Deer Information

Deer Information - Deer Pest Control

deer in the garden

A few deer in your garden are a gentle nuisance, but during a hard winter, a large herd can pick your landscape clean of vegetation. If deer become a problem, try one or more of the following deterrents:

If the deer are picking at a few choice plants, enclose them in hardware cloth. Barriers should be 4 feet high and a couple of feet from the plant.

Electric fencing is the most effective way to keep the deer out of the garden, but this may not be practical for many home gardeners, especially if children play nearby. Conventional fencing should be 8 feet high to offer adequate protection. The fences least likely to be jumped are those made of a solid material such as wood or stone. A deer can't see what's on the other side of a solid barrier, and is not likely to make the jump.

Several types of homemade repellents have been tried with varying success. Here are a few that show promise:

  • Hang soap bars from the branches of trees or nail them to stakes driven into the ground 15 feet apart. The soap bars should be about 4 feet from the ground.
  • Put handfuls of human hair in bags made of net, mesh or cheesecloth. Hang the bags three feet above the ground and 3 feet apart.
  • Spray trees and crops with a mixture made of 5 quarts of water and 5 eggs. This much solution should treat about 1/4 acre. Spray the plants thoroughly and repeat after a rain.
  • Combinations of the following make effective repellents:
    • blood meal
    • bonemeal
    • exotic animal manure (consult your local zoo)
    • hot sauce
    • garlic oil
    Dilute your mixture with water, experimenting to find the most effective strength. Soak rags in the mixture and hang them around areas that need protection. Alternatively, you can soak string in the mixture, then fence off the area with the saturated string. Change your mixture often so that the deer don't learn that the nasty smell can lead to a good meal.
  • There are several products on the market that effectively repel deer. Make sure the one you choose is safe around pets, children and food crops. It's a good idea to change products from time to time.

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