Oh deer...

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by seaholly, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. seaholly

    seaholly Member

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    I have read for years about ways to keep plants safe from deer but never really had to worry about it until recently. A fence is not an option and they don't seem to mind my 105 pound dog in the least little bit and vice versa :) But they are decimating my roses and I am very frustrated. I was wondering if anyone had ever tried a hot pepper or maybe a garlic based spray and what were your results?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    "A fence is not an option" immediately eliminates attainment of complete satisfaction from the scenario right at the start. All approaches short of excluding the animals from the vicinity of the plants depend on them being dissuaded. You don't have to depend on them being talked out of eating by bad smells, noises etc. if they are not even present.
     
  3. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Are you able to use a hot wire? Can be battery operated. I use this method to keep my livestock guardian dogs in and other dogs out of my paddocks. Also works for the goats so I know deer would not like it. It can be set up as a temporary thing and it can be very visible horse tape or the almost invisible orange wire. If you google "Hot wire deer" there are several items

    Liz
     
  4. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    We have deer wandering through the neighbourhoods in Saanich, BC, Canada, and they are a constant source of complaints and philosophical shrugs... and experiments with deterrents. Some have tried the new water cannons set to go off when a deer comes into range: they are sprayers stuck into the ground, and fairly expensive, as they swivel I believe to shoot water at offending deer. One friend says it saves his dooryard roses...

    I was told by a European-origin neighbour that simply spraying human urine on the shrubs in question deters them [i.e. collected, and put into spray bottle]. So, I am trying that and so far it seems to work for hydrangeas and the one rose bush I have left in deer territory [they can't get into our patio where we are growing 2 more]. I spray so far about every 2-3 days but am not sure how long it lasts [we don't get much rain in the summer months here]. I can smell it slightly at times, but no one else has commented.
     
  5. dstout

    dstout Member

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  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Does this smell strongly of garlic to the human nose? If our front garden area in this condo townhouse complex smells strongly of garlic, or garlic wafts in the open windows on a hot summer day, a la the neighbourhood Italian restaurant, my husband will run away, not to mention the comments of my neighbours. He [and they] doesn't [so far] notice the barely-there urine smell as a deer deterrent. Also, urine is free and everflowing.
     
  7. dstout

    dstout Member

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    So is it you or your husband peeing in the garden? lol

    It all depends on how strong you put it out. Deer have a very powerful nose, so you should be able to get away with putting it out in small portions.
     
  8. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Oh, it's me, it's me, and it isn't a chore at all. Easy to do, so cheap it's sinful, and so far I have to say it really, really works!
     
  9. dstout

    dstout Member

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    Haha, well as long as you're having good results, keep drinking water and don't let the neighbors see you.. Unless you're into that sorta thing! lol
     
  10. erik new indoor gardener

    erik new indoor gardener Member

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    I always new saving my urine for all these years would pay off lol.
     
  11. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Glad you boys like this discovery. I have a perfectly normal sprayer and no one would know unless they are standing at my elbow what liquid I am spraying, as it doesn't seem to smell during the process... unless the stuff has been standing in the sprayer bottle some time, and even then the odour isn't all that noticeable as a spray, but the deer probably hate it. Later the next day, maybe, if there has been no rain, and one is out on a windless evening and sprays a little water on the foliage by mistake while watering a plant, then you do get a bit of a whiff, but I don't believe it carries very far... There were two stags outside in our back lawn area behind the townhouse patios, last night, and they didn't come around the front at all [I DO wish soon someone would start taking these as a source of delicious meat -- I don't think it is necessary to have stags galloping around, at times it's scary as one comes outside in the dark of an early evening, a pale figure dashes away so fast you can hardly see what it is... you hear the neighbourhood dogs across the street barking ferociously first, now I recognize the pattern, then the deer appear galloping through the back wooded traffic berm-and-lawn... I am wondering what to mix with my spray solution to make it stick longer, such as egg white or canola oil, as long as it doesn't choke up the pores on the leaves of the shrubbery/plants I am protecting...
     
  12. erik new indoor gardener

    erik new indoor gardener Member

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    i am a chef by trade there is a few things you can do.put it on the stove and heat it up just before boil add a cornstach water mix 1part starch to 1 part water. I sugest getting a pot just for this application. you could also get what the call a slow dripper. hunters use it to put doe urine in to atract bucks you could simply fill it with your very own urine.
     
  13. seaholly

    seaholly Member

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    Thank you all. This has all been very interesting! The deer have left one rose bush on the end, next to the tomato patch, alone and I do believe it is because of the scent of the bushes. We live on a small island and the deer are very small and not too numerous so I think I am going to {{{ gulp}}} try Janet's urine idea.
     
  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    All this must lend an interesting flavour to vegetables from the garden . . .
     
  15. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I'm not sure what to make of a chef who knows how to cook urine, save to say: while your special sauce may be good, I ain't having any. And keeping it around in jars...well, look what that did to poor Howard Hughes.

    This mix works (for me, and others in the area), it's hardly novel:

    bucket, couple of eggs, shavings from a bar of smelly soap, mix it up, sprinkle it around with a paintbrush, flicking it onto leaves. You have to replace it after rain, and it spots the leaves a little, but it is as reliable as any method, and you will always be assured that that cup of amber fluid you just drank was indeed apple juice.
     
  16. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    to woodschmoe:

    Yes, I have seen variations on that recipe with the eggs, but truly, the human urine idea is working so well I did want to mention it. There is nothing disgusting about it, it is just a prejudice or built-in distaste, natural enough... but use a high-quality plastic spray bottle to store it in, not one of the cheapest of the cheap, label it properly such as with an indelible water-proof marker, and keep it for that purpose [filling from a simple plastic measuring cup or something, which has a good pouring-lip].

    I have no time for mixing and making, what with hummingbird food preparation, other cooking routines, etc., etc., and this is so easy. AND, it sprays well from a spray bottle, covering all the leaves quite nicely, AND it does NOT spot the leaves! I was watching for that in particular. After using this method I have not noticed a single deer-nibble. I'll report it if I do!
     
  17. dstout

    dstout Member

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    Make sure you don't accidentally put your deer repellent in your humming bird feeder. Might not have a very good crop! :)
     
  18. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    No, can't do that -- hummingbird syrup is just clear colorless light sugar-syrup! On that note re fluids, a gardening book called ABC's of West Coast Gardening describes the author's putting at someone's advice Scotch whisky in a bowl outside [crows love water to drink] to de-activate crows which are raiding her garden -- the purpose is to make it easy to "take out" the crows permanently, but she doesn't in the end have the heart to do that -- but witnesses drunken crows, either out cold for a bit or staggering around; not sure I believe it, but it's in the book!
     
  19. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I do . . . the scientific literature is filled with records of numerous species of birds and animals going out of their way to get drunk, from wasps up to elephants. It isn't just people that enjoy it!

    Needless to say, the drunken elephants are the ones to avoid!
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2583891.stm
    Sometimes it is the elephants that suffer . . .
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3423881.stm
    More reports:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=+site:news.bbc.co.uk+drunken+elephants
     

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