The Q&A Archives: Controlling Pest Deer

Question: Last summer I spent a lot of money and hard work on making my yard look beautiful. After a few months it looked terrible because the deer thought it was their own personal salad bar. I've tried everthing - from tin pie pans, to running out in the middle of the night like mad trying salvage what I could. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep these beautiful, but pesky creatures away without having to put an electric fence around my yard? Connie Beth Reed City, MI

Answer: Alas you are not alone. Deer are running rampant through many gardens and as you found out, a hungry deer will not be deterred by anything short of a large fence or electric fence. You can try a few tricks and see how they work. Predator animal urines sprayed around the property will sometimes keep them at bay for awhile, only if the predator animal is in the area, so deer will be familiar enough with the scent to recognize it as a threat. I wouldn't bother with the ultrasonic devcies, but there are motion senstive devices that shoot water when it senses movement. These may be worth looking at. All the home remedies such as soap, cayenne pepper and moth balls really don't work long. Plants with furry leaves such as lamb's ears tend not to be favorites, but again they will eat anything if hungry enough. You could surprize them with a pet dog! Borrow a friend's dog and see if it works!

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