Diagnosis: Deer

Solving homeowners’ deer dilemmas

Homeowners across the country have seen the symptoms: Missing blooms, torn leaves with ragged edges, hoof prints in the lawn. It can only mean one thing: Deer. People at their wits end will erect fences, set out noisemakers, and even resort to trying to catch the animals in the act. However, deer know how to foil these attempts, and you’re still left with munched-on plants.

Bob Lillis would know. He manages corn seed development test plots for Monsanto in Iowa, and wages constant war against deer who would willingly eat his entire corn crop. Relief came when he began using All Season Weatherproof Deer Repellent (formerly Deer Fortress). “It’s by far the best product we’ve ever used,” he says. “We have experienced a 100 percent improvement since we started using it. What sets this product apart is that it is weather-proof, waterproof and one application lasts the entire growing season.”

Driving deer away

“In recent years, there have been two basic kinds of deer repellents – liquid sprays that are applied directly to the plant’s foliage or granules that can be spread around the base of the plant or shrub,” explains Stewart Clark, director of research and development at Senoret Chemical Company, makers of All Season. “The mode-of-action, in most cases, is either an odor or an offensive taste that repels the deer. However, there are significant issues with both of these,” notes Clark.

Since both liquid and granular applications are exposed to the elements, their effectiveness is measured, at best, in weeks. Rain can very quickly wash the repellent off of the plant’s leaves or dissolve it into the ground. Throughout the course of a normal growing season, numerous applications are required and just one missed application can leave a garden open to deer invasions. In addition, liquid repellents tend to smell terrible. The odor can be so bad that, for several hours, homeowners cannot enjoy sitting outdoors.

Weatherproof solution

“The new All Season product is unique in the market today because it is virtually odorless to humans, weather-proof, non-toxic and one application lasts all season long,” says Clark. It uses dried blood, a scent-based repellent, to trigger an innate “danger” response in deer, which, in turn, causes a flight response. This active ingredient has been a proven, highly effective repellent for several decades. Studies have shown that, next to fenced enclosures, blood is the most effective way to repel deer. It produces no noxious smells to humans and is a safe, natural, environmentally friendly product that can be used in any garden, including vegetable gardens.

The All Season repellent is packaged in a patented, weather-proof container that is specially designed to allow the scent to escape but keep rain and other elements at bay. Homeowners simply stake the containers in the ground or hang them in shrubs four to eight feet apart throughout the desired protection area. Then, just sit back, and allow the product to work. There’s no messy mixing, spraying or reapplication necessary. Because no reapplication is needed, the product also costs less over a season than most traditional repellant options.

“Last year, I lost a big chunk of my day lilies and roses from deer crossing through my property. I used a spray repellent, which would mostly keep them away – as long as I continued to reapply the spray,” says Greg Eckart of Saybrook, Connecticut. “This year, the deer returned, and I decided to try All Season because I’d heard it didn’t have to be reapplied. It’s been eight weeks since I began using it, and since then, I haven’t had to reapply it. And best of all, I’ve had no deer on my property – which says a lot, since my neighbors have deer coming through their property all the time.”

It is important to note that no deer repellent is 100 percent effective in every situation, cautions Clark. As natural deer habitats are squeezed by development, deer must search harder for food. Repellents create an unpleasant environment for deer, but some may still forage in yards out of sheer survival instinct. However, proper use and application of repellents can lead to an increased success rate.

Consumers with deer repellent questions are invited to call the All Season hotline at 866-738-7920 for personalized assistance in solving deer dilemmas or log onto www.wrsweeney.com for more information. – Courtesy of MS.

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