What to do about deer

I’ve put forth a great deal of effort researching and designing with plants that are considered “deer proof.” On a couple of occasions, though, I’ve been quite frustrated.

It’s annoying when deer chow down on landscape plants, especially when its a new plant installation because the deer want to taste what’s new on the block. Younger plants, even if they’re deer reistant, are tastier to the deer.

It happened again this last week. Our crew applied coyote urine as a precaution but that didn’t stop the deer from feasting on the newly installed deer resistant plants.

The deer don’t read the lists. In fact, many of the plants that were once considered bullet proof have been taken off the lists.

David Arnold, who has 40 years in the business, tells me most of the eating habits of different herds of deer are determined by learned behavior and/or availability of native food sources.  It’s not consistent either. Many times deer will experiment with a newly installed landscape and then never bother it again. David at one point got lion feces from the San Francisco Zoo but the deer weren’t phased.

This 76-year old woman went overboard.

This article from the Washington Post calls deer “rats with hooves.”

Deer fences are sometimes an option but often are not.  I have also heard that there has been success reported by those that have installed motion sensor sprinkler heads along the traffic patterns of the local deer.  The sound of the water surging through the sprinkler head when activated spooks the deer enough to change their route.

If anybody has any ideas that work please let me know. Comments?

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