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Cannabis and Large Animal Pests

Protecting Your Cannabis Crop from Invaders of the Animal Variety

Pests are a concern with any crop. However, when it comes to marijuana plants, big pests remain a serious enemy. Deer, raccoons, and rabbits are three predators that growers often think of when protecting their outdoor crops. Nevertheless, domestic animals and rodents also need to be considered, as they can often slip through the cracks. Whether the beast in question is after a meal and eating the cannabis plants themselves, or they are clumsily trampling or digging plants up on their way to greener pastures, you will need to know what can be done to protect your cannabis plants from these pests.

Why Are Pests a Concern?

Growers often obsess over keeping their crops free of insects and bugs. What must be realized is that insects and other small critters can decimate a crop, but the process does take some time. Larger pests can wipe out a crop in a matter of hours. This is especially true when the pests, like burrowing rodents, target the roots of the crop. Months of work could be erased when this happens. Knowing how to identify which pest is targeting the crop and how to eliminate the problem is crucial for this reason.

Why Do Pests Target Marijuana Plants?

Pests must find their own food and shelter for the most part. While domesticated creatures have someone to feed and shelter them, they may also attack a marijuana crop, for a snack or out of boredom. Much of the damage occurs when the outdoor temperatures begin to drop, as these animals are trying to gain weight before the winter months arrive. When spring comes around, the animals also attack crops in an attempt to regain any weight that has been lost. Keep this in mind and spend more time searching for pests during these seasons. Now that we’ve scanned over the possible kinds of damage that can be seen, let’s investigate what can be done for the specific perpetrators that you may find in your garden.


Birds love germinating cannabis seeds. They may consume them or dig holes to hide their store. This allows them to hide the stash from other animals that may try to take it. During the first three seasons of the year, birds will dig up their hidden stores. During the winter, open holes in the garden are a sign birds are present and attacking the crop. To prevent this, install netting over the crop and germinate seeds indoors whenever possible.


Deer are more particular when it comes to the plants they are willing to eat. They tend to avoid plants with a strong aroma and those with little nutritional value. Nevertheless, when hungry, a deer will eat anything that can be found. When searching for food, deer won’t hesitate to enter a garden and eat leaves from the marijuana crop     or trample other crops to find one they desire.

If you suspect deer have been eating your crop, look for cloven hoof prints. Droppings shaped like beans are a sign deer have entered the garden, and whooshing sounds are common when deer are in close proximity to humans. When deer are visiting the garden, it’s best to put up a high, sturdy fence to keep them out.

If a fence isn’t possible for some reason, pungent odors may help to repel these animals. This includes scents such as lion urine or garlic. Another option is to plant lush bushes surrounding your growing area, as deer typically won’t cross the barrier.


Gophers are well known for their love of digging tunnels in the ground. If they encounter cannabis plants, they are likely to eat the roots of the plants and can do significant damage to a crop this way. Look for loose dirt mounds in the garden if your plants are dying. A screen around the roots can help to protect the crop. In addition, castor oil and garlic placed in the holes can send the moles looking for a new habitat.


While moles won’t attack the cannabis plants themselves, they do damage by burrowing underground. This leaves the roots exposed, and they tend to dry out. Fortunately, it is easy to spot the damage, as mounds of loose soil appear in the garden when the mole pushes it up to build a hill or tunnel. If any signs of moles are seen, put a barrier around the plant roots or build a fence that extends three feet below the ground. The barrier will help to prevent damage to the crop.


Rabbits love gardens. They consider it their own personal feast and snack on plant roots when they go underground. In addition, they eat the leaves or trample them while browsing the selection. As rabbits multiply quickly, a garden can be wiped out in no time at all. Look for one hole in the garden to see if you have a problem with rabbits. Lion or coyote urine will be of great help in keeping these plant lovers from eating the leaves. Simply pour it around the plants, and it should keep them away for weeks.


Mice and rats feed on cannabis plants, especially when they don’t have access to human trash. Rodents constantly gnaw at things to keep their teeth from growing too long, and the chewy hemp fibres are great to help keep the teeth at a suitable length. As these animals multiply quickly, action must be taken as soon as a grower suspects they are present. Keep the garden clean and ensure the animals don’t have access to trash or compost bins. Additionally, animal feces attract these critters, so be sure to clean any feces from your cat or dog.


Reccoons are noctural mammals that appear in both residential and rural areas. One of their favorite nighttime hunting targets are soil-dwelling insects. In order to find these critters, the raccoon uses his front paws to flip through the soil, damaging cannabis plant’s roots in the process. Look for chunks of soil that have been flipped over to see if you have a raccoon problem. Surface repellents made with castor oil mask the smell of soil insects. Spray them on the ground around the plants. Take care when watering to ensure you don’t wash the repellent away.


Like raccoons, skunks turn the soil over to find food. Since they can’t climb or jump, soil insects are the only things they eat. As a result, they leave shallow holes surrounded by loose soil throughout the garden. As in the above example, use a surface repellent made with castor oil to repel these critters from your garden.


Tree squirrels and grounds squirrels both love plants. Tree squirrels hide their food by digging up holes in the garden and covering their stash. This process harms germinating plants. Ground squirrels, in contrast, dig up the soil to eat the roots. To spot tree squirrels, look for tiny holes that have a ring of loose soil around them. Ground squirrels will create two holes that are very neat. To keep tree squirrels away, place a net over the entire garden or use a repellent. Ground squirrels are best kept out of the crop by installing a fence that runs three feet into the ground or by placing a screen around the roots.

Domestic Animals

Cats and dogs that have been domesticated receive food, water, and lodging from their owners. They don’t need marijuana plants for sustenance or shelter. Nevertheless, they will likely be intrigued by the plants and want to explore them. Furthermore, they may go to the bathroom near the plants. What can a grower do to protect plants from domesticated animals?


Cats can be friendly and cuddly, or they can be aloof and disdainful. They frequently use plants in the home as their personal bathroom, and growers must watch out for this. Feline urine has a high ammonia concentration, and this can do harm to the plant. Additionally, bacteria in feline feces attract rodents and harmful insects. These pests harm cannabis plants as well. Finally, cats may choose to chew on the leaves of the cannabis plant and damage it in the process.

Determining if a cat has been exploring the garden isn’t difficult. The urine and feces smell will be strong, and some plants may have bite marks in the leaves. Cats don’t like the smell of cinnamon, garlic, or citrus peelings. Sprinkle these around the garden to prevent the cats from exploring. In addition, lay chicken wire on the ground around the plants to prevent cats from getting to the plants. Finally, if you see the cats in the garden, spray them with a high-powered water gun. Cats don’t like water and should run away.


As with cat urine, dog urine is damaging to cannabis plants. Additionally, dogs often trample the stems and leaves of the plants. The smell of dog urine and feces is likewise strong and indicates one or more canines have invaded the growing area. Trampled leaves and stems are another sign. A sturdy fence, a water gun, and pungent repellents all help to keep dogs away from your crop.

Final Thoughts

The best way to prevent pests from getting to your cannabis crop is to know their behaviors and how to identify when one or more has been present in the growing area. This helps you determine how best to keep animals away from the crop and protect your hard work. Humane methods should always be used when dealing with these critters.

Preventative measures are always best. This is the best way to protect your seeds and your crop. Determine which animals are of most concern in your area so you can deal with this. By taking steps before a problem arises, you’ll find your cannabis growing experience is more satisfying in every way. You can also consider buying wholesale cannabis seeds in order to have a larger backstock in the event of a bad pest invasion. That’s the beauty when you buy marijuana seeds online. is rated highly among united states cannabis seed banks, so you can trust that the quality of your Purple Kush or Bruce Banner auto seeds are going to be not only viable, but truly outstanding with their genetic heartiness.