Carolina classic home & garden show

Get tips on getting rid of varmints at home show

March 15, 2014 

Wondering if the freshly dug, oversized holes you found in your yard this morning were created by a team of particularly aggressive squirrels? Think again. There’s a good chance that the culprit was an armadillo. According to Clemson extension agent and self-professed garden geek Vicky Bertagnolli, these little beasts, which resemble armored possums, have been spotted in and around Columbia. “The divots and holes they create are similar to squirrel damage, but closer to 4-6 inches wide,” says Bertagnolli. “They also like to burrow under patios.”

Armadillos aren’t the only varmints tearing up area yards. Besides being generally irritating, squirrels can cause thousands of dollars in damage to yards, homes and even cars, where they’ve been known to chew through wires. Hungry deer can jump a fence, turn a bush into a stump and be gone like stealth fighters. Mice will build nests anywhere, moles and voles can transform a yard into a rodent subway system and rabbits can whittle your annuals down to their roots in the blink of an eye.

But before you can prevent further destruction, you need to know your enemy. “People call all the time to tell me how their yard’s been ruined, but I can’t help them if they don’t know what’s getting in,” explains Bertagnolli. Rather than setting up a night-vision, motion-detecting camera in your yard, join Bertagnolli today at the Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show, where she’ll be presenting seminar at 1:00 called Yard Varmints. “I’ve got photographs of typical damage done by all kinds of varmints,” Bertagnolli said. “Once we’ve figured out what you’ve got in your yard, we can tame the problem.”

The Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show runs through Sunday at the State Fairgrounds. Admission is $6.00. For more information, including a complete list of seminars and exhibitors who will be on hand, visit

Katie McElveen, Special to The State

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