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Deer Proofing Your Property

Nothing is more disheartening than putting in a lovely new garden only to have it destroyed by feeding deer. The deer population in the United States has increased rapidly in the last few decades, even as the growth of housing has expanded into countryside that was once free to roaming deer. The damage that deer can do is not limited to ravishing attractive and expensive landscaping and flower and vegetable gardens. Now humans also face the prospect of catching Lyme disease from the ticks that deer carry. If you want to protect your yard from deer, there are a number of tactics you can use:

  • The most effective way of keeping deer out is by installing a high fence around the entire perimeter of your property. A successful fence must be 8 feet high to prevent the deer from jumping over it.
    • Solid fencing is the most effective, but this can be a costly solution.
    • Prefabricated deer net fencing usually works very well. This heavy grade black plastic netting visually blends into the landscape and can be installed in several different ways, making it convenient for a variety of locations. It is lightweight enough to be strung on support poles that are 10 to 15 feet apart, and it easily covers uneven ground.
    • Electric fences also work well. These use low impact, harmless jolts of electricity that will zap the deer, encouraging them to stay away. Electric fences are less expensive to install than other fencing material, and they can be put up on a temporary or seasonal basis. Just be sure to check your local ordinances before installing an electric fence.
    • Other fencing solutions include double row fences, consisting of side by side vertical fences, or extending existing fences that are not high enough by stringing wire on post extensions.
  • Another tactic is to use bad tasting or smelling concoctions that are sprayed on the plants the deer like to eat. These can be purchased from companies that specialize in manufacturing them. Recipes for homemade brews are also available on the internet. Be aware that many of these need to be applied on a regular basis and after every rainfall. Other solutions, such as hanging scented soaps or human or animal hair stuffed into netting, can sometimes work but are generally not as effective.
  • The easiest and cheapest way to keep the deer from destroying your garden is to use only those plants most deer donít like. Daffodils, alliums, herbs, ferns, and boxwoods are all excellent deer resistant choices. Lists of other trees, shrubs and plants the
    deer donít usually eat are available at garden centers and on the internet. Make sure that any plants you buy are suitable for your climate, and be aware that deer will sometimes eat even things they donít normally like if they are hungry enough.

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