Q: My neighbors allow their dogs to defecate in a front yard nature area we put in last year. Could you tell me something I could use to keep them from doing that? I don’t want to hurt the dogs, but I really hate that they use my yard for their bathroom.
A: I haven’t heard of anything that works consistently to repel dogs and cats from an area. No one has reported long term results from the sulfur/napthalene/blood meal products I see for sale. Some products seem to work for a few days – but then the animal gets used to the smell and they’re back where you don’t want them.
I try to be scientific about the products or techniques I recommend. Just because a product claims to repel animals that doesn’t mean it really works in most situations. I don’t aim for 100 percent results for every item I recommend but I estimate the efficacy of domestic animal repellents is fifty percent or lower. I can only suggest you speak to your neighbors or call animal control.
Just so you’ll know that I keep up with the subject, look for advertisements soon regarding Scardy Cat! and Dog’s Gone! coleus hybrids. They are being sold in some parts of the country as pet repellents. I have not yet seen them for sale in the Atlanta area but I’ll report on their efficaciousness if someone cares to report to me.