Deer Damage – Protect Your Landscape This Winter

Deer are beautiful animals and a sight to behold when discovered in nature. They can also be pesky unwanted visitors to your garden, causing damage to your lawn, plants and even your property. Discouraging deer from getting comfortable in your lawn is shrouded in tales, tips and myth; some that hold true, and some that are a true waste of time. In this guide, we’ll unpack the tips you need to follow to keep deer away from your lawn and prevent them from damaging your outdoor sanctuary.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventing Deer Damage

1. Are my plants attracting deer? The answer is likely, yes. In fact, most of the time that homeowners or business owners experience issues with attracting deer, and the resulting damage they can cause, is related to the plants and flowers. Some examples of trees, shrubs, and plants that deer love include Blackberry, Spicebush, Juniper, Hawthorn, Flowering Dogwood, Fruit trees and Rhododendrons. Flowering plants that attract deer include Asters, Clover, Sunflowers, Verbena, Wild Strawberry and Geraniums.

2. Are there smells that can repel deer? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is you can either make your own or purchase deer repellent sprays to keep deer away from your lawn. Both store-bought and homemade options may work as deer have a strong sense of smell and use it as a form of protection from danger. Lemon balm, for example, is an excellent deer repellent that leaves a fragrance that is pleasing to most humans.

3. Do DIY deer repellents work? Keeping deer away from your garden doesn’t have to drain your savings. In fact, there are many do-it-yourself tricks you can whip up to keep deer damage under control.  You might even be able to keep deer away from your plants and trees with ingredients you already have in your home:

  • Option 1: Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe – One cup of milk, One egg, One tablespoon cooking oil, One tablespoon liquid dish soap, Four cups of water, One gallon jug, Spray bottle
  • Option 2: Red Pepper Deer Repellent Recipe – One gallon of water, Three tablespoons red pepper flakes, Two teaspoons liquid Castile soap, Spray bottle
  • Option 3: Coffee grounds that offer many additional benefits, including fertilizing the soil and repelling other unwanted pests and animals, not only deer.

You can make these homemade deer repellent compounds that are environmentally friendly and safe right in your own backyard, and rest assured that you won’t harm the deer but will keep them out of your yard. Simply create whichever option you choose and apply generously to the edges of your yard. Reapply several times a month to keep deer away.

4. Can I plant something to keep deer away? To deter deer from getting comfortable in your yard, plant grasses and shrubs that are bitter, spiny, or potent. Deer avoid eating foul-smelling and bitter-tasting plants such as sages and herbs. Especially focus on planting these deer-deterrent plants around the perimeter of your yard.

5. Do electronic deer repellents work? Electronic deer repellents are ultrasonic devices that emit sounds at wavelengths only animals can hear. The results are mixed regarding the effectiveness of these devices, and they can be expensive as compared to other deer prevention options. Especially in suburban areas, deer quickly learn to tune out noises that are not a true threat to them.

Deer are beautiful animals, no doubt. Who doesn’t love Bambi, right? But, when it comes to your beautiful lawn and landscape that has taken you years to perfect, deer damage is something to avoid at all costs. You may, without even trying, be attracting deer just by planting plants they love and not taking some simple actions to keep them at bay. From deer resistant plants to deer repellent tricks, there are a multitude of ways to keep deer out of your yard.

deer yard

At Spring-Green, we like to eliminate the guesswork for our customers and lend our expertise to help them find the easiest way to achieve their goals. These tips for preventing deer damage can help you protect your outdoor landscape, but, of course, the pros at Spring-Green are here if you need more consultation. For more tips on how to prevent deer damage or repair damage from deer, contact Spring-Green today.

Deer Deterrents: How to Stop Deer from Eating Your Plants

Imagine it has been your lifelong dream; a house in the country away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. A place where the air is clean, the soil is fertile, and where ”the deer and the antelope play”. It may be great to live in a forested area, but when it comes to planting flowers, shrubs, and all the other plants to beautify your home, you may not be thinking about the feeding habits of the forest creatures… namely deer.

Why Are There Deer Everywhere?

It is estimated that there were 500,000 white-tailed deer in the US in 1900. The most recent estimate is that the population has grown to over 25 million. The damage caused to both agriculture and residential property will exceed 1 billion dollars. Nature has always kept animal populations in check, but the suburban environment has disrupted the normal checks and balances of predators. The deer have had the opportunity to grow unchecked and have become a nuisance in many communities, leaving people to search for the best deer deterrent.

Deer have become accustomed to the urbanization of the US and can be found in forest preserves within many cities. They will travel a good distance in search of food; not only in areas that are adjacent to forests, but in many suburban spaces as well.

What Kind of Damage Can Deer Do?

A couple of years ago, I was asked to look at some arbor vitae that were damaged during the winter. When I got there, I could immediately see that the culprit was some hungry deer—they feed on the fronds that they can reach. Another helpful clue was the large amount of deer droppings that surrounded many of the plants. These plants will grow back, but the bottom parts will never be as full as the tops, especially if the deer return in the future.

What Deer Deterrent Should I Use?

Deer will feed on many plants; many vegetables, fruits (they especially love strawberries), flowers, and the tender tips of young trees. Adults will also damage trees by rubbing their antlers against the trunks. Most home landscapes can seem like a virtual smorgasbord of delights to a hungry deer. So how do you stop the deer from eating your plants? You can either plant less of their favorite foods, erect fences or other guards around your plants, or try to control their feeding habits.

There are an abundance of deer deterrent home remedies available online. You can try hanging bars of soap from your trees to present an unfavorable odor, or mesh bags filled with human hair or dog fur can also be used. Baby powder, blood meal, or bone meal will also provide some resistance, but the problem with many of these scent detractors is that they are short-lived, and once the deer become accustomed to the scent, it no longer distracts them from your plants.

One of the best ways to keep deer from eating your garden and landscape plants is to plant ones that they don’t like to eat, like boxwood, lilac, black-eyed susan, and more. However, if food is scarce, deer will eat just about anything they can to survive. If deer are a problem in your area, do some research and explore your options. It will keep your frustration levels in check.

We’d love to hear some stories or remedies that worked for you. Please share them in the comments section. And don’t forget that deer aren’t the only nuisance to your landscape—get more info on controlling pests like voles and other small animals.