Remember when you though deer were cute? Well, maybe you’ve changed your mind now that they have invaded your neighborhood and munched on your plants. Populations have exploded in suburban areas over the past fifteen years because humans have created a wonderful environment for them. They love to eat young plants, trees and shoots normally found at the perimeter of forests. But we have cut down the forests as we have built more and more homes, and our backyards have become their feeding ground. Their numbers are growing rapidly because we have eliminated their natural predators like wolves and coyotes. Getting rid of deer is not the simplest thing to do. There are several strategies that work, but you must be vigilant.
There are three different types of deer repellent. Contact deer repellents are liquids that your spray on your plants. Deer do not like the smell and taste of contact repellents and will pass over the sprayed plants to feed on other things. Area deer repellents come in liquid, powder or granular form. They should be applied around the zone you want to protect from deer. Area repellents give off a terrible odor that deer do not like. Finally, electronic deer repellents work by emitting sonic and ultrasonic sound that scare and irritate deer.
You Need a Strategy
While all three types of deer repellent work, they won’t work forever. They are smart to adapt to any one of the repellents. You must use a number of different methods and be persistent in if you really want to get rid of deer. Try rotating different types of repellents and be sure to continue your efforts habitually. Reapply odor and taste based repellents after a period of hard rain and occasionally move sound based electronic deer repellents.
A Really Really Big Fence
Fences are the only way to make sure that deer stay off your property. However, deer are incredibly good jumpers so the fence needs to be 8-10 feet high. A shorter fence will not work. Most homeowners do not like the idea or the expense of such a huge fence. An electric fence will work by giving the them a quick zap, but it might not be the best solution is you have children, dogs or cats.
Protect your garden plants from deer with row covers. There are two types. Some row covers are lightweight enough to simply drape over your plants. There are also row covers that are bit more rigid which can be suspended over your plants. Both are equally effective at stopping deer from eating your plants.
Corrugated Plastic Drain Pipe
Deer try to work their antlers loose by rubbing them against your trees. This happens in the fall when deer are trying to shed their antlers. This can seriously damage your tree bark, allowing insects and other unwanted matter to enter. Your trees can experience stunted growth and even death. Slicing some corrugated drain pipe will allow you to wrap your tree trunk and save your tree. The piping can be used year after year.
Shiny Things, Hair and Anti-Deodorant Soap
Placing small mirrors and gazing balls in your garden has been known to temporarily get rid of deer. They sense the movement of their own reflection and are scared away. Bags of hair (human, dog or other) will scare away deer because they sense the smell of a different animal. Similarly, the scent of anti-deodorant soap is repugnant to the keep olfactory senses of deer. Hanging already dead ones from branches close to your garden will work. Hair and soap, however, will only work for awhile until the deer acclimate themselves to the smells. Like commercially purchased deer repellents, these tactics must be altered over time and swapped with other strategies to get rid of deer.
OK, urine. Human urine, coyote urine, wolf urine, etc. Go buy some and squirt it around the areas you want to keep free of deer. Sure …
What Deer Do Not Eat
An effective way to get rid of them is to plant things that deer do not eat. You should visit your local nursery or garden center to get an idea of plants that do well in your area. Common plants that deer do not eat are carnations, black-eyed susans, daffodils, lily-of-the-valley, foxgloves, alyssum and poppies. You can create a beautiful deer resistant garden with some careful planning.
You Can Get Rid of Deer
It’s not easy, but you can keep deer away from your plants, shrubs and trees. Repellents can be sprayed on plants, around plants, or placed in the vicinity of plants that deer feed on. You can protect trees by placing plastic corrugated drain pipes around the trunk. Row covers may be placed on top of your garden plants, or you can plant things deer do not eat. Shiny objects, bags of hair and soap are also deer repellents. Of course, you may also want to build a 10-foot wall around your property and squirt urine around the perimeter for good measure. Deer are not going away soon, but can get rid of deer in your yard by mixing up these tactics and being persistent and consistent in your approach.