There are many species of deer in the United States. The most common and widely distributed is the Whitetail. Though their numbers dwindled in the late 19th century, wildlife management, limited hunting seasons and a reduction of their natural predators have enabled populations to rebound. In fact, several states boast populations of deer in excess of 1 million. Though hunters, cars and disease take their toll annually, whitetail deer continue to prosper and are now a pest in several areas of the country. This article will explain how you can stop them from entering your yard and eating your plants.
WHITETAIL DEER PROBLEMS ^
Whitetail deer present a problem when food sources are limited and browsing of local herds begin to damage plant life. Deer forage for food where it is most plentiful and nutritious. Their diet includes all types of browse (leaves, stems and buds of woody plants) as well as flowers, grain, fruit, vegetables and just about anything a homeowner might plant around the yard. Deer eat a lot; the average adult male can consume over 5 lbs of food a day.
URBAN DEER CAUSE MASSIVE PLANT LOSS ^
Deer populations have outgrown many areas forcing them to find food where available. Many times this leads them to peoples yards. Deer can do a lot of damage in a very short period of time. Expect to find gardens invaded during the night and plants eaten to the ground. Flowers simply disappear and fruit bearing vines will have no fruit. Though you can complain to your local animal control office, there is generally nothing that can be done since this large animal is protected and very difficult to live trap and relocate. Occasionally deer have to be tranquilized and taken away, but this is the exception and not the rule.
BEST DEER SPRAY REPELLENT ^
If you have deer actively eating plants, DEER OFF is a proven repellent when applied to targeted plants. It’s concentrated and when mixed with water, treated plants will become “bad” tasting so foraging animals like deer or rabbit will avoid the protected plants.
Gallons will make 8 finished gallons of spray and coverage is about 1600 sq/ft of shrubs 4 feet tall or 3,000 sq/ft of flat turf like grass (per finished gallon). This means you’ll get about 12,800 sq/ft of protection for shrubs with an average height of 4 feet; 24,000 sq/ft of protection of flat turf like grass from 1 gallon of concentrate.
To create a mixed spray, add 4 oz of Deer Off to 28 oz of water to make a quart of spray; 16 oz of Deer Off to 112 oz of water to make a gallon of spray.
To help the Deer Off cover all parts of the plants you treat, add SPREADER STICKER to the tank mix. Spreader Sticker is a “surfactant” and basically helps to “spread” the water and chemical over the surfaces your treating. Many plants have waxy, oily foliage making it hard for any kind of treatment to “stick” well but with some Spreader Sticker in the tank with the Deer Off and you’ll enhance the overall performance of the treatment significantly.
Add just 1 oz of Spreader Sticker per gallon of mixed Deer Off. TO INSURE YOU GET THE BEST RESULTS AND TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF PLANT BURN, TREAT WITH DEER OFF AND SPREADER STICKER IN THE EVENING JUST BEFORE DARK.
Remember, you don’t want to spray fruit or vegetable yielding buds. you intend on eating. The bad taste will make the harvest useless. You may spray the plant stems, stalks and leaves as the plant develops without the taste getting to the fruit. This could prove a big help when dealing with deer that like to eat young plants that haven’t produced any crop yet. Be sure to treat these to insure they can.
To make the treatments, use any standard PUMP SPRAYER.
WATER SPRAY DEER REPELLER ^
A simple “scare” device to chase away deer is the MOTION ACTIVATED WATER SPRAYER. It uses nothing but water to chase pests and can be quite effective when trying to protect small areas from foraging deer.
Each unit has a built in motion detector that is powered by a 9 volt battery. You can adjust it to “see” up to 35 feet away but can be adjusted to a smaller zone if needed. Once motion is detected, it will release a 3 second blast of water. The unit will then shut off and reset within 10 seconds. It will then be ready to spray again. Units have a stake bottom which allow you to set it into the ground securely and can be linked by a single hose so you can set up several in “series”. This will allow a progressive coverage zone if needed.
DEER SOUND REPELLERS ^
Lastly, one of the easiest ways to keep deer from entering your yard is to install SOUND REPELLERS aimed along property borders, routes of entry and the plants they target.
For open areas, it will protect up to 5,000 sq/ft. Like a flashlight, the sound will project in the direction the unit is pointed.
Our unit can be set to operate at night, day or both. For deer, you’ll want to set it for “night”.
Next, you’ll want it to activate when it senses motion so set this switch to “motion”. Below this setting is the sensitivity setting for the motion detector. In general, you’ll want this set all the way up to “30”. This means it will turn on when animals are within 30 feet of the unit although it could off when they’re within 40 feet depending on visibility.
Next, you’ll want to set the audible sound as high as you can. In general, 60-80 is high enough. The LED Light Bar will go off automatically as will the Ultra Sound. The audible sound does not need to be on but for deer, keeping it active and turned up high is best.
Lastly, turn the yellow button frequency setting almost all the way to the left pointing at the word “deer”.
These settings are detailed on our product page here: DEER SOUND SETTINGS
You’ll also need 4 “C” cell batteries to power it; the unit will turn on when the target animal walks into the motion detector range and will sound for 20 seconds. During this time the porcupine will leave and after 1-2 experiences with this machine, learn to stay away.
Batteries will last 3-6 months if not longer. Also included is an optional AC power supply and a remote control so you can disarm the unit anytime. When set to “night”, it will only go off after dark so you will not hear it during the day. But at night, if you wanted to walk within the range of the unit, use the wireless remote to disarm it so you can walk around it without setting it off.
Plan on keeping the unit about 2-3 feet off the ground though it can be just 1 foot high or up to 4 feet up. But for deer, 3 feet is ideal.
Since deer tend to target one area at a time, it usually only takes one machine to keep them away. But they will adapt so if you have other plants you want to protect, install as many units as are needed to blanket the yard with protection.
For easy installation, MOUNTING BLOCKS are handy. They can accept 1 or 2 repellers (picture to the right) and have a 1/2″ hole on their bottom so they will easily fit over a 1/2″ piece of rebar or any other wood or plastic stake. Ultra Sound Repellers will work fine by themselves as long as you have a good place to set them up. But we highly recommend getting the Units with Mounting Blocks in the kits we offer. Mounting Blocks allow you to place units anywhere and they will save time too.
We also feature several accessories for our sound repeller including POWER CORD EXTENDERS (33 FEET AND 66 FEET), CIGARETTE LIGHTER POWER ADAPTER, ALLIGATOR CLIP POWER CORD and AC POWER SUPPLY REPLACEMENTS.
LOUD SOUNDING DEER CANNON
For really persistent deer abundant over an acre or more of land, go with an ANIMAL CANNON. This loud “sonic” boom of a sound is enough to spook any deer and they won’t get used to it.
Small yet powerful, this device uses propane to power itself and doesn’t need much maintenance. Basically you hook up a standard barbecue propane tank to the unit and when it fills with pressure, it will release. The time between sounds can range from a few minutes to 10 or more when the tank gets low and the pressure drops. But tanks can last several months so it will not cost much to power one for a year. Just set it up and point it in the direction you want protected and turn it on. Blasts will keep the area free of deer for sure.
This device is not recommended for the average neighborhood but its wells suited for rural areas. When placed on the ground, this device will cover 2-3 acres if not more.
When elevated above ground vegetation, up to 5 acres can be be effectively protected.