Living with urban wildlife
Deer, one of the most common large mammals in and around our neighborhoods, are well known for their appetites for domestic landscape plants and garden vegetables. A herd of deer can do significant damage to the plants around your house.
There are many commercial deer repellents on the market that you can use on your plants, but in Oregon, the effectiveness of these products is questionable because they are constantly being washed off by the rain and have to be reapplied frequently.
Other methods of repellent that have met with varying degrees of success include hanging bags of human hair or strips of aluminum foil or mirrors on plants.
The most effective way to keep deer from eating your plants is to protect the plants with fencing, either in the form of wire baskets around individual plants or eight-foot high fences around entire gardens or yards.
Mother with fawn
There are also many ornamental landscaping plants commercially available that deer do not like to eat. You can obtain lists of these plants from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) office and at some greenhouses. Also consider planting native plants on your property. Not only are they easier to maintain, but they hold up much better to repeated browsing by deer.
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