose from your yard or garden with these seven easy tips. Keep your yard clean and moose food free while leaving them alone for a few days. Fence in your trees, your yard and your garden to keep them out, and buy some repellent spray. Finally, if all of that fails, give your local pest control a call.
Miquelle, D. G., & Van Ballenberghe, V. (1989). Impact of bark stripping by moose on aspen-spruce communities. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 577-586.
Hansen, G. (2016). Moose. ABDO.
Peterson, R. L. (1978). North American moose. North American moose.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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