(ARA) – Foraging by deer, rabbits, voles and other garden pests damages plant shoots as they reach for the warmth of the sun. When they’ve found a food source, hungry herbivores will return to it, time and time again. Now is the time to take steps to prevent them.
Deer, in particular, are creatures of habit. Their noses will lead them to return to areas where food is tasty, abundant and safe to forage. Once animals are attracted to an area and begin feeding, it is more difficult to discourage them from returning. Deer have good memories and they learn from each other. When one deer is continually turned away from an area, other deer will be reluctant to enter that area as well.
Deer and other pesky garden visitors use their noses to alert them to nearby danger. Disrupt their sense of security and you’ve achieved the primary factor for turning them away. Research, conducted by the USDA Animal Wildlife Research Center in Olympia, Wash., has proven that odor-based repellents are more effective than other repellent systems, where the animal needs to taste treated plants before being repelled. Studies investigating trends in efficacy of deer repellents indicate that, of the 20 products tested, repellents with active ingredients that emitted sulfurous odors, i.e., bloodmeal or egg solids, generally provided the best results.
Gardeners eager to get those results in their garden have some good options, even if they are concerned about keeping their plots and beds organic. Tree World Plant Care Products, for instance, offers Plantskydd (pronounced “plant-skid”), an Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI)-certified organic repellent that deters deer, rabbits, voles and other small pests. Originally developed in Sweden and now made in the United States, it was the first animal repellent to be listed by OMRI as “safe for organic food production.” “It repels by emitting an odor that browsing animals associate with predator activity – stimulating a fear-based response that will have garden feeders looking for somewhere else to dine,” says Claude Boisvert, president of Tree World.
Remember – foraging animals are creatures of habit. That’s why it’s important to act now to prevent browsing damage. Break their pattern by applying a repellent to your garden and landscape, and you will deter them from your backyard all season long.
Tree World Plant Care Products makes a full line of repellents that are available nationwide at lawn and garden and hardware stores. For more information, visit www.plantskydd.com.