Recently, we celebrated the full Buck Moon, which took place on July 1st. This Moon is so named in July because it is the time when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It is a process that enlarges antlers as the deer grows. I would equate it to a teenage growth spurt. And just like a growing teen, deer crave food during this time.
So over the July 4th holiday weekend, I saw that two of my hosta plants had been destroyed by a single deer one night. Deer are creatures of habit and once they find something tasty, they usually return for more. Many animals don’t like hostas but they are a feast for bucks. So what to do?
These tried-and-true remedies are great for deterring deer without chemicals:
- Hot red pepper or Cayenne – sprinkle over surviving plants.
- Dried Blood or Blood Meal (found at home garden centers) – put on stems and that will send a message.
- Dial soap is reported to be a deterrent – original. Has to be Dial. Drill a hole and hang from trees or shave pieces and put in a stocking and hang.
- Aluminum foil – the refection scares them.
- Tin cans tied to a post – the sound startles them.
The antler season last about 2 months, so if you have a similar problem, it’s best to nip it early. And, if you can determine the direction from which the deer are coming, you might spread the dried blood meal along the path to send a “stay out” message even before they set foot in your yard.
If you have a another solution to deter deer, I’d love to hear it!