Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Minimize Deer Damage to Gardens and Landscaping
JACKSON- With spring upon us, many Mississippians are planting
gardens and working hard to beautify their property. However,
white-tailed deer find many garden and landscape plants very
appealing and can often force gardeners to battle deer for their
prized plants. To manage the problem, MDWFP suggests a few tips
that may save your plants this spring and summer.
First, consider eliminating the supplemental feeding of deer
near your lawn or garden. Supplemental feeding can attract and hold
deer in an area and subsequently increase the potential damage to
vegetation around the feeding area.
Second, deer repellents, such as liquid scents, perfumes, and
even human hair, may work well for a period of time, but deer may
become accustomed to these scents over time. This period of
effectiveness is much briefer when the garden or lawn is located
within a city, suburb, or any area that human activity is constant.
It is important to change scents weekly to maintain these
repellents' effectiveness. Direct spraying of plants with
capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers "hot", tends to work
well, but must be performed frequently, as rain and dew will wash
it away. This practice can be easily done by soaking ground hot
pepper in water overnight and spraying this water on the
Lastly, electric fencing can also be very effective,
especially when two fences are installed, with one fence being five
feet inside the other. However, electric fences require daily
inspection and maintenance and should only be used in rural
Homeowners should remain vigilant and use a combination of
these methods to enjoy the fruits of their lawn and garden labor.
While these methods can be effective, the most effective method to
reduce deer damage is through safe and legal harvest during the
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