How to Manage Deer Control around the Home
November 10, 2014
Deer are a real nuisance to homeowners. Deer are exceptional jumpers, meaning they can get past most fences and home defenses. They eat the plants and cause severe damage to the gardens and landscaping of the yards they inhabit. Once the deer have discovered your yard and are interested in it as a food source, discouraging them is nigh on impossible. They will continue to return, season after season, with their families. If the thought of a deer, his family and possibly his friends destroying you’re landscaping and yard every year, it’s time to consider deer control around the home.
Many people begin with repellents as a first defense against deer. Repellents are anything that makes the deer feel uncomfortable or unwelcome on your property. Although technically this includes things like fences and startling devices or schemes, in common parlance this refers to scent based repellents. In other words, you surround your yard with something that smells unpleasant to the deer in the hope that the deer will move on to your neighbor’s yard. There are two main classes of scent repellents: chemical and natural. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Chemical repellents are popular, but have drawbacks. The reason they are so popular is because they tend to be stronger and more effective than natural scent repellents. They have more pervasive and intense scents, which makes it easier for the deer to smell the repellent and because they last a while, the repelling period is extended, which is obviously beneficial to the homeowner. However, there are a couple of pretty big downsides to the chemical repellents. The first is the flipside of the benefit. Yes, they smell intensely so the deer don’t want to come there. But that means you’ll smell the repellent in your yard. Because they are chemical in nature, you have to be careful with some of your plants, which can be damaged by chemical repellents, which may defeat the purpose if the deer attacks it anyway.
Natural smell deterrents have fewer drawbacks. They tend to be less intense, so you’re not likely to wander into your yard and immediately smell mountain lion urine or something similar. Natural smell deterrents also have less damage potential to your plants, so you don’t have to worry about the landscaping. However, with the less intense smell comes a less intense effect, so the deer may not be as repelled by your yard as you’d like. You may also have to reapply the smell deterrent more frequently.
Beyond repellents, you can try to startle the deer. Deer are skittish creatures, as indeed are most prey animals. As a result, if you can convince them that your yard is a scary place, you can theoretically deter all the deer you want without the use of chemicals or other methods. However, it’s really important to remember that deer are also highly adaptable, and they will get used to a lot of things, including irregularly timed loud noises. In other words, this technique may work but it’s not likely to work forever. Plus, you have to consider how annoyed your neighbors will be if you simulate gunfire in your yard periodically.
Consider changing the plants you have in your yard. Everybody resists this option, and it’s obvious why. You like your plants. You chose them for a variety of reasons. You don’t want to get rid of them. All of these are valid reasons to resist changing your landscaping but there are specific plants that the deer like and dislike. If you can move to plants that have thorns, furry leaves, or leathery leaves, the deer will not want to eat in your yard. As with most of these other options, however, it comes with a caveat. A very hungry deer will eat anything, and even changing plants can’t save you from a starving deer.
The most effective form of deer control is fencing. At last we come to the most potent form of deer control around the home, and in this case it is literally around the home. The kind of fence you have is the biggest indicator of whether or not the deer will be in your yard. This is often the last thing homeowners try because of the aggravation and expense involved in changing the fencing in your yard, but if you really want to keep the deer out of your yard, the fence is the way to do it.
The height of the fence is the most important aspect. By now, you already know that whatever fence you have in place isn’t working to keep the deer out of your yard. Deer routinely jump over six foot fences, which is, of course, the standard height for most fences. The odds are good your home has a six foot high fence and the deer are not deterred. Your first thought is to raise the fence, which is right. But how high does the fence need to be? Well, deer can jump eight foot fences when they’re frightened, so your new fence should be taller than that. If you’re on a slope, and the deer are coming down a hill or mountain into your yard, your fence should be higher still, to compensate for that slope. In that case, an eleven foot fence is not unreasonable.
Electric fences have not been effective in some places, but some people in New Zealand have discovered a way to make them effective against deer. Most people get a regular livestock fence when they get an electric fence, but this is not at all effective against deer. Instead, you need the New Zealand style fence, which is made of stronger wires and carries a larger electric shock. These fences do work, but they have drawbacks of their own. For one, they need to be installed by professionals, which increase the price of the project. Second, you need to monitor the fence regularly because contact with plants can short out the fence.
If you have a deer problem, you already know that deer are persistent. With a few simple changes, you can manage deer control around the home yourself. Deer control expert New Jersey for complete control programs and services.