Beat It Bambi

Deer and other wild animals have been munching on Gilroy

Living out in the country has its perks.
The air is cleaner, there is less noise pollution, and property
owners are free to do whatever they want without bothering
anyone.
Living out in the country has its perks.

The air is cleaner, there is less noise pollution, and property owners are free to do whatever they want without bothering anyone.

But while there may not be any humans for miles, country dwellers have a different breed of neighbors, and if they’re not monitored, the four-legged invaders can do some major damage in the garden.

Gilroy resident Jeff Anderson and his family have lived in their spacious home on Duke Court in the hills east of town for 14 years.

A landscaping lover, Andersen has always tried to keep an array of different blossoms and vegetables in his front, back and side yards, but his nosy four-legged neighbors would constantly munch of his gardening masterpieces.

“One year we planted a vineyard, and we stood out there one day looking over it saying ‘oh look how beautiful our grapes are,’ and the next day they were gone,” he said.

Anderson had more than just Bambi look-a-likes to deal with.

On a yearly basis wild hogs would come down and tear up his lawn, and the raccoons would do the same, but Anderson said they were more considerate.

“They would roll up the lawn nice and neatly and then eat the grubs underneath it,” he said. “But that was no big problem because I could just unroll it back into place.”

Some homeowners get fed up with their wild neighbors and choose to fence in their yards, which can take away from the wide open spaces they moved there for in the first place.

But if building a fence isn’t an option, Barbara Pallenberg, author of “Guerilla Gardening” says homeowners need to be on ‘border control’ and line their tasty flowers with others that animals hate.

“Poisonous, sticky plants or those with an unpleasant texture or nasty taste, will keep deer and other animals away, but be warned – they’ll eat anything if they or the winter has finished off their favorite food source,” she said. “Thorny plants, such as the Natal plum I have in my yard, will also do a nice job of deterring uninvited guests.”

Pallenberg also says human hair trimmings can detour wild animals as well as rubbing garlic on tree trunks or spreading human urine around.

“A rather pricey option is to buy coyote, fox, wolf, cougar or bobcat pee to frighten off deer and other animals,” she said.

Putting up with the day-to-day destruction of his yard is something Anderson said is part of country living.

“At the end of the day it’s all worth it to be out here,” he said.

South Valley Plants that deer don’t enjoy

Barberry, Satin Flower, Quince , Livingstone Daisy , Aarons Beard , Spearmint, Heather, Holly, Dahlias, Juniper, Clarkia, Periwinkle, Snapdragons, Scarlet Sage, Zinna, Oregon Grape

Recommended deer repellents for your yard

Nylon stocking with human hair inside

Hanging mirrors/ tinfoil strips,

Human urine, predator urine or droppings

Deodorant soap

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