Tips for dealing with deer in your garden/yard PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:58
Today, the deer population in the US is roughly 29 million across the county. Some states, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio and Illinois, have seen dramatic population increases, particularly during the past 10 years. Every state east of the Rocky Mountains has experienced a large increase in herd size. Deer overpopulation has proven to be disastrous in many areas of the country, devastating forestland, and moving deer into our own backyards.
The amount of food eaten daily by a deer depends upon the sex and body weight of the animal as well as the season. A buck ranging in size from 125 to 250 pounds requires 4,000 to 6,000 calories, which can usually be obtained from four to 10 pounds of forage. A lactating doe requires 4,500 calories daily. As a general rule, deer consume about three percent of their body weight in forage each day. This may seem like a small amount, but when taken as buds, leaves, tender shoots and flower parts, the impact on horticultural and garden plants is devastating.
Deer Control theories begin with keeping them away from your plants.
Gardeners all want to protect their yards and gardens from foraging deer. There are many types of deer control that can, and should be employed in your backyard; here are some solutions:
1. Keep deer out of your yard and garden with fencing that's too high for them to jump. Studies show an 8-foot fence is most effective, if your area only allows fencing between six and seven feet, you can widen the distance with spreading shrubs along both sides of the fence.
2. Drape netting over plants and shrubs, or try some type of motion activated tactic to scare them off (water blasts/noise)
3. Use plants in your landscape that deer don't like plants that have a leather-like foliage, hairy leaves, and thorns. Some plant choices that deer don't like are salvia, daffodils, fox gloves, lamb's ear and bee balm. Keep in mind, that if a deer is very hungry they'll eat just about anything.
4. Repellents -There are many deer repellents on the market, but few, if any, have third party credible testing with stellar results.
Gardeners should check with their favorite nursery or garden center for the latest data on which repellents are most effective.
Remember - deer are creatures of habit. Once they've found a food source, they'll return to it, time and time again. That's why it's important to act now to prevent damage by foraging deer. Breaking their pattern, using an effective deer repellent will deter deer from your backyard all year long.
 

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