deer on Vancouver Island

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Paula B, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Paula B

    Paula B Active Member

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    has any Vancouver Islander had deer eating their forget me nots? what about coreopsis? according to the 'lists' it is supposed to be 'resistant'.
     
  2. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Paula, I don't think they eat Daffs, but everything else seems to be fair game. They will take a bite of a supposedly resistant plant, decide they don't like it and spit it out. The only thing I'm sure they don't eat is rocks!!!

    I lived in the San Juan Islands and people came up with all sorts of remedys: Urine, Human and Dog Hair, some mysterious concoction that a guy on Orcas came up with, Sprinklers activated on motion sensors, Irish Spring or Dial soap shavings hung from the trees or bushes in mesh bags, Portable radio w/ music all night, Staggered fencing across their normal trails, 10 ft deer fencing seemed to work best but is horribley expensive. One gal even hung fish net from thin cable from tree to tree and it seemed to work pretty well. She claimed it felt like heavy cobwebs to the deer, and they didn't like it. Have fun gardening in Deer Country. barb
     
  3. Paula B

    Paula B Active Member

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    thank you for your encouragement!!! Interestingly enough, out on my walk this evening I saw a huge patch of forget me nots in a ditch. Looks like the deer were leaving that alone, most likely because the forget me nots were volunteers and not in a choice landscape setting.
    There is a commercial product out there called Plantskydd, it is supposed to work. I'd hope so at $35 a box. Might be cheaper than fencing . . .
     
  4. Joyce H

    Joyce H Member

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    Paula, I live in Nanaimo..... At great expense, when we moved here 7 years ago, I had a prominent landscaper plant a "deer resistant" garden. The deer ate almost everything including Coreopsis. They do not eat Monkhood, Nepeta, Oregano (anything minty) or Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed), Daffodils, Rhodos. Plantskyd is fine but very stinky and you will need to shower and wash your clothes after applying, especially if it is windy. It can also stain the leave of plants like Roses. We have finally given in and deer fenced a very difficult property (rocky terrain). You will need to be meticulous with fencing because they can get under the smallest opening in the mesh. The deer can't necessarily get out the same way they came in, so if you are not home to open the gate, there's trouble. My husband spent the day fortifying our fence and I am praying we have no more "break-ins". Good luck!
     
  5. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Does anyone use electric fencing on deer over there. I would have thought one "bite" from fence would discourage them. We use it a lot on farms here and I know it is used in the US and Canada [information from my livestock guardian lists]

    Liz
     
  6. Paula B

    Paula B Active Member

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    well Liz, my neighbour and I were talking about an electric fence just the other day, but with 18 month old twins living next door, it is really not an option. Joyce H, thank you for the info regarding Plantskydd and plant list.
    I did search on the forums, found a recipe for a deer repellent using baking powder, egg yolk and water. I think I'll give it a try. My husband is putting the finishing touches on a deer fence around the back of the house, it is my driveway garden that is difficult to fence (attractively).
     
  7. Joyce H

    Joyce H Member

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    Paula, you will be interested to know that even with our 6 to 8 feet deer fencing there is one persistent deer that keeps getting in, probably underneath, even though we have done our best to secure the fencing at the bottom. Tonight, when we confronted it, it actually jumped over the fence to get out. It could not get in over the fence because the ground is lower outside the fence. This deer has done a lot of damage to my garden. It is so disappointing, especially since we have gone to so much trouble and expense. The only difficulty with the egg wash solution is that it needs to be reapplyed after every rain -- not so much of a problem this summer! Good Luck!
     
  8. gardengal

    gardengal Member

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    Commiserations on the deer. We too have a huge problem in Nanooose Bay, and have just fenced our large back yard area which we should have done from the begining which would have saved a huge amount of money and effort!!! After transplanting everything from the front to the back, the deer then rutted the newly planted replacement Deodars, various Pinus trees etc, so we had to put low fences around those too. So far what has survived in the front: Junipers, Blue Spruce, large Deodars, Pieris, Leucothoea, Hellebores, Shasta Daisies, Echinacea, Rhodos, with a little nibbling here and there, grasses like Miscanthus, various, Pampas, Heath, perennial Verbena and so on. We tried Plantskydd, Skoot, Tree Guard which is hugely expensive, blood meal around the shrubs every 10 days, then gave up. The plants do NOT thrive on a diet of constant spraying, and looked really sad for a week or more after the applications, and not one of the sprays lasted as long as the manufacturer claimed. So bottom line, fence them out or plant what is safe in your area. We secured the bottom of our fence with rebar knocked into the ground, and the bottom wire then zap strapped to the rebar. So far, so good. Far too many deer in this area and the pressure on the food source is huge. They are none too shy either!! Good luck!!
     
  9. Joyce H

    Joyce H Member

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    Hi Garden Gal,

    I think your comments are right on! This spring my husband has worked hard to secure our fence in the same manner. I am hopeful that it will work. Our marriage depends on it :-)

    Our fencing actually came from Nanoose: NatureScape Fencing Ltd 1869 Stewart Road Nanoose Bay B.C V9P 9E7

    Joyce H
     
  10. gardengal

    gardengal Member

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    Hello again, Will keep it all crossed that the deer will stay out now. For us it was also deer fencing or a divorce!! On a less flippant note, here are a few more plants they don't eat in Nanoose: Skimmia, Pachysandra, Frittilaria, Daffs, Heath, Hakone grass, Berberis if it's a large enough shrub. I bought 6 small ones and they got eaten to the ground last summer. The little fences I had to put around the shrubs/small trees that were being rutted into oblivion, were made from rebar cut into short lengths with an angle grinder, and then seconds of stucco mesh placed around the framework, from Fenceline in Parksville, so it was not too costly. Worst advice we got: from a very well meaning lady at a local feed/garden store - she said the deer were thirsty thus eating all the stuff they shouldn't, so off I went and bought 6 large buckets, and kept them filled with fresh water every day, and just to be extra nice, added lovely COB, corn, oats and barley with molasses, thinking they would then leave my plants alone.... Well the visitors' numbers doubled as word got out that a new deer delli had opened LOL and one small doe even followed me until I refilled the food pile every day. How quickly one learns!!!! I am now enjoying planting all the deer candy I want, and hopefully no critters get in. Happy gardening all...isn't Spring just wonderful!!!
     
  11. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Don't use timothy pellets as fertilizer either. Deer love it and as you found out "deer deli" open. :))))
    We used to say all you needed to hunt deer on Lopez was an apple and a hammer. Also, the young ones will taste daffs and then spit them out. They will also nibble on young rhododendrons and azaleas. Tender, young plants are fair game. I don't remember them eating Ladies Mantle or any of the euphorbias. It's been a few years so I could be wrong. You will develop your own methods as time goes by. Then you write a book to pay for all the deer fencing. :D barb
     
  12. bluejay

    bluejay Member

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    It is an Orange Thing, all the segments of an orange make an orange whole... Every part of life can be worked with in harmony, if you decide to do so....

    Think like a Deer, not like the enemy... If you were a deer wondering around in the middle of the Knight, looking to feed your children, what would you do? Where would you go?

    If we take this stance from the beginning, life is going to be much more easier for all of us that love to garden....

    Adjust. You cannot kill all the deer, unless the entire community decided to make this so...

    So, when building your garden, yard, surrounding to fit with that "deer family", whose forest and green belts we live in.... we love because of its wilderness and whose heritage lived here before we showed up.

    Do they have benefits you've overlooked? Fertilizer, what's the scoop on that? Should be good, all vegetable matter, can we have a ruling on the benefits?

    Respectfully acknowledging the Deer's Rights to Life or a proper Reroute outside of the City...
     
  13. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    I've had plenty of experience with deer and landscaped yards in semi rural areas. The deer in these areas have no/few predators, are conditioned to humans being nice, and are now grossly overpopulated as a result. They will eat absolutely every plant there is if they are hungry enough, even the ones that are "deer" proof. Thousands of dollars of damage and years of work destroyed can occur in a couple of nights.

    The deer have no fear of humans because well meaning, but somewhat ignorant people, prevent hunting in these semi rural areas (thus contributing to overpopulation). Hunting pressure would make them more wary and avoid humans and settled areas.

    As a result, the only, and I mean only way to keep deer out is by fencing. Minimum 7 feet tall solid or mesh type fencing. That or a couple of large hungry dogs kept out 24/7.

    Bears are just as bad or worse for fruit trees. Add a row of electrified wire to your fence at their nose height, and one another foot or two above it. Hopefully the nose touching the wire will discourage the bear cause they will withstand a lot of pain to fill their bellies (think bees stings for honey...).
     
  14. Joyce H

    Joyce H Member

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    Bluejay, you sound like a very gentle caring person. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep the balance and some disappointment along the way when the deer eat something we hoped would not attract them. We solved our deer "problem" some time ago by installing deer fencing around our garden area and have left most of our acreage for the deer to browse. It is a "win win" because we can still enjoy watching them. The odd time a little one gets in under the fence.

    Now we have another problem. We had planted a lot of Monkshood in our original deer resistant garden, which is the best deer resistant plant I know of. Unfortunately it would also be very toxic for our new six month old puppy. So, we will need to remove it (sigh) or keep our puppy out of the garden.

    Good gardening!
     
  15. Joyce H

    Joyce H Member

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    I forgot to mention that the deer on our property are also chomping the ferns. They especially like when you cut the ferns back because they really enjoy the tender new growth.

    Joyce
     
  16. Qualguy

    Qualguy New Member

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    The answer still standing for about 30 years is a hedge of Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis Leylandii) planted against a 4 foot window pane wire fence. the gateway into the yard must be 6 to 7 ft high. Deer proof. Never had a deer in once it was 6 ft high. Supplied by Northwest Bay Nursery, Northwest Bay Rd, Nanoose Bay, BC
     
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  17. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    A product called Bobbex sprayed on plant leaves and flowers seems to be more effective than Plantskydd and does not stain. Even though my garden is fenced now, I still use it to deter rabbits.
     
  18. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Hello Margot - we have awful raccoons that other neighbors feed !!!

    Anyway - they make an unhealthy mess of our lawn (toilet)

    Do you think the product would deter raccoons?
     
  19. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Hi GS - I don't think Bobbex would help with your raccoon problem and it's quite expensive to just try out. Considering the fact that raccoons are known to spread diseases and parasites, you'd think there'd be a law against feeding them.

    When I was checking online whether Bobbex is supposed to deter raccoons, I came upon this product on a couple of sites:

    CRITTER RIDDER
    - Repels Raccoons, Skunks, Dogs, Cats, Squirrels, Groundhogs and Chipmunks.

    Maybe it is available in Vancouver . . . I found this information from a garden centre in Winnipeg that has mail order.
    Jensen's Nursery and Garden Centre | Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  20. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Thank you for that info - I have an electric device off amazon similar to those rodent devices that apparently emit high freq sound

    But ... she’s a repeat offender - and reproduces

    I don’t have a bird feeder
    No pet food outside

    they even break in to vehicles if you’ve accidentally left your window open etc

    One of the pests is reddish blond fur - not the usual black grey which is interesting but not on my sundeck or lawn !

    I don’t find them cute .... some people do I suppose

    They are as you say - thru their waste - high risk disease spreaders to humans and family pets

    EDIT to add - I see it’s listed on Cdn Tire website among others - see the ratings in Cdn Tire - it might be an expensive experiment ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  21. ming.zafer

    ming.zafer New Member

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    There is a commercial product out there called Plantskydd, it is supposed to work. I'd hope so at $35 a box. Might be cheaper than fencing . . .
     
  22. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Plantskydd has been mentioned in several posts above as a deterrent for deer . . . are you suggesting it might work for raccoons as well? There is nothing on their website to suggest that it would . . .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2019
  23. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    this is an old thread but the darn raccoons still come around - hopefully it moves somewhere else.

    anyway - the above post (immediately above) asks about chemical or other similar deterrent - I don't know from experience

    a bucket of water attracts them (washing their little "hands") but it's handy to toss at them (water not the bucket) as they scale up the sundeck posts and pretty much knock on the patio doors - I imagine because other humans have fed them and think it's cute.

    I have also tried the motion-activated sprinkler device (very expensive and, for us, useless)

    i now have neighbors with a couple of big barking dogs - which started to be annoying - but I've trained myself (!) to appreciate these family pets as pest repellers (they don't chase or harass wildlife - just bark from their own enclosed fenced play zone)

    with recent news of young person dying from rabies in BC - one wonders what other wildlife harbor or transfer or transmit serious diseases that can be harmful in the (sub)urban interface.
     
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  24. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    The electric fence mentioned above for repelling deer also works for racoons. I've used one for years to keep racoons away from my grapes and sweet cherries; it does the job and is easy to put up. But it is only used temporarily while ripe fruit is present.
     
  25. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I seriously considered an electric fence after moving to deer- and raccoon-infested property on VI a number of years ago. What I learned is that - unless you install a multi-line fence - the soil isn't moist enough to complete the circuit. Even if it had been an effective deterrent for deer, raccoons could still have bridged it by climbing over treetops. We've been so lucky here (so far) that a 4 to 5-foot plastic mesh fence has been enough to keep the deer out.

    Still, I look out every morning and marvel that my garden is still there.

    PS Don't ever let your beloved dogs come face-to-face with raccoons . . . dogs are often the losers.
     

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