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How to Keep Deer From Eating Blueberry Plants

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How to Keep Deer From Eating Blueberry Plants

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Overview

Your blueberry plants offer much to local deer. Not only are they delicious, they're much higher in nutrition than most native fare. The only surefire way to keep hungry deer from beating you to your berries is to erect a solidly constructed wire mesh fence at least 8 feet tall. If this isn't possible, try some other tactics that have proven effective.

Step 1

Treat your blueberries with deer repellent to make them distasteful to the animals. Combine 1 quart of water with 4 eggs, 2 oz. finely chopped garlic and 2 oz. Tabasco sauce. Puree and strain through a coffee filter to remove the solids. Pour the liquid into a garden sprayer and apply to the plants. Repeat once weekly and immediately following rainfall.

Step 2

Use a commercial deer repellent recommended for blueberry plants. Follow the packaging instructions carefully.

Step 3

Create an offensive odor in and around the blueberry patch. Cut old pantyhose off at the knees. Fill the feet with various stinky stuff and tie the little sachets to the plants. Filler materials include unwashed human hair, powdered cayenne pepper, garlic powder, strong deodorant bar soaps, rotten eggs and predator urine.

Step 4

Scare the deer away from your blueberry bushes with threatening presences. These tactics work well for short lengths of time. Place scarecrows in the patch. Hang shiny, light-weight objects such as disposable pie plates and strips of aluminum from plants. Relocate the objects daily so that deer don't become accustomed to harmless inanimate items. Flip on the outdoor lighting at various times.

Step 5

Create a noisy atmosphere to frighten deer away. Crank up the radio. Run outside when you see them, and they'll scatter. Let the kids camp out in the area. Send your dog out every time the deer show up. Even the gentlest pooch is territorial and will raise a big fuss at the intruders. Deer will seek more peaceful dining arrangements when a dog or other noisy distractions regularly patrol an area.

Step 6

Use motion-activated technology such as water sprinklers and outdoor lighting. Set the timers for various times throughout the day and night to keep the deer guessing about these strange and frightening stimuli.

Step 7

Cover the blueberry plants with netting or mesh. Encircle plants completely, but avoid touching the leaves with it. This may be the single most effective action you can take to preserve the plants.

Step 8

Protect the blueberry patch with fencing at least 8 feet high. Install it so that the bottom is in contact with or close to the ground. Deer would rather crawl under a barrier than jump over it.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Eggs
  • Fresh garlic
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Coffee filters
  • Garden sprayer
  • Commercial deer repellent
  • Old pantyhose
  • Unwashed human hair
  • Powdered cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Deodorant bar soap
  • Predator urine
  • Scarecrows
  • Disposable pie plates
  • Aluminum foil
  • Netting or mesh
  • Fencing

References

  • Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management: Reducing Deer Damage
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Repellents Can Provide Effective Deterrent

Who Can Help

  • USDA Aphis: Repellent Trials
Keywords: deer eating blueberries, deer repellent, deer management

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.