You may get a thrill from watching a graceful deer nuzzle an adorable fawn near your house, but when the deer come onto your property to munch on your prize plants, the thrill is gone. And deer on your property will bring ticks that can make you and your family sick. Proper fencing is the best way to alleviate both these problems. Here’s a guide to your choices.
Keep in mind that no matter what it’s made of, your fence must be at least eight feet tall, since deer can easily jump anything lower. The exception is a wooden privacy fence, which can be shorter because deer cannot see inside it and won’t jump into an unknown situation. You will also need a gate that deer can’t enter.
- Mesh fences made of galvanized metal or black, plastic-coated metal are the most durable option. They work well and are mid-range in price. Old-style chain link fences, if tall enough, are just as effective as farm and ranch metal mesh fences but less attractive.
- Plastic mesh fencing is less expensive than wire mesh and less visible, but it is not as durable. Be sure to select a thicker strand of mesh to resist deer that will test the fence to find an opening.
- A wooden privacy fence will keep deer out but costs more than either type of mesh fence.
- Electric wire fences designed primarily to restrain livestock are the least effective. Typically only three to four feet tall, deer can easily jump over them.
An added bonus of wooden and fine-mesh fences is that they help to keep out other wildlife.
Check your fences
Farmers and ranchers know to walk their fence lines periodically to check for damage that could allow livestock to escape. Likewise, occasionally survey your garden fence looking for damage, since deer are sure to exploit it to get at your luscious garden plants.
Limit deer menu choices
An additional strategy for keeping deer out of your landscape area is to plant flowers and shrubs they do not find appealing. Talk to your local nursery about landscape plant choices that deer won’t eat.
Related – Adding a Fence To Your Property