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Spring Into Deer Management At Home

Posted by Jennifer Smith on 18th Mar 2019

Wednesday (March 20, 2019) begins the first day of Spring; and while gardeners are excited to see life in the garden, they are thinking more about plants, not wildlife. 

This spring, wild animals including, white-tailed deer, coyotes, rabbits and groundhogs will be inviting themselves into gardens. They have been hungry for months; some in hibernation, and they are ready to indulge on sprouting buds. To prevent garden damage in spring, and to rid wildlife from lawns and gardens, gardeners will need to work on three deer management tactics: Deer fence installation; planting for deer resistance and applying deer tick and deer repellents to the yard. 

Deer Fence

The best deer fence height is 7.5-8' foot high to block deer jumps. While deer can gracefully jump well over 10 feet high, they will not attempt the jump over 7 feet due to poor vision. For deer, things get blurry after 7 feet high. Remember, deer have better nighttime vision than we do, and they can see at a 360 degree angle; but vertically, they suffer. 

Deer Resistance Plants

There are many types of plants that deer are not keen on eating from gardens including an array of flowers and herbs. Growing deer resistant plants around a deer fence is a good idea to protect vegetable gardens from deer damage. Additionally, deer love soybeans and corn; and growers can plant these foods for deer to keep them away from the better-tasting crops that we care about eating with families.

Deer and Tick Repellents

Spring kicks off tick season; and white-tailed deer are the number one carriers of ticks in the United States. When gardeners allow deer on their landscapes, they invite deer to drop ticks in the yard putting pets and children at risk of a tick bite during outside playtime. Apply deer and tick repellents to grasses every 30 days, or sooner after extended rain or heat exposure. Repellents can be used as a secondary, or third barrier, around a deer fence. 

As you can see, deer fencing is the most effective means for deer control year-round. 

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