Deer and Japanese beetles, pests in general

smom40(5MO)February 7, 2005

I'm trying to plan some plantings for my non-fenced backyard and I'd really like to plant some roses. Since I'm not sure if we're going to be staying in the area, I want to start small..ish. LOL

However, I do not want to go through massive rigamarole, only to find my work destroyed..however I'm willing to fight for a small rigamarole. LOL

Sooooooooo...for those of you in this part of the country..and most especially anyone with knowledge of the west county of Saint Louis, I have basically three questions.

One, what is the scope of the Japanese Beetle problem here, if any?

And two, how much do deer or other wildlife munch on your plantings? Any rose experience in particular?

And what do you all do to stop it if they do?

Whoops, one more question..what on earth are those black flat beetle things iwth the orange/red stripes? They're not BoxElder Bugs..or at least, they dont' look like the pictures of them that I've seen online.

Any information, commments or experience that you'd like to share would be appreciate. TIA!

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nimblewill(z5 OH)

Sorry, I'm out of your area, so I can't provide any specific advice, but I can offer a general observation: The less food per animal, the more likely that your plantings will become deer food.

My mother lives in a rural area of northern Ohio. Probably because of reduced hunting, there has been a deer population explosion in her area, with herds of up to 40 animals. In addition, there has been snow cover for an unusually long period this winter. Deer have devoured azaleas, rhododendrons and English ivy planted next to the house. A week ago I observed 10 deer in her yard and an adjacent wooded area. Some of the deer were browsing on the tips of blackberries and raspberries. The lesson here is that a hungry deer will go places and eat things that a well fed deer probably will not.

Do you see deer in your area? Many? Do many deer get hit by highway traffic? Are deer hunters active in your area? Is there adequate food for the deer? Depending on the answers to these questions you may or may not have a problem with deer feeding on your plantings.

As to solutions: Guns work well in some situations and so do large dogs (wolves would be better, but may raise objections from neighbors). Very tall fences(on all 4 sides) may work, but are not a guarantee. Some people will swear by blood meal or predator urine or soap or some other scent or flavoring. Some things may work for a while, then lose their effectiveness or may work for one person, but not another.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 1:20PM
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Well, I am aware of a very large deer population in the area based upon the local news. "Four times" the number of deer that should be around here. They're arguing about hiring bow hunters as we speak.

I've seen a few dead on the road. When it's snowed, I've seen massive deer tracks near our bird feeder.

I'm now having a terrible sense of dread. :P

Here's a question about dried predator urine. I've also been told that there are coyote in the area. If I use dried coyote urine, would that ATTRACT coyote even if it scares off the deer?

And why am I now becoming convinced that I'm going to be growing only a couple of pots of roses and my picture of large rambling hedge roses is now crumbling into dust? Ugh.

I don't know about fencing, they can jump, right?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 6:53PM
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The coyote urine WILL attract coyotes, and dogs, and I have found it marginally and fleetingly effective at keeping away deer. If there is a large deer herd, I think you will find nothing but frustration in trying to grow large rambling hedge roses.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 10:39AM
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Thanks for answering my questions. This is depressing, but less so than doing major planting and having it eaten.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 3:02PM
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Do electric Fences work for deer? I have seen them at Home Depot for around $100. There are more deer around here than people. This will be the second year for a garden at our new house. Last year I had a small one and the deer munched most everything. I really dont want to put a 6' tall fence up, so is electric going to work?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 3:23PM
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Hey, that's a good idea?

Anyone know? I'd certainly be willing to try that if I could afford it...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 4:14PM
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My cousin used an elec fence last year to protect their garden from deer and it worked a charm.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2005 at 9:34PM
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