Monster Pests: Deer and Your Homestead

When most people think of pests to their growing efforts, they envision bugs, mice, and maybe even the occasional rabbit. However, one of the most problematic is a much larger animal. In North America, the deer is a common pest, and one that causes much damage and destruction. Deer can even make you sick!

How do deer cause problems for homesteaders? Deer are usually lured to areas by food, sometimes by what is growing in the garden and sometimes what is put out by the homeowner for their livestock. Occasionally, deer many find their way to you when they are seeking shelter.

Deer may be pretty to look at, but they can sure be problematic. First, even if they come and go carefully, deer can litter your soil with droppings. They also eat parts of any food or plants and shrubs you may be growing, ruining the beautiful work you have done. Deer can also knock over or otherwise destroy other pieces of your farm, like fences. When confronted during mating season, male deer can be aggressive, but even if you are not in danger, deer can bring another pest – the deer tick – to your garden, and this little bug can make you very sick.

So what can you do to effectively control your deer problem? First, research all your natural repellents options so that you are not tempted to turn to dangerous chemicals and pesticides. There are certain plants that deer do not like, and by putting these around the perimeter of your property, you can often deter them from entering. If your land area is manageable you can also simply walk around in your lawn and garden daily. Your scent will signal danger to the deer, who should then avoid the area.

You should also learn ways in which to prevent ticks from jumping onto your body when you’re in your garden. Deer ticks carry lyme disease, which can make you very sick. Certain plants repel deer ticks, and natural and organic sprays are available.

Deer can be quite a problem. You can put up fences or use other methods to keep the deer off your land, but for a more simple and natural approach, simply learn how to protect yourself and then sit back and enjoy the deer in your view. If they become a real problem, contact your state’s game control office for help with controlling the deer population or completely ridding your property of deer.