Backyard Is Getting Eaten By Deer – Deterrents

Q: Our backyard has been almost totally eaten by deer: azaleas, roses, hostas,
hydrangeas, dahlias, and even amaryllis leaves! I know you favor fences but is
there nothing we can spray to repel them? 

A: In my experience, there is no 100% reliable smell deterrent for deer. And
even if you had a repellent that was 90% effective, the 10% damage to your
landscape might include some of your most prized flowers. No matter what
the smell, deer will eventually become used to it. A fence can be 100%
effective but it can also be 100% ugly. One idea to try is lightweight plastic
deer fence. It is not very ugly but deer don’t like walking into it and rarely try
to jump it. Another option is an electric fence. If they are installed correctly,
they are not very noticeable but are quite effective once deer are trained to
avoid it. Both of these fences are require a little bit of maintenance but I think
you’ll get better control of deer than using a smell deterrent. Check my
website notes on deer control:

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