Oh, Deer!

In keeping with this week’s unintended theme of wild things, here’s HerbDoc with a rant about deer:

As someone who lives not far from the Great Swamp, a state- protected area in southern Rhode Island, I’m constantly invaded by deer.  When we first moved here and spotted occasional animals, I thought they were quite beautiful.  Now my opinion is that they are overgrown, destructive rodents!

I have tried every method known to man to deter them, including homemade repellents like human hair, Irish Spring soap, and red pepper and garlic sprays.  Lots of dollars went into commercial repellents such as Deer Away, Deer Off, predator urines, milorganite and fencing.  Fish and Wildlife recommends products that contain Thiram, but a quick check indicated that this is a fungicide which can be harmful to children and pets.  Everything works for a while but because of overpopulation and extreme hunger, they return to browse and taste.

We go out of our way to purchase “deer-resistant” plants and shrubs, but there is really no such thing.  Not only will they eat almost anything when they’re hungry, they will browse foods they don’t care for.  For example I bought ten, five foot Naylor’s Blue Leyland Cypress for my lot line, and they chewed every one of them and spit the pieces on the ground.  Just nasty!

Now for the good news!  About three years ago, I purchased a two- bottle product through American Deer Proofing in West Kingston RI. This actually works!  The base of the Liquid Guard is rotten eggs which repel them, and a second bottle contains a waterproofing agent which is added to the mix.  A spraying lasts 3-4 months; no running out after every rainstorm to reapply!  At first glance, the 2 bottle product seems a bit pricey (about $65 for 32 oz. concentrate and waterproofer), but mine lasted about 2 years with selective spraying.  The site notes that the 32 Oz. system will treat 400-500 shrubs.

This product definitely gets two thumbs up from me!  Check it out  here.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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4 Responses to Oh, Deer!

  1. gardenpest says:

    Great description of how frustrating it is. Deer also pose a public health risk (tick born diseases) – I know, big time. Thanks for the tip. Is Liquid Guard locally produced and is the creator university-related? Just curious.

    ?Predator loss? – 4 yrs ago I noticed that coyote populations were very evident but the past 2 yrs I haven’t seen or heard them, esp along RT 108 and northeast of campus. Anyone else in SK notice any change?

    Be careful on the bike path, frequent deer sitings, jumping on the path.


  2. HerbDoc says:

    As far as I know, it isn’t university related. Holly Ridge on Liberty Lane in SK is the only nursery locally that carries the product, and they will spray for you or you can buy the product on-line.

    I’m not far from the SK line in Charlestown; we hear the coyotes most nights along with the occasional screech of the fisher and local owls!


  3. Wendy says:

    ha ha ha! I’m laughing because I’m collecting photos for post I told someone just today I would title “oh deer”. I’ve got to link here later b/c it’s a perfect companion post.


  4. HerbDoc says:

    Thanks, Wendy! I really wanted to say d— deer, but I restrained myself! If you lived nearby, I’d say come to my area for pics; they are literally everywhere.


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