There are lots of tools to combat wildlife conflicts—trapping, repellents, resistant plants. But habitat modification should be done 100 % of the time…

How to Protect Your Trees and Plants from Deer

Deer are smarter than we often give them credit. The most successful strategy to protect trees, plants and gardens from deer is to keep them guessing and use a variety of methods to keep them away from your landscape. Havahart® offers these 17 ideas to add to your arsenal of options to stop deer from intruding in your yard:

1. Eliminate deer attractants. If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, harvest produce as soon as it is ready. This will prevent deer from seeing (or smelling) something tasty and deciding your yard is an all-you-can-eat buffet.  [add fencing to keep moles, voles, rabbits, woodchucks, deer and other critters out.]

2. Keep deer-attracting plants closer to your home. This is especially important during spring when mother deer are providing food for their fawns. They enter yards in search of delicious plants that are high in protein and nutrients. During this time, deer love to feast on English Ivy and a variety of vegetable plants like peas and lettuce. Any fruit-bearing trees or vines will also be targeted. Deer enjoy the sweet taste of strawberries and peaches as well as many flowers, including pansies and impatiens. Grow these plants closer to your home and within eyesight of your windows. Even hungry deer are reluctant to come so close to a human dwelling.

3. Maintain your landscape. Don’t make your yard a cozy place for visiting deer. You don’t want to tempt them into bedding down for the night or resting there in the day. Trim densely planted areas to make them seem less appealing as hiding places. Deer prefer areas that offer quick cover in the case of predators, so eliminating that cover will discourage deer from hanging out in your yard.

4. Spray them with a motion activated sprinkler. Underground sprinkler systems on timers as well as motion activated water sprinklers are often used to keep deer away from certain garden beds and trees. For a more advanced solution, try the Havahart® Spray Away® 2.0 Motion Activated Sprinkler. This sprinkler detects movement with infrared technology, day or night. This great tool startles animals with a blast of harmless water and emits a sound to scare them. As a bonus, the Spray Away® is effective for chasing other pesky critters away, too. It’s adjustable, easy to set up and environmentally friendly.

5. Add levels to your yard. Deer don’t enjoy climbing up or down steep or sheer slopes. A yard that seems difficult to navigate can deter deer immediately. Sunken beds, terraces and stacked chopped wood can be added to the landscape to prevent deer from entering too far into your yard. When deer see these, they are afraid to jump or climb on them and will find somewhere else to graze. Keep potted plants up on the deck or porch, deer will likely not attempt to climb stairs to reach them.

6. Let your dog spend plenty of time in the yard. Chances are if your dog spots a deer, it will bark. The deer will run and may eventually decide your yard isn’t a safe place to graze…. “An ever-changing environment will confuse deer and discourage them from making your yard a favorite stop.”


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