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Deer Control

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“ You have to think like a deer, to look at your garden from the deer’s point of view. To do this you need to understand how deer behave, eat, breed, and live. You have to wander around your yard as if you were a deer. Never mind if your neighbors think you’re a bit crazy. This is war.”





Useful Facts about Deer (know your enemy)

It has been estimated that in the US deer damage a total of $100 million in agricultural crops, $750 million of forest regeneration, and cost $1 billion in deer vehicle accidents. 300,000 vehicles collide with deer every year in the US, resulting in an average of 120 fatalities, making deer the number one wildlife killer of man. On the plus side, economic and recreational benefits from deer were judged to be $14 billion.
In Washington State past forest practices have contributed to increased mule deer and elk populations. In the early 1900s we had 10,000 elk and about 50,000 deer. Today we have 55,000 elk and 350,000 deer. Clear-cut forests offered excellent habitat for these animals. The plants that grow in recently cleared areas provide forage preferred by deer and elk. On average, a healthy adult buck or doe needs to consume 5 to 10 pounds of food per day.
Deer are selective feeders – whether a plant is eaten depends on season, plant palatability, and availability of alternative foods, weather conditions and nutritional needs. The hungrier they are the less selective they are; no plant species will be avoided by deer under all conditions.
Deer learn quickly and learned behaviors are taught to their young. Deer have learned that suburban homeowners are not a threat and often won’t run unless actually chased, so gardeners have to be more resourceful. Deer will learn the limit of a tied dog and stay beyond that range, then help themselves to plantings.
Once deer establish a pattern of behavior it is very hard to break. Deer are creatures of habit, and will return to a successfully forged area. Therefore if you have had deer damage in the past it is very important to use a control method BEFORE you see damage, to “unlearn” the past behavior. Preventing deer damage before it starts is easier than interrupting an established pattern. Once they adapt to your garden, they adopt it.
Damage reduction should include different strategies in different times of the year; stronger measures are needed in late winter and early spring because natural foods may be scarce.
Deer are very good jumpers and can easily clear 4-foot fences. Another deer was observed clearing a 12-foot fence when being chased by dogs.
Deer lack upper incisor teeth; they just have cartilage like sheep so damage consists of tearing and breaking, as well as stomping on what they don’t eat.

Methods of Damage Control

In any deer deterrent program plan on using several different tactics, rotating and alternating them throughout the season, before the deer get used to them. Use all five physical senses of the deer to assault their sense of security. Like all wild animals, they are neophobic (afraid of anything new) so don’t give them a chance to adapt.

Population Control:

Deer are classified as game animals and can only be killed during legal hunting seasons by persons holding a valid big game license. See Resources page for Dept of Fish and Wildlife web site for 2001 hunting season dates.
Deer have the potential to double their population about every 2.5 years if no mortality takes place. Buck-only harvests do not reduce or stabilize deer numbers. Where legally possible landowners should require hunters to harvest sufficient does, as it is essential to reduce deer numbers and damage.
Some states are experimenting with steroid contraceptive birth control methods with some success; cost and logistics for wide-scale use are problematic.

The greatest amount of protection for home gardens with repellents is to use several different repellants and to rotate their use so deer don’t adjust to them. Although designed to have no worse effect than leave a bad taste in their mouths, chemical repellents are pesticides and usage should follow label directions carefully.

Contact Repellants

Commercial or home made sprays can be temporarily effective but need frequent reapplying (3-4 weeks) or after rain. Usually includes capsicum pepper, eggs, or thiram. Hot pepper sauce is a successful contact repellant, a commercial mix is “Hot Sauce Animal Repellant.” Another commercial spray I’ve used successfully is called “This One Works.” Other commercial mixes are Hinder and Repel (ammonium soaps of higher fatty acids with Thiram.), Chaperone, Guftafon 42-S8, Noff Chew Not, Scram 42-S and Bonide Deer Repellent.

Each and every year the deer are eating more and more of the plantings throughout your property.

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Fertilizazion

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Weed Control

We can use a combination of spot spraying herbicides and seeding practices control the weeds and develop a lush lawn.

Grub Control

We believe in preventative medicine. All of our turf care programs include preventative treatment measures when it comes to grubs ...Why wait to treat until the damage is done incurring costly repairs?

Core Aeration

Small, uniform plugs of soil can be seen at turf level, often exposing the different layers of soil below..