Pennsylvania winters and deer problems seem to go hand in hand. According to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s website, we had the second highest rate of vehicle accidents involving deer in the country last year. In fact, Pennsylvania residents, on average, have a one in 70 chance of being in an accident involving a deer.
Unfortunately deer don’t just cause damage to vehicles, they also can be quite destructive to your landscape. As the winter arrives and their smorgasbord of food dwindles to scraps, deer will search for anything to satisfy their appetite.
If you’ve found your landscape the target of some hungry deer, you may be interested in some helpful information about minimizing winter deer damage.
- Deer repellents do not all work in the winter – Some deer repellents target the deer’s sense of smell as a deterrent. These types of repellents aren’t as effective in the winter since the cold can reduce their sense of smell.
- Fencing is no safe bet – A common height for fencing is between six and eight feet. At this height, a deer can easily jump right over your fence. If you’re interested in building a fence to keep out deer, experts recommend that it be at least 10 feet high–unfortunately, your local government may not allow something that high!
- Evergreens are a winter treat – Deer typically prefer leafy snacks, which are plentiful in the summer. As fall and winter arrive, and the leaves drop and disappear, deer turn to the only foliage that remains: your evergreens. In our area, arborvitae are a common favorite for deer.
- Learn where and what the deer eat – Deer seem to congregate in the same areas and eat the same snacks each year. They find a safe route and don’t tend to stray too far. If certain areas of your yard or certain plants are hit hard, find ways to protect these areas or plants. Anything they don’t bother with, you shouldn’t waste time or money protecting.
- You can get a good idea how bad deer damage will be – Acorns can be a great indicator of how hungry the deer will be this winter. The more acorns scattered around the area, the more food is readily available for them. If you don’t notice any acorns around, or the yearly crop is low, you may need to take extra precautions with your landscape.
We hope you find this advice useful and are able to put it to good use. Please share it with friends or neighbors whose landscapes may also be suffering damage from those pesky deer.
If your landscape has been taking a beating and you need some help restoring it to its natural beauty, give the team at Hively Landscapes a call and we’ll be happy to help. You can reach us at 717-292-5696.