Does Brushed Pet Hair Really Work As A Pest Repellent In The Garden?

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Those with pets may have piles of fur collecting in the corners of their home. While you probably either sweep up or vacuum these piles and throw them away, have you ever wondered if they could actually be useful? If you're a gardener, there are multiple ways pet hair could be used to benefit your plants. For instance, you could place it in your compost bin to add nutrients, specifically the right levels of nitrogen. You could also gather it up and throw it outside in clumps, which birds may use to build their nests. However, keep in mind that you shouldn't reuse hair that's been treated recently for something like fleas, as it has chemicals on it.

Perhaps you've also wondered if this material could be used in the garden to keep pests away. Some believe that dog or cat hair can deter animals like squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, slugs, deer, and raccoons from eating your plant's leaves or fruit. But is this actually true, or is it simply a myth?

Pet hair as pest repellant?

If you've ever been told this, know your helpful friend wasn't lying to you. Pet hair can be used to keep animals away because most of the pests that try to eat from your garden consider dogs and cats as enemies and will stay away from places where they think they've been. Therefore, if they smell a dog or a cat in the area, they won't approach. This could be especially beneficial for those with pets that are primarily or even exclusively kept inside, as placing their hair in your garden will trick animals into thinking they've been outside recently.

Pet hair in your garden can also keep some insects away. If you place the fur around the bottom of the plant, this material could tangle up insects and keep them from reaching your produce. It can also slow down and stop slugs, as it can be difficult for them to traverse over a large mound of hair. 

How to use pet hair effectively

While this can be a great hack, there is one problem you could run into: Pet hair is light and may blow away in the wind. Therefore, to use fur effectively, you'll need to ensure it's secured somehow. If you have garden beds, or if your plants are in pots, you could tuck tufts into the edges and corners, which will keep them from blowing away. Another trick is to place the hair inside old pantyhose and use it to border your garden. 

Pet fur could also be used like mulch and placed right around the base of your plants. If you pack it down, it should stay better than if it was simply sprinkled on the edge of your garden. However, keep in mind that you'll need to continue replacing the hair, as it will most likely blow away over time. If you need more fur than what your cats or dogs are naturally shedding around the home, try grooming them with a pet brush, which you could purchase from Amazon