Deer Deterrents in the Pacific Northwest

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or other areas popular with deer, you know what a nuisance they can be. Let’s face it—you can fence them out, put up scare tactics and plant food they dislike. But when times are tough or they simply feel like munching the roses on your porch, they’ll find a way.

Last month we gave you a good list of a deer’s least favorite plants to have in your garden. But what if you don’t want to plant only deer resistant plants? Here’s a list of ways you can deter deer—as long as you realize that nothing is ever foolproof, except for hardscaping (which we at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping excel at doing!):

  • Deer dislike certain odors, including mothballs, decaying fish-heads, blood meal, garlic, fabric softener, processed sewage, repellent plants. If you can stomach the smells yourself, try putting any of those odor repellants in and around your plants.
  • Deer get jumpy around loud noises, like the small aircraft that “come in hot” over local runways to scare them away before they loop around to land at a safe speed. Don’t have an airplane to chase away the deer? Try floodlights, noisemakers, fluttering flags, loud radios, whistles, firecrackers, electric wires, hidden fishing lines, sprinklers, or dogs. You might end up having a neighbor problem, however.
  • There are sprays to deter deer, including rotten-egg and water, soap spray, hot-pepper spray and many commercial sprays including Deer-Off, Deer-Stopper or Deer-Out. Repeated applications are necessary, however.
  • Electronic devices, like the Havahart Deer Repellant Stakes, said to “mildly shock the animal,” or ultrasonic deer devices, may keep the deer away.
  • The most effective way to keep deer out of your yard is to install fences. Your fence should be at least 8’ tall, extend partly underground and not have gaps bigger than 6×6 inches for the deer to squeeze through or crawl under.  A determined deer can clear an 8’ fence, however. Try planting thorny hedges inside the fence, or, build a couple of 5’ fences 3’ apart, to serve as obstacles.

If you need help with fences or want to try hardscaping, give us a call!

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