Dealing with Mice, Bats, and Other Pests
Uninvited Guest: Deer
Habitat: Most of the United States, from woodlands to suburbia (sometimes even downtown).
Annoying habits: Devours tulip buds just as they're ready to bloom. Chews hedges to a nub. Rubs the bark off some trees. Tramples flower beds. Plays chicken on roads and highways.
What you need to know: Can be a host of the tick that carries Lyme disease. May be able to leap over eight-foot fences. Usually dines at nightfall or just before dawn, treating your yard as a salad bar.
What you need to do: Plant things that deer don't like. Find examples at highcountrygardens.com, or contact your local Cooperative Extension office to check the palates of your local herd. Safe repellents (available at garden centers) include Deer Stopper and Bobbex. Or try scarecrow sprinklers with motion detectors that trigger alarming bursts of water.
If that doesn't work: The best offense is a good fence. Count on erecting one that's more than eight feet high. Or install two five-footers about four feet apart from each other.