Deer Control - Knowledgebase Question

Lutherville, MD
Avatar for ppalermo
Question by ppalermo
March 8, 1998
We have a terrible problem with deer. They eat everything.
Could you advise as to what plants they don't like for
a shaded garden?

Answer from NGA
March 8, 1998
To be honest, what deer won't eat in one garden, they may gobble in another! It has much to do with what other food is available to them. If you live in an area where the deer population is large, there may be more pressure to eat whatever is tender and available. If there were fewer deer, they could be more choosy.

Fences are usually the only guaranteed method of foiling deer, but a subscriber of National Gardening Magazine sent us this "new" tried and tested suggestion. Maybe it will work for you!

"At a very young age, I was taught that one's success in the field depended on knowledge of the species of game hunted. As all hunters know, deer are creatures of habit. Deer will develop a pattern or habit of movement, using the same path for an approach direction and a second path for a departing direction. They'll repeatedly follow a familiar path until they sense or encounter some form of harm or danger there.

"I've discovered that a length of heavy strength monofilament fishing line, stretched across the approach path 24 to 30 inches above ground level and tied at either end to a half-inch willowly tree branch will stop an approaching deer. It appears that deer are confused by the unknown or unseen resistance and will change direction to avoid a questionable situation. Also, I've discovered that light-weight, noise-causing objects attached near the ends of the stretched lines will spook a deer away from the immediate area when they encounter the monofilament line. By studying the movements and changing the location of the stretched line each time they attempt a different approach, you can cause deer to avoid the area of doubtful encounters."

Burpee sells two products, "Deer Away", which is designed to repel deer. You can obtain some by calling Burpee at 1-800-888-1447. This may be enough to encourage them to munch elsewhere, and you'll have the monofilament line suggestion as your fallback option. Hope this helps!

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