Controlling Deer Damage in the Garden and Landscape

October 8th, 2010


White-tailed deer in Toronto, Canada

White-tailed deer in Toronto, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Controlling deer in the garden and landscape takes a well thought out plan that can be painlessly executed. With urban areas creeping outwards from cities, deer, as well as other wildlife, are losing their natural habitats. New home developments are taking all of their survival resources which leave deer to creep into our yards for food. Begin by selecting plants that are deer resistant. Implementing two or more measures listed here will help to keep deer at a distance.

When deer are hungry and their usual food supply is gone, they will and do eat anything, which makes deer resistant plants more suggestion than fact. Plants touted to being deer resistant are still helpful as deer do not find them tasty and will eat from other shrubs and perennials before attacking these varieties.

Deer repellents are available, as contact or area repellents, and must be used regularly for best results. Area repellents emit a foul odor which is supposed to keep deer away. It will keep people away as well. Contact repellents are much more tolerable. Many are available which are environmentally safe and biodegradable so can be used around children and pets. Choose a contact repellent that will adhere to the plants structure, is rain resistant and will last for about a month.

To protect sensitive areas such as vegetable gardens, deer fencing may be necessary. Deer fencing is available in all shapes and sizes and with as many pricing variations. The most common is a mesh type. It is more flexible and can be attached to nearby trees or posts. Six to seven foot height is the most frequently used.

Tree shelters are often called deer guards. One study found that deer generally limit their browsing to under 42 inches. To take advantage of this study, use tree shelters that are at least 48 inches tall.

Homemade remedies that sometimes work are mesh bags filled with human hair (dirty not freshly shampooed hair), shreds of soap, hanging pie tins from branches or stakes, scarecrows, and even using small mirrors and glass fragments around some of the more bothered plants.

There are steps that can be taken to control deer in the garden or landscape. The first step is to select plants that are not as attractive or tasty to them to limit their browsing. Further steps include the use of deer repellents, deer fencing, tree shelters or homemade remedies. Implementing these measures with regular use, you will have a much better control of the deer in your yard.

 

 

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