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.