If you are an outdoor grower, you may find that animals such as deer become a problem for you and your crops. Those these animals are beautiful and typically peaceful; they can become a nuisance is you have an outdoor garden as they’ll definitely nibble on your crops when they get the opportunity (along with rabbits btw).
There are numerous options available to keep deer out of cannabis plants. A quick trip to your local Home Depot or Sam’s Club can help you keep the deer at bay. Here are a few things to look for if you suspect that deer may be eating away at your crops, and ways to get rid of them.
Signs That Deer Are Getting Into Your Crops
If deer are getting into your crops, they’ll leave some signs of their presence. Things to look for include:
- Heart-shaped hoofprints in the dirt
- Leaves that are torn in a jagged fashion
- Piles of round, marble-sized droppings
- Trampled or crushed plants
Deer Deterrent Methods
Once it’s obvious that deer are getting into your crops, you can begin to implement deterrent strategies.
Some effective options include:
Scent-based Deterrents: Deer have an extremely strong sense of smell, which is what attracts them to your crops and even your home if you leave the windows open when preparing or cooking meals. Consider things that carry human scent to the area around your home.
The University Of Vermont mentions getting human hair and hanging it in areas deer may be. You can also use various soaps that contain strong smells such as essential oils, peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary oil are really good deterrents.
Another method is to plot plants with scents deer don’t like, which may deter them from your crops. Some examples of these plants include:
Consider using these plants as a “scent border” to keep the deer away. Another scent option is professionally-made deer deterrents. You could make a border around your crops with this scent. The only downside is it may need reapplication often to maintain usefulness. Application rates are dependent on formulation and weather conditions.
Noise-based Deterrents As prey animals, deer have acute hearing and a sensitive startle reflex. This combination makes it easy to use noises as a way to keep them away. Noise-based options tend to fall into two categories:
1. Loud, humanly audible noises: One example would be a motion-activated device that makes a spark and loud popping noise to startle the animals away. Whistles and gas/propane “exploders” are also used as noise-based deterrents.
2. Ultrasonic options: Since deer have acute hearing, they can hear well above the range humans can. Therefore, ultrasonic devices can work as deterrents for them. An added benefit is not breaking noise ordinances.
Physical Barriers: Another effective option is fencing. There are some relatively inexpensive deer fencing options like a polypropylene mesh. You can find fencing that will meet your budget and needs if you choose to go this route.
When trying to keep deer out of cannabis plants, there are numerous safe and effective options. Using one or more of these methods should help you save your crops from being eaten away by deer.