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      A deer prancing gracefully through your yard can be a welcome guest unless this woodland creature decides to nibble on your plants and flowers or trample on your lawn. We have a lot of these around the Pacific Northwest and while some find them peaceful, others find them destructive. If you have any bit of land, and you’re not in the middle of downtown, you may have to deal with these four-legged eating machines so here are some ways to deter them.

      Natural and Commercial Products

      Fortunately, there are many natural materials and commercial products and devices that can be used to deter deer from their destructive behavior.

      If using a natural approach is your preference, consider planting a border of aromatic plants around your beds. Mint, garlic and lavender can help mask the scent of plantings in your yard which attract foraging deer. You can also line the perimeter of your property with prickly vegetation: Deer do not like to pick through thorny bushes to get to the “snack” which has enticed them into your yard.

      Other natural deer deterrents include spraying your plants with a mixture of hot pepper or Irish Spring soap dissolved in water. Naturally leery of humans, deer can be discouraged from approaching if there is human hair scattered around your plantings.

      Many commercial products can be very effective deer deterrents. Check the label and purchase a deer repellent containing the urine of wolves, coyotes or any other natural predators of deer. Commercial products come in the form of sprays, concentrates, and granules.

      Devices that can deter deer include motion-detecting sprinklers and lights. An opaque fence can be an effective barrier to deer intruding onto your property. However, it needs to be at least eight feet tall since deer are naturally high jumpers. A physical barrier that is much more flexible than fencing is netting which can be rearranged as needed. The netting also can be draped on top of individual plants or areas to stop deer from nibbling your favorite flowers and plants.

      Trial and error are often the best ways to find a deer deterrent that is effective in your yard. Mix up your chosen strategies and, hopefully, you can discourage “Bambi” from ravaging your yard, garden or flower beds.

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