It’s no surprise that deer around this area (Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Rockville, Potomac) love to indulge in our abundant gardens and landscaping; clearing out our favorite plants and destroying all of the time and effort we’ve put into our outdoor living environments.
In part 1 of this series, we noted how important a short-term plan could be to eradicating deer from your property. This included using plants and flowers that deer tend to ignore, rather than the ones they seem to favor.
The next step in achieving a deer-free yard and garden is to follow a long-term plan by integrating a variety of deterrents, which can be switched out during the year to increase your chances of success.
- Human hair – A natural deer repellent, you can acquire human hair (usually free of charge) from your local barber. Spread some over your flowerbed, and hang some in a sock in your vegetable garden at the row ends or at the outside of rows.
- Hot pepper spray – Bring one quart of water and a package of dried peppers to just barely boiling, cool to room temperature, strain out the peppers, then fill a spray bottle with the remaining liquid. Use hot pepper spray on any plant you don’t want deer to consume. Just be sure to label the spray bottle!
- Soap flakes – Sprinkle around the edge of your garden to keep deer away.
- Noise and light – Repelling deer with deterrents that involve noise and light can work well in combination with other deterrents, such as those listed above. Sensor lights work well at night, and radio noise that is triggered by deer has also been helpful in some cases. Shiny objects, such as metallic strips and CDs hanging from tree branches, can help by reflecting light to make deer uneasy.
- Man’s best friend – If you don’t already own one, consider getting a medium to large-sized dog. They are natural predators of deer, and can help further by marking the yard every few days.
Lastly, it’s important not to feed the deer. While this may seem like an obvious warning, some people don’t realize that giving food to deer – even just once – will have them returning to your yard for more. And if you aren’t there to feed them personally, they’ll find other specimens on the property that will do the job.
Remember, deer aren’t picky eaters, so it’s best to employ both the short- and long-term approach to ensure that you can enjoy a peaceful, undisturbed lifestyle.