Although it might be the quickest choice to just spray a deer repellent on your plants and shrubs then walk away and forget about it for a while, this is not the only choice obviously. It’s one of the quickest and in many cases the most effective. I wanted to let you know what others are trying. I constantly search the internet for what people are doing to deal with this problem. Here is what I found. Let’s start with the most effective:
Building a fence:
Obviously, nothing beats a sturdy fence around your garden or home to keep the deer from getting to your flowers and plants. It provides the best results but it has some very significant draw backs. It is costly; although there are many different ones out there, it will cost you money and time to put them up. It’s labor intensive, you have to build it, but once you build it you are basically done.
The other draw back for having a fence is that it’s not necessarily pretty and might block any nice view you might have. And if the deer are eating the plants in front of your home, building a fence around it might not be a nice option. But if how-it-looks is not a concern and you want a permanent solution for your garden, this one is your best choice in the long run.
Devices that shock the deer:
There are electrically operated devices that sense the deer’s presence and shoot out a sound or a jet of water to keep the deer away. The manufacturers claim it works well, but I have not been able to find any tests that prove that they do.
I am also guessing that the sound would scare the folks that are in the house as well. I have read that it disturbs the neighbors. There are also devices which give out a sound that only the deer hears and humans do not. I’m researching how effective these are and will write about them later.
Smell based and taste based repellents:
There are a lot of deer repellents out there and basically in these two categories. There are repellents that are EPA approved for edible plants but you need to spray them often. There are also deer repellents that both use smell and taste to repel the deer. There are a lot of tests that are done on deer repellents.
Natural deer repellents:
This category goes from other animal’s urine to home-made recipes of rotten eggs and garlic to human hair and dead animal body parts… I did not find any tests on these and could not say how effective they are.
Deer repellent plants:
This is the preemptive approach. Build a garden that has plants that deer don’t like to eat. There are a lot of sites that have information on what types of deer repellent plants there are. Some sites even rate them with a scale and group them by the most deer repellent to least deer repellent plants. I think this is a great approach for the front of the house and with the right deer repellent, you should be okay.
Ultimately, deer is a mammal and wants to survive. If your yard is the only one out there with food for the deer and there is not much else around; short of having a fence nothing will stop them from eating your garden. Think about it, if you were really hungry and your life depended on it, you will eat the plant that tasted bad and smelled bad as well. You wouldn’t care about the water or the loud sound. You would still eat.
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