I know not all of my readers have issues with deer feeding on their landscaping, but I bet all of you know someone who does.

We think about deer only being in a country setting, but that is not necessarily so in Central Texas. There has been an over-population of deer in recent years, therefore protocol was put into place to reduce their numbers. With our vast open and scrub-brush areas, new homes and developments are erupting as well as many deer simply venturing into local neighborhoods all around us.

I can always tell homes that have deer problems, either by the barriers placed around trees and shrubs, or sometimes by the types of plants planted in a yard next door to someone with barriers around their landscaping.

As much as I love watching deer walking and grazing, I’m SO glad we don’t have a deer problem in my neighborhood. They would love my yard, no doubt. I’ve only seen one deer in my eight years in this home, and it was lost, scared, wet and trapped. I felt bad for it.

So what can be done if you, or someone you know, are having deer trouble? There are a few things, although none are fool-proof.

You can place fences, borders or any other barrier you can think of to deter deer from reaching plants they love to munch. You might purchase a motion-detecting device that will use ultrasonic sound and flashing lights to scare off deer that approach your yard.

There are companies that advertise their sprays, pellets or liquids will repel deer. There also are some home remedies that tout promises of keeping deer at a distance, using substances such as certain bar soaps, garlic, eggs, pepper and human hair.

You might give up on some of the more sought-after plants and resort to growing only deer-resistant species.

Before I lived at my current house, I lived south down State Highway 195 nearer to Interstate 35, and when there was no rain, the deer ate even the deer-resistant plants as a last resort.

In Central Texas, deer are not only common but indigenous. We moved into their habitat and there’s not a whole lot we can do about them.

So, we can fight them and be unhappy, or accept that, from time to time, they may come to feast on your favorite plant species. You could make lemonade out of lemons and take up wildlife photography and get some great shots of them and your plants and flowers.

I’m not making light of the situation. I can imagine it is very frustrating to spend time and money planting shrubs, trees and vegetables, only to see them nibbled to nubs.

Fences and barriers can work, although they may take away from your yard’s aesthetics. Try the methods one at a time and see which works best for you.

Darla Horner Menking is an outdoor enthusiast and Herald correspondent. Contact her at darla.menking@gmail.com.

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