Return to the Hosta Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
%^&#@*& Deer

Posted by jonnyb023 6a SE MA (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 10:43

After having 17 Rhododendrons, 2 Cedrus Atlantica, 2 hinokis, 3 DeGroots Spires, 3 weeping blue Nootkatensis and much more eaten, I am ready to go to war with deer.

The experts at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station have chosen Bobex as the best commercial repellent. Looking at the cost of using this, it would be upwards of $3oo a season using concentrate and buying in bulk.

Bobex lists putrescent eggs other proteins: fish meal, fish oil, meat meal, and two non-protein repellent ingredients added for odor control; garlic and clove oils as ingredients. I think that it would be easy to mix up a similar concoction at a fraction of the cost and mixing ingredients might help.

The experts say putrified eggs mimic the smell of urine from a well fed predator which makes it an effective deterrent. The eggs will putrify after spraying; no need to put up with letting the eggs rot. The smell doesn't last long for humans, but lasts until it rains for deer.

The experimental station also recommends changing the repellent as deer easily become accustomed to one thing. They say soaps aren't very effective (I will attest to that) and hair and even urine is not very effective.

Yes, I have a dog (rabbits are no match, and she hates deer) that is well fed and even her peeing along the trails used to get onto my property has not held back the onslaught of what I assume are starving deer this winter. I cannot let her loose. If I could there would be no deer. Motion sensing lights worked for a couple of weeks, but the effectiveness has slowed way down.

Any ideas other than fences or shooting them?

Jon



Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Move?
;-)


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Sorry to hear that,Jonny. I am blessed to have no deer in my neighborhood,so I can't really help you,but I hope your plants recover this year. Phil


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

A large male dog will do the trick. Once my sister's lab died, the deer made breakfast out of her Rhodies. Before that they stayed away. Fences are the most effective method. I know they are expensive, but you just need wires, not a stockade. See the link below.

I use Bobex and it is effective. But other repellents can be effective also. It depends on the amount of food and populatin pressure in the deer herd. Look for a less expensive repellant that will do the trick. I'm guessing that making your own will get tiresome after a while. Remember the idea is not to eliminate the deer from the face of the earth, but to get them to go to your neighbor's property instead of yours.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Say No to Deer


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Last summer we visited the Wm. Radler Rose Garden At the back of his property there are hosta We asked how he kept the deer out. He told us at the end of each row they put a pile of Milogranite He say they refresh the pile when they begin decomposing or after rain.The deer were not eating his hosta or his beautiful hybrid knockout roses


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Great idea, mucktowngal. I know Kathie Sisson just got a visit from a couple of dozen deer and she mentioned that she needed to get out the Milorganite also.

It's a fertilizer (5-2-0) made from sewage and it has an odor, but at $!3 for a 36 pound bag it won't break your bank account. I use it on my lawn and in my Hosta beds, mostly to keep bunnies away. It does wear off, but if you can put it strategically around your property as Bill Radler does, that could be your repellant. You can get it most places, including HD.

Steve


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

We received a Lee Valley Tools e-mail the other day that advertised a product that sounds as if it might be the cat's whiskers. While thankfully we aren't bothered by deer in our suburban garden, we do get our share of rats and furry rats aka squirls. The rats seem to be particulalry fond of some of the things we're fond of as well: lilies, we've trapped 2 rats so far this winter using lily scales as bait and while that seems to have made the necessary dent in that population, I'm now starting to see evidence of squirls. I'll be going to Lee Valley in the morning and pick up a bag of Plantskydd and I'll let y'all know how I fare with it. Peculiar thing is that it is made in the USA, but is listed only on the Canadian Lee Valley site. A quick Google for Plantskydd lead me to their main website where they have a phone number.

Hope this helps your quest, Jon!

Pieter


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Best of luck, Jon. I really hope you can find something that works.

Don B.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Thanks everyone. I have used Milorganite and it works very well. It does stink especially when it rains and my friends that used to live next door had a Bichon Frise that would run over to see me all the time that loved to roll in it. Not appreciated by Francine who had sometimes just returned from having Rasqual.groomed.

I used to use it on the grass, which wouldn't work well with my dog; but it might be a good choice to throw in the beds and rotate with an egg, garlic, clove, Cajun Pepper, dish detergent mixes; Irish Spring and maybe some Bobex. Keep changing up on them would be the plan.

I really expect that nothing will stop them if they are hungry enough. By the way don't waste your money on motion lights. I would see them light up all the time and go out and see piles of deer scat and tracks all over in the morning.

Thanks again,

Jon


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Pietre, please report back on the Lee Valley product. I am a big fan of their hardware, did not know they sold garden products. I have no deer, but a goodly supply of squirrels which the hawks and owls have not controlled so far. They really mess up my containers, winter especially.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

I have had success with Liquid Fence. The main ingredients are putrescent egg solids, garlic, sodium lauryl sulfate, potassium sorbate and thyme oil. It stinks of rotting onions when applied but after a few hours I don't notice it. It cost $25 for a gallon bottle with 24" hose and trigger sprayer. The bottle lasts through 8-10 sprays all winter.

This winter was the worst in history in terms of the combination of snow depth and low temperatures. A herd of deer visited regularly smashing through my plastic fence. Liquid Fence kept them off my azaleas which are normally the first item on the winter menu. When they turned to the arborvitae, i started spraying it with success.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

A second for liquid fence. I don't have deer, but a friend of mine does, and she is successful using liquid fence, also.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

A second for liquid fence. I don't have deer, but a friend of mine does, and she is successful using liquid fence, also.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Liquid fence costs about $35 for a bottle of concentrate (Amazon) that makes 5 gallons. That would be about enough for maybe 6 sprayings for me, tops. $4-6 or so every time it rains: 50 inches here a year, well over 100 rains a year= big expense. Versus less than 50 cents for a homemade spray consisting of a few eggs, water, some Cajun pepper, a squirt of detergent, garlic powder, cloves maybe. Is liquid fence a little better, I don't know, but probably a little. Everything I read says eggs are the key to a good deterrent and eggs are cheap. No one recommends letting them rot before spraying. I assume nature takes care of that overnight.

If you don't need much then Liquid Fence is not a big deal. For me I have a lot of other things that I would rather spend my money on.

Jon


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Make your own liquid fence.

Here is what we have used for years, provided by a Pennsylvania Christmas tree grower who used it successfully under high deer pressure.

2 eggs fully beaten and mixed in a gallon of water, add hot chili pepper and garlic to season ( yes it smells like a poor man's caesar salad when applied) .

Apply by spraying from a hand bottle or backpack every week! If it rains it may have to be resprayed.

One caveat; add the garlic and pepper to deter skunks and raccoons, who like the egg solution as it rots.

Second caveat; if you miss a few weeks and the deer are around they will remind you that you missed them!

bruce


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Jon,

Its possible to get a lot out of a gallon of Liquid Fence. You can adjust your sprayer to a fine mist without any loss of effectiveness.

I spray 50 azaleas, a 100' row of arborvitae plus a dozen additional evergreen shrubs throughout the winter. The same bottle provides a few sprays for my roses in fall and spring. Rain does not seem to affect results although it is important to spray regularly in order to convince these forest rats that there is nothing edible here.

Interestingly, deer have never bothered with my hosta. I'm thinking about giving a squirt to my pips if they ever show themselves.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

  • Posted by MFIX buf, NY z6 (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 5, 14 at 12:08

I am a huge proponent of liquid fence, it works great. But I still tend to suffer from rabbit issues all year it seems. I have sprayed only to go out at night and see the rabbits basically ontop of where i just sprayed! Not sure about milorganite as a deterrent, but it is a superb all-natural fertilizer for grass and safe for dogs, etc.. I am of the belief that the deer are going to hit an area if they are indeed starving, with only a dog or fence being an actual defense. Imagine what you might do if you were starving!
I am also leery of shooting them when they are merely eating. Perhaps a pellet gun would be a good non lethal approach.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Here's something different. I use woven wire fence, laid on the ground. NOT stapled to posts. It creates a mesh that is apparently unpleasant for the deer because their feet go through the fence and it makes for very uneasy footing. It is laid on the ground, which makes it virtually invisible from a distance. Except that I use a rock or 4x4 sections to keep the fence elevated off the ground a couple inches which makes it dicey for deer feet. I know it sounds strange, but it really works!

I have terrible deer, and I have tried all the sprays, mothballs, soap, hair, etc. this really works. Does not need to be reapplied. It is invisible from a distance, and even up close. I have to warn people it is there. Got a photo but can't seem to upload right now.


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

Harry, thanks, I may try a fine mist, but I have stuff all over and a gallon of anything goes very quickly. Last Fall about 25-30 hosta were nothing but stems in one night. I think the hosta will come back as it was Fall, unless the deer trampled some of the crowns.

MFIX, don't get caught shooting a pellet gun at deer. It is considered animal cruelty; here in MA anyway.

I am quite sure the deer were starving as I have had problems before, but nothing like this year where it has been very cold with a lot of snow. My rescue dog is 55-60 pounds and a hunter. Walking her along the perimeter had zero effect. She would do her duty in a spot and there would be hoof prints and deer droppings all over the same spot the next morning.

GottaGarden, I have never heard of the mesh deterrent. It might work, but it would mean an awful lot of wire mesh and a perimeter is impossible for me. Too many trees, hills. drop-offs.

Thanks for all the input.

Jon


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

I have a friend who buys up old portable radios at thrift stores and he plays them at night in different locations around his property. He usually puts them under something, like a milk crate with a solid bottom to keep them dry but if they get wet and stop working after a while he just replaces them. It is important that they be moved to different locations periodically so the deer do not get used to them. He says it works........


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

I have had great success with Scarecrow Motion Activated Animal Deterrent.
It senses motion and sends out a rapid jet of water, great for cats, too and it is humane.
http://www.contech-inc.com/products/home-and-garden-products/animal-repellents/scarecrow-motion-activated-animal-deterrent


 o
RE: %^&#@*& Deer

jonnyb - I've used the black plastic fencing (I think it comes in 100' X 8' rolls) to cover veggies that I like to keep into the fall with 100% success. Before I used this fencing the deer had eaten every carrot. beet and kale . You may want to try covering your shrubs that suffer deer damage in the winter with this fencing. It's worth a try.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Hosta Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here