Keep Deer Out of the Garden
by Teresa Odle
Deer and other animals love gardens and can’t help but trample on, munch, and sometimes downright destroy vegetables or newly planted flowers. It’s a dilemma when nature’s creatures live nearby and you’d like them to continue to wander in the back 40, but not through your lettuce. There are ways to deter deer and other animals with scaring devices and repellents.
Generally, scaring devices are used near gardens and lawns to frighten away unwanted deer and animals. Homemade
scaring devices (aka shotgun blasts and explosions) can be inhumane and likely get you in trouble with your neighbor. Ultrasonic scaring devices are heard only by animals and can cover up to 4,000 square feet. You also can hook your garden hose up to a spray repellent three-second burst of water. Most of these devices have motion detection; this one detects motion in a 35 x 45 area. Or try a radio station that doesn’t appeal to animals (or your kids to make it more fun). Proprietary technology in the DeerChaser Electronic Repeller activates an LED light and FM radio station for 15 seconds up to seven minutes while it detects motion in the area.
How to Apply Repellents
Repellents are applied near or directly to plants and may keep animals out of the garden longer. Many gardeners have tried homemade remedies like placing bars of soap in the garden, only to find the deer have eaten the soap. Use caution with some commercial animal repellents around edible plants. Just be sure to read directions regarding placement and application because some have chemicals that can make their way into your carrots. DeerScram deer and rabbit repellent is natural, biodegradable and environmentally safe, but you should place it in a perimeter 18 inches away from plants.
DeerBusters Brand Deer Repellents are safe for children and pets and can be sprayed directly on foliage year-round. The ingredients’ scents, which include white pepper and garlic, are offensive to deer and rabbits. The repellent even comes in hanging sachets to help fight off raccoons in specific areas. You can put the sachets on three-foot high stakes around the vegetable garden so they’re right at animal sniffing level.