How to Keep Deer Away From Texas Figs

Overview

Fig trees were first brought to Texas along with homesteaders, who grew the trees as a part of dooryard garden landscapes. Texas fig trees thrive throughout the gulf coastal region and grow well through most of the state. But because of the edible fruit that develops in the stem tissue of the plant, fig trees often attract deer. There are several methods that you can employ to repel deer from your fig trees.

Step 1

Erect fences around your fig orchards. Because your average deer can leap a 6 foot tall fence, fences are not 100 percent effective. Deer, however, usually avoid an enclosed area such as a small pen. The University of Minnesota says that snow fencing will work adequately for a small garden, and larger fences made of wire (angled outward) should be used for larger enclosures. For complete effectiveness, erect an 8 foot fence around your trees. Electric fences made with poly tape also work well.

Step 2

Collect human hair from styling salons. Place it in mesh bags and hang the bags from the branches of your fig trees or from your fence posts. Deer smell the hair and are repelled by the human scent. According to the University of Minnesota, this repellent is effective 34 percent of the time, and should be used in combination with other repellent practices. Other scent repellents that can be used include commercially made repellents. These repellents contain fatty acids, rotten eggs, bone tars and fungicides.

Step 3

Sprinkle hot sauce with an extract of hot peppers over figs to repel deer. Deer eat the pepper along with the figs and then leave the plants alone due to the burning taste. This method is proven to be effective at repelling deer about 15 percent of the time, and must be reapplied after a rain storm.

Step 4

Mix two eggs in a cup of cold water. Blend the mixture on high. Spray this mixture over the foliage. Reapply the mixture up to 3 times yearly. According to the University of Minnesota, egg mixtures are effective approximately 46 percent of the time.

Step 5

Plant lure crops nearby to draw deer away from your figs. Deer feed on the lure crops and leave your figs alone. Some examples of attractive lure crops for deer include kale, turnips and other members of the brassica family.

Things You'll Need

  • Fence posts
  • Fence fasteners
  • Cattle panels
  • Electrified poly tape fence
  • Human hair
  • Mesh bags
  • Hot sauce (with an extract of hot peppers)
  • Eggs
  • Blender
  • Spray bottle
  • Kale
  • Turnips

References

  • Texas A&M Univeristy Extension: Figs
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Coping wtih Deer in the Home Landscape
  • University of Kentucky Extension Service: Midwest Tree Fruit Pest Management Handbook

Who Can Help

  • NC State University Extension: Deer
  • Whitetail Country: Deer Management: Use Brassica Crops to Attract Deer to Your Hunting Food Plot
Keywords: repelling deer, protecting figs, lure crops

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."