At one time the deer population density averaged 8-12 deer per square mile. Currently there are areas in the United States that have a reported 200 deer per square mile. The over all estimate of deer in the US approaches 30 million. Compare this to the 500,000 of the early 1900's. No wonder deer problems are so prevalent!
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You might think that that the growth of suburbia and land development would keep the deer population in check. Just the opposite has happened. Deer are thriving and multiplying in these areas. As it turns out, reproduction in deer is directly related to food availability. When food source is plentiful, deer will readily produce twins, sometimes even three and as many as four fawns in a single pregnancy. When food is scarce, only one fawn is born.
New housing developments invariably plant new landscaping. New landscaping requires attention to get well established. We water, we mulch, we fertilize. And we grow beautiful, lush plants and we continue to care for our plants. We're not the only one who rejoice in seeing our plants grow and thrive. Deer also love this tender new growth. Deer have a very strong sense of smell and they can smell your wonderfully fertilized plants. No wonder it can be such a challenge to get rid of deer! It makes sense that the deer don't go further into the woods to avoid people, especially since we're providing them good, if not better, nutrition than mother nature might.
All too often, the most common sign of deer presence is the damage they leave behind in the garden. Torn, shredded and eaten down plants are some the disheartening signs. Other signs are hoof prints and tracks in the soil or snow. Deer droppings are also commonly found. Deer droppings are about 3/4 inch in size and slightly oval-shaped. This is in contrast to rabbit droppings which are about the size and shape of peas. Deer also average a higher number of droppings than rabbits, around 70. Deer bedding is another sign of deer. Bedding areas are oval sized depressions in the ground where a deer has been resting. They approximately measure 1 3/4 feet by 4 feet, depending on the size of the deer. Bedding areas may be more easily recognized in snow.
Carefully observe the leaves and stalks that have been left behind. Unlike rabbits, deer do not have any upper front teeth and cannot cleanly cut leaves and stalks. Deer literally tear and twist leaves and twigs to collect food and then chew and grind them with their back teeth. The process of twisting and tearing often leaves a ragged and jagged appearance to plants and branches left behind.
Deer also will rub their antlers along shrubs and tree branches and tree trunks to remove the velvet from their antlers as well as to mark their territory. This can be recognized by observing vertical scrape marks and shredded bark on trees along with broken branches. It's not uncommon for the underlying wood of the trunk to be exposed. Not only can the damage look particularly unsightly on our specimen trees, but it can be particularly devastating to saplings.
There are not many gardening situations as frustrating as finding deer tracks and a half-devoured veggie patch at harvest time. In an effort to prevent such a catastrophic occurrence in your garden, we present five creative ways to deter deer.
Preferred methods depend on your lifestyle, finances and personal preferences. If you have found a successful method and would like to share it, please let us know and we'd be glad to share it with our gardeners.
Deer prefer to stay near the edge of woods and other areas that provide good cover. Many suburban gardens provide the much preferred wooded or sheltered areas surrounding a home with some very appealing plantings. Deer are quite comfortable coming out of the woods at twilight and the evening to feast on your plants. In theory, if you incorporate mostly plants that deer don't like, you should be able to discourage them from bothering your garden. (Of course, if hungry enough, deer will eat anything to stay alive.) Another problem with planting only deer resistant plants is that you may not enjoy some flowers or shrubs that you love. One way to handle this dilemma is to blend some deer resistant plants with plants that deer may eat and protect just those plants loved by you and the deer.
Fencing can be used to keep deer out of your garden but bear in mind that deer can jump nine feet high. In order for a fence to work against deer it should be eight feet high. An effective fence is expensive and may not be a good choice for aesthetic reasons. In addition, fences have to be maintained on a regular basis.
Just the presence of a dog in your yard may be enough to keep deer away. However, you may not want to deal with the expense and maintenance of a dog just to get rid of deer.
Some of the scare tactics used to scare and get rid of deer are strobe lights, sirens, playing a radio, water scarecrows. Some of these devices may do more to alienate your neighbors than successfully repel deer. Unfortunately, scare devices can be a rather inconvenient and less reliable option. Eventually the deer do get used to them even when moved to different locations weekly.
One of the homemade suggestions is to hang bars of soap or unwashed human hair (placed in mesh bags) from trees and shrubs. Each bar of soap or hair bags may cover a three foot area. This method may not be acceptable for aesthetic reasons. In a larger garden, it can also be a rather tedious choir.
"If you have anybody wondering if it's worth using I Must Garden Deer Repellent tell them to call me! Hands down it's the best repellent I've ever used, and I've tried them all!
- Janice K. from PA
If the above tricks are not enough to keep destructive deer out of your garden, try one of our top rated all-natural deer repellent sprays. A single application of mint- or spice-scented deer repellent can deter deer from your plants, flowers and bulbs for up to 2-3 months. But don't just take our word for it. Patty Y. of Hillsborough, North Carolina writes: "I think the magic potion has been discovered in I Must Garden deer repellent. I started using the product two months ago and have not lost a single plant since!".
One of the easiest, economical and most reliable solutions to get rid of deer problems is to spray with I Must Garden Deer Repellent. It is environmentally safe for your family and pets and won't harm any animals. And since it doesn't smell awful, you won't scram from you own garden after you spray! We are so confident on the effectiveness of our repellent that we fully guarantee it!
And just remember to be persistent in your quest to stop deer from eating your garden. Through trial and error, you're sure to find a method that works for you.
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