Now that much woodland foliage is gone, deer tend to move into residential areas. And hungry deer will eat just about anything.
In some areas, deer are very destructive and eat anything from young shoots in the spring and summer to evergreens and other shrubs used by gardeners.
There are many things to protect your landscape and gardens and some are more efficient and effective than others.
Sometimes, landscape enthusiasts get to the point where they are willing to try pretty much anything. Killing or causing physical harm to animals can get you in hot water with your neighbors and depending on where you live, often the law.
Hunting deer for meat is common in many parts of the country, but in most places it’s not legal or smart to use crossbows or firearms in residential areas.
Even evergreens and other plants that are supposed to be “deer resistant” are appetizing to deer when once they’re hungry enough. Luckily, there are lots of deterrents to protect your landscape investments. In particular, there are deer repellents that use free solar energy to protect gardens.
Downside of Traditional Solutions
Gardeners who’ve had their favorite trees, shrubs or plants ruined by deer are likely to have tried many solutions, and while most work, there are many downsides to traditional solutions.
While netting can be helpful for deer, draping it over attractive shrubs is like having one’s hair styled for a special occasion and then wearing a hair net for the big event. Frankly, it’s ugly.
And while it works to an extent on deer which have dull teeth; nets aren’t very effective for sharp-toothed animals such as beavers or woodchucks .
Fencing is expensive and depending on what you want to protect, is not always practical to install.
There are a few downsides to chemicals. Even if the package says “natural,” that doesn’t mean the chemical is harmless.
So, while you may be getting rid of deer, there is the potential to harm any living thing, including pets or children. Another downside: even if they are effective, rain means the need to reapply chemical repellents frequently so the costs add up quickly.
Advantages of Solar Powered Pest Control
Better solar panels, charging systems and batteries are more cost-efficient than a few years ago, and there are some great products that take advantage of free solar power to keep their property free from deer and other garden pests.
Because solar pest repellents use no chemicals (natural or man-made), they’re great for both organic gardeners or people fearful of harming the environment or poisoning children or animals. Unlike traps, solar devices do not physically harm the garden pests in any way.
The video shows how the first line of defense works, with the ultrasound scaring one deer away. When the others don’t leave, the pressurized jets of water send them fleeing. (The demonstration is short and is followed by a sequence on “Ask This Old House” that featured the Deer Guardener.)
With no chemicals or pollutants, it’s perfect for organic gardeners.
This product, called the Deer Guardener, combines multiple levels of defense. Solar powered, it incorporates a motion detection device that activates ultrasound, which in itself scares many deer.
For bolder deer, the ultrasound is followed by a spray of pressurized water that scared, but does not harm, the animals. And those that don’t run from after the ultrasound kicks-in rapidly flee when the water is aimed in their direction.
Okay, looks effective. But won’t people get sprayed?
No, though some earlier models often had this flaw. New products, usually invented by gardeners, have on/off switches to turn the devices off when people will be in the area for garden or recreational purposes. They work in a half-circle area of sensitivity, so people will not activate them the move behind the devices.
Another feature built into some of these repellents is a buzzer audible to people that alerts people to move along before the spray disperses.
So, don’t just say Oh Deer, or something worse, when deer ruin your landscape this winter and next spring. Make a one-time investment in a solar deer repellent. No continuous bills to replace chemicals or netting, these are humane cost-effective ways to protect your property!