How to protect your home and garden from pests using elderberries
In nature, there are many potent medicinal plants. One of these is black elderberry (lat. Sambúcus nígra). This shrub is known to almost everyone, but few people know that with its help you can save a garden plot and even a house from mice and rats.
Why rodents fear elderberries
The reason rats and mice cannot tolerate elderberry is the pungent smell. It is due to the content in elderberry of a large amount of tannins and essential oil. This plant is considered poisonous to small animals, moreover, not only the seeds of berries are poisonous, but also the roots. Shrub is widespread in Europe, Asia, North Africa, Transcaucasia, and even in New Zealand.
A distinctive feature of Sambúcus nígra is its unpretentiousness. It can easily be planted on the site with one bush, and after 2-3 years the shrub will grow independently. In the household, from the pulp of berries, plants even make jam and jelly, which have a delicate taste and aroma.
Important! For humans, elderberry fruits are safe after heat treatment, but for most mammals they are conditionally poisonous.
Mice and rats run away from the smell of Sambúcus nígra, since the flowers of the plant contain glycosides, in particular, sambunigrin. This substance, being split, is converted (partially) to hydrocyanic acid. And if for a person the smell of flowers is simply unpleasant, then it is unbearable for rodents.
But this shrub discourages not only small four-fingered pests - the preventive effect of flowers and fruits also extends to insects. Even ants rarely settle within a radius of several meters from such green spaces!
Did you know? In England, elderflower cordial is a traditional national drink made from elderberry color. They drink it with lemon, mint and ice.
What is dangerous elderberry for pests
For pests, Sambúcus nígra is dangerous with hydrocyanic acid, as well as with odorous resins and bitterness. For example, field mice or moles will never dig a hole near such a shrub, therefore, centuries ago, and now elderberries are planted near granaries, sheds, barns, cellars and just near apartment buildings, in the garden, on a personal plot.
It is dangerous, first of all, with toxic substances in flowers, roots and leaves. Even the bark of a bush of a mouse will not be swallowed due to bitterness and unpleasant taste.
Which elderberry is better for protection
It is black elderberry or Sambucus nigra Albovariegata, known as white and white, that is suitable for protection against rodents. The first plant is easily recognizable by the intense dark color of the leaves, it is very different from other inhabitants of the garden. A characteristic feature of such a shrub: long sharp leaves and shoot height of up to 6 meters.
Important! For dogs and cats, elderberry is not dangerous. Pets or yard pets do not show any interest in the fruits or flowers of the bush.
Very rarely, bushes can reach 10 meters, most often this occurs in wild forests or forest plantations. In the summer cottages, elderberry is rarely high, it is more sprawling and bears fruit well. The second type of plant has saturated green leaves with a white border around the edges.
Another type of shrub used both to decorate the garden and to deter garden pests and small rodents is Sambucus nigra Eva. Better known as "black lace". It has incredible carved leaves and flowers painted in pale pink.
Used for decorating public parks, gardens, grows in large quantities in the botanical gardens of Scotland, England and Wales.
Like the two plants described above, it also has toxic effects on small mammals. The poisonous attack of Sambúcus racemósa or red elderberry will also scare away the pests. The difference between the plant and the previously described is small red fruits, similar to mountain ash. Otherwise, the properties are identical.
Elderberry protection methods
For prophylactic purposes, branches are cut from the bush and laid out inside utility rooms. Elderberry branches were previously used to shift haystacks so that mice or rats would not twist inside the nest.
It is recommended to plant Sambúcus nígra near chicken coops, various farm premises where animals are kept and, of course, near the entrance to a residential building or cottage. Then it is safe to say that rats will not be able to get on the porch of the dacha or settle in the cellar.
How to protect yourself from rodents in your home with Sambúcus nígra.
- Arrange the dried berries of the plant on the shelves on which food supplies are stored.
- Put a bouquet of flowering shoots on the table in the summer kitchen.
- Arrange elderberry seeds in a cellar, pantry (if necessary, they can be quickly sweeping, but mice or rats stick to the seeds, they irritate and rodents quickly retreat).
In the garden
Common ways to protect against pests, mice, and rats with Sambúcus nígra in the garden:
- chopped branches are laid out in haystacks;
- transfer fresh stocks of food in the cellar;
- berries are scattered on the territory among flowering plants or fruit trees so that tree pests do not attack the crop;
- cut shoots are placed under agrofibre so that mice do not gnaw seedlings in winter or early spring;
- trunks of fruit trees are tied with elderberry branches and leaves.
A useful and aesthetically attractive shrub plant should grow in every area, thereby preventing the invasion of rodent pests. Gardeners with experience recommend growing a forest culture not only near residential and utility rooms, but also near water bodies, so that the water will always be clean and mosquitoes and mosquitoes will not swarm above it.
One of my neighbors grows black elderberry. Yes, directly under it, mice do not dig holes and are also nearby (although there are many mice in the area - the forest is nearby). But they don’t react to branches in any way, at least henna. Maybe their root secretions are more likely to scare them away than the smell of branches, but then you need to plant the whole area tightly so that you get a "dull defense"