Happy Monday and welcome to this week's edition of “Not of the garden variety," a weekly, product-centric series that's all about exceptional, agrarian-minded outdoor living accessories and odds and ends — items for in and around the garden that you won't find in the backyards of every Tom, Dick and Harry.

After last week's two-parter on outdoor composters and indoor compost collectors, this week I'm focusing on nontoxic and (mostly) non-lethal products used to control and repel common garden pests — specifically mammals of the wild and domestic variety along with birds, slimy gastropods, and slithering reptiles (this one's for you, Margaret Roach) — that may decide, without your invitation, to take up residence in your prized veggie plot or immaculately landscaped backyard. And when I say take up residence, I mean use your garden as their own personal vegetarian buffet or bathroom. I've decided to focus on animals here since insect control is a whole other ball game ...

In addition to the below commercial products, there are numerous safe, homemade pesticides (like warding off vampires, garlic is often key) out there that can effectively keep foraging critters away from your backyard crops. Have any DIY solutions that you'd like to share? What's worked best for you? Do tell in the comments section! And while we're on the topic of critters, here's a few ways to attract beneficial ones to your garden.

Soapstone Slug Traps @ Gardener's Supply Company ($24.95)

Havahart Spray Away Motion Detection @ GrowOrganic.com ($79.99)

Liquid Fence Snake Repellent @ Gempler's ($18.95 - 2 lb bottle)

Garden Owl Bird Repeller @ Northern Tool & Equipment ($9.99)

Hot Pepper Wax Animal Repellent @ Yardlover.com ($12.99)

Nature's Defense Natural Deer Repellent Kit @ Clean Air Gardening ($44.99)

Holy Moley Organic Mole Repellent @ St. Gabriel Organics ($17.95/10 lb bag)

Garlic Clips @ Gardener's Supply Company ($19.95/set of 25)

I Must Garden Natural Dog & Cat Repellent @ I Must Garden ($12.99)

Indoor composters/compost collectors

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Not of the garden variety: Nontoxic critter control
Sure, spotting a bunny or deer in your backyard can be a delight, but the novelty wears off real quick when they decide to decimate your prized veggie pa