Humane Critter Control: The guide to natural, nontoxic pest solutions to protect your yard & garden, by Theresa Rooney

My Copy: 9781591866961 (image from

I gotta admit, after watching my watermelons disappear and my red noodle beans end up with those weird orange bugs crawling all over them, and me basically giving up til next season… let’s just say this book came at the right time.

Humane Critter Control is not a thick book, and it gives a general overview of how to handle different types of pests, whether molds or diseases, insects, or the legged types that like to jump or sneak around on you. My biggest worry regarding critter control is since the vast majority of the garden I’ve been trying to build (like 95%) is meant for human consumption, I’m most worried about using methods that might damage the plants more or poison folks.

So, it was nice to see that in some respects, planting, attention, different scents and textures can all play a part in curbing populations of unwanted pests. There are a myriad of things to keep in mind, since what I’d love to have is something that just all grows and sustains itself and helps out the other plants without having to worry that as soon as harvest time comes, all that food is long gone. The book is a good crash course in spotting trouble and dealing with it, and that’s something I needed. I generally haven’t recognized much of what I’ve noticed the past few months and am paying for it now. I just wish I could have found this book a lot sooner.

But right now, it’s a good book to keep on the shelf and let me know what’s going on with my yard or plants. There are a few things I’ve missed in yard maintenance (okay, a lot of things), and some of the ideas inside regarding deer (which haven’t been a problem–yet) and squirrels will take some fanangling, I know. Squirrels are determined little suckers, but they only really started becoming a problem when the bugs came in and REALLY did some damage.

It’s a good reminder that we’re part of an ecosystem, and sometimes working with it more than against it will yield the best results. It’s gonna take more research to see what I really can do for myself in the next few months to prepare, but on the other hand, this book is a good sketch map for how to get there.

A keeper for sure, because I’ve got a thousand more questions and Humane Critter Control could help me narrow down what to ask about specifically when the time comes.

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