Backyard battle plan: the ultimate guide to controlling wildlife damage in your garden
A practical, no-nonsense look at the greatest scourge of America's 100 million gardeners -- animal damageThere's a war going on out there, and humans are losing ground literally. The first book to look squarely at the subject, Backyard Battle Plan takes a stand on the fastest-growing threat to our gardens: animal damage. Ecological imbalance and overzealous protectionist policies have produced a skyrocketing population of problem animals. Deer alone number thirty times what they did a century ago. With animal-related property losses totaling $3 billion a year, America's summer backyard -- suburban and urban -- is under siege. But our romanticization of wildlife, argues Backyard Battle Plan, blinds us to our need for a balance of preservation and control, even elimination.A godsend to any gardener whose cherished crops are regularly destroyed, this complete A-to-Z guide defines the enemy: from beaver to problem birds and coyotes to woodchucks; their habitats and the diseases they carry; and control methods from fencing to poison to hunting.Complete with fascinating boxes and sidebars, this is an honest and long-overdue primer on an issue we dare not keep taboo.
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Backyard battle plan: the ultimate guide to controlling wildlife damage in your gardenUser Review - Book Verdict
Rutledge, a landscape and forestry professional, presents short chapters on backyard pests--mostly mammals--and includes background information and possible control methods (exclusion, trapping, hunting, baiting, poisoning, or repelling). The format and quality of the chapters varies considerably, with some including illustrations of the animal's tracks, information on the efficacy of folk remedies, and extreme examples of backyard incidents (though sources are usually not cited). A separate section increases the reader's understanding of recommended control methods, use of poisonous plants, disease problems, and legalities. Some gardeners may be offended by Rutledge's condescending tone (particularly in passages about environmentalists and animal rights), and some factual errors are troubling, such as the author's assertion that alligators are American crocodiles. In addition, the book's subtitle is overstated, implying that this is the most comprehensive, well-researched, user-friendly, accurate guide available. However, local extension-office publications or a basic gardening guide like Rodale's Complete Garden Problem Solver (Rodale, 1998) may suffice for the amateur. Recommended only for comprehensive gardening collections or where demand warrants.--Bonnie Poquette, Appleton P.L., WI