Strategy For Dealing With Deer

There are many products now on the market designed to deal with deer in one way or another. A serious problem however is that all deer prevention products are sold assuming that one product is all you need to do the job; and that is far from the truth.

Almost everyone needs a combination of products to have any hope for success. Here is a list of the deer related products organized by how they can be used. Click on the name of the product and you will go to a detailed description of that product in Yardener’s Tool Shed. Click on the word Barrier or Repellant and you will go to the next screen telling you how to use each product.

Deer Fence – (Barrier) - Because deer are able to jump as high as 6 feet from a standing start, traditional fences must unfortunately be higher than 8 feet. An 8 foot tall plastic netting deer fence, professionally installed, does in fact prevent deer from coming into a normal sized yard. They are very expensive and you need to establish gates, including one on the driveway.
Electric Fence – (Barrier) - The battery or solar powered electric fence kits are effective protecting a vegetable garden or flower garden.
Repellents – (Repellent) - Repellents, applied properly and frequently enough can protect a single plant (newly planted tree) or group of plants (a yew hedge) from attack by deer. They are not practical for protecting the whole yard or even a large garden. (See my blog post for today to get a technique for testing the effectiveness of any repellent.)
Wireless Deer Zappers – (Repellent) - This is a battery powered device on a stake. On the top are small wires that give a deer a good electric shock on his nose. It has a strong pheromone lure inside the hot wires to cause the deer to stick his nose down to the zapper. One or two of these products are effective protecting an individual plant you want to save. The battery works for 8 months.
Repellent Tape – (Barrier) - New this spring, Deer Stopper Barrier Ribbon is a ¾ inch tape impregnated with a repellent. I have yet to test this product, but if it works it would be appropriate to protect a garden or a grouping of plants. The ribbon is rigged at 30 inches off the ground and you recharge the ribbon with new repellent every 30 days. (
Scarecrow Spritzer - (Repellent) - Attached to your garden hose, this device on a stake has a motion detector. When it spots motion, it spritzes water out 30 feet. The noise of the sprinkler and the contact from the water will definitely cause a deer to get away. Effective for a modest garden or a flower bed. (
Fishing Line – (Barrier) - If your yard is surrounded by trees, you can string 30 pound test monofilament fishing line around the periphery, secured at about 36 to 40 inches off the ground. The deer can’t see it, but when he touches it he jumps back and goes someplace else. It can’t protect their coming in by the driveway or other entrances.
Home remedies – In my experience all those cute tricks such as hanging bags of human hair, stringing up Irish Mist soap or old CD’s work sometimes, but are not long term solutions.

For information about available Deer control products click here

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