These creatures love to eat cannabis plants

Published May 4, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Gavin Allanwood

Humans have used cannabis and hemp plants, and their various compounds for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and recreational use isn’t exactly a new idea either. However, these sweet, pungent nutritious plants aren’t only appealing to people. Many different types of animals love to chow down cannabis plants due to their enticing aroma, flavor, and nutritional value.

So if you’re wondering what kind of critter may have munched on your crop, or curious about some of the things you can do to ensure that doesn’t happen to you, you’ve come to the right place.

Here we’ll highlight ten common wild and domesticated animals that will happily eat cannabis plants and offer some tips that should help to protect your garden from them.

1. Deer

Deer are notorious for the way they seem to be happy chomping down on almost any kind of greenery and cannabis plants are no exception. They’re drawn to the plant's smell, which becomes more pungent during the flowering stage. The only way to protect your cannabis plants from these large creatures is is install a fence that is sturdy enough to keep them out.

2. Rabbits

Both wild and domesticated rabbits love to eat sweet crisp leafy greens all common characteristics of cannabis plants. They’ll chew away at the leaves and stems causing a significant amount of damage in a short amount of time, and if you want to keep them at bay, it may take a strong physical barrier that’s tall enough to stop them from jumping into your garden.

3. Squirrels

Squirrels are cute little fuzz creatures with a reputation for their intense love of nuts and seeds, two things cannabis often contains. They might be adorable, but these pests can cause a lot of damage as they eat away at the buds and leaves of cannabis plants. It’s also really hard to keep them away from a garden since they can hop, climb, and jump from a tree, rooftop or branches that may be nearby which is why bird netting is often the only effective line of defense.

4. Raccoons

These opportunistic scavengers will eat almost anything available including cannabis plants, and much like deer, they’re attracted to the pungent odors that are often much stronger toward the end of the growing season. To protect your cannabis garden from raccoons you may want to consider installing motion-activated sprinklers.

5. Birds

Birds are more attracted to cannabis than you might think, especially when they’re ripe and full of fresh buds. These feathery creatures will peck away at flower and leaves. Luckily keeping them away with a layer of bird netter is a relatively easy, effective, and affordable solution.


6. Groundhogs

These herbivores will happily gnaw at almost any kind of plant and cannabis is no exception. Unfortunately, groundhogs are strong and they have a ferocious appetite that motivates them to decimate entire plants in no time. Protect your crop from these pests by adding a physical barrier, like a small fence. As long as they can’t crawl under it, they won’t be able to touch your plants.

7. Mice

Mice are small but they are mighty and known for their willingness to eat almost anything. Cannabis plants are a soft tender treat to these small hairy creatures and though they lack in size, a hungry mouse can wreak havoc on your garden in a minimal amount of time. If you’re struggling with mice, then it may be a good idea to invest in a durable physical barrier like fencing but be sure to bury the bottom at least a few inches deep. Otherwise, they’ll simply dig their way back in from beneath the ground.

8. Goats

Goats might seem harmless but they eat everything in sight from cans and other trash to sweet crisp plants like your cannabis garden. These guys can also inhale entire plants in minutes, leaving nothing behind, so if you have some on your property it might be a good idea to install a fence around the perimeter that’s tall enough to keep them out.

9. Caterpillars

Caterpillars are fiercely attracted to cannabis plants as they love the taste of their leaves. These tiny pests can cause significant damage to your cannabis plants by tearing away at the leaves and buds. The only line of protection from these bugs is a good insecticide designed to be safely applied around cannabis plants as the ingredients will effectively deter them from getting too close to your garden again.

10. Grasshoppers

Much like every other creature on this list, grasshoppers are fond of eating cannabis plants, and the damage they cause primarily impacts the stems and leaves. Insecticide is the only tried and true solution to protect a garden from bugs like this because there’s no physical barrier that will work to keep them away.

Cannabis plants look and smell appetizing to many different animals due to their smell, taste, and nutritional content. That’s why it’s crucial to preemptively build a line of defense around outdoor gardens using things like physical barriers, sprinkles, netting, and insecticides.

Security tips and tricks to keep your outdoor cannabis plants safe


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