Wood (Contributed photo)

BELFAST — Wildlife Specialist John Wood with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services in Maine will share advice on the problem of pesky critters in gardens at a free Belfast Garden Club program Tuesday, Nov. 21.

In “Managing Wildlife Pests in the Garden” Wood will discuss ways to identify the hungry interlopers in flower and vegetable beds and recommend methods to prevent their intrusion.

The one-hour program, free to the public, will be presented at noon in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street. Those who wish to join from home may attend via Zoom. For more information and to register for the Zoom link, visit belfastgardenclub.org.

What is munching your flower blooms and digging up your vegetables? It’s not always clear. Although some animals are active during the day, others are active at night making it difficult to determine which species is causing damage. 

In the talk, Wood will review signs such as tracks, scat, fruit and vegetation damage that narrow down the species responsible for the damage and then cover various solutions, including traps, fencing and other deterrents. In Maine, deer, woodchucks and small rodents are often the culprits.

Wood has been a wildlife specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services’ program since 2013. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 with a BS in wildlife ecology. He has held positions with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife working with bear, deer, and moose, and with the Maine Department of Marine Resources monitoring lobster populations. In his current position at USDA, he is responsible for resolving wildlife conflicts that threaten human health and safety, property, and threatened and endangered species.

The mission of USDA Wildlife Services is to help people and wildlife coexist by providing leadership and expertise to resolve conflicts.

Founded in 1928, the Belfast Garden Club promotes the knowledge and love of gardening, the protection of native flora and fauna, and the importance of civic beautification.