A reader of mine wrote in to ask, "What types of deer fencing are available?" It seems that this reader's shrubs had been decimated by these notorious pests recently. He was not interested in making the switch to deer-resistant shrubs (he had his heart set on particular kinds of shrubs, of which, unhappily, Bambi was equally fond). So the option of erecting a fence sounded appealing. He just wanted an overview of the basic types available, so that he could make an informed decision before buying.
After sending my response to this reader, I decided to flesh it out a bit and offer it to the rest of my audience. For all of you who have deer problems, this article is probably long overdue.
Types of Deer Fencing: an Overview
If keeping Bambi away from your yard is of paramount concern, then you may want to install some type of barrier. But first learn about the different types of deer fencing available.
Deer fencing varies in terms of cost, "invisibility," effectiveness and durability. The conventional type is made of a heavy metal: it is effective and durable, but it is also relatively expensive. Nor do these high barriers blend well into the landscape. I will touch briefly here on some of the pros and cons of two other types of deer fencing:
- Electric deer fencing
- Polypropylene mesh deer fencing
The electric type fence is one of the cheapest types, generally consisting of a wire or wires strung relatively low along the desired property border.
- Pro: Electric deer fencing may be an alternative where the height of conventional deer fence might present too much of an eyesore.
- Con: Having an electrically-charged unit around may not be a viable option where children or pets will be present.
Note that electric deer fencing is sometimes baited. In this case, the intention is to expose the animal to the shock, which discourages it from approaching the area in the future.
A variation on this type of fence is a product known as, The Wireless Deer Fence™. In this case, baited posts (with no fence, per se) are placed on deer paths leading into your property or around plants that Bambi tends to eat. Attracted to the baited posts, the animals receive a mild shock, discouraging future incursions into your yard.
Polypropylene mesh is more expensive than electric deer fencing but less expensive than conventional deer fencing.
- Pro: The mesh is nearly invisible.
- Con: Mesh deer fencing, while durable, is not as durable as the conventional kind.
A variation on mesh deer fencing is one composed of metal but coated with black polyethylene, to render it less visible. This type is more expensive than the mesh kind but also more durable.
In lieu of fences, some people prefer repellents. These range from the DIY types (human hair is a favorite) to commercial repellents that you can buy on Amazon.com, for example, such as Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent. Others like to use the Scarecrow Sprinkler, which scares the pests away with sprays of water.
Not interested in any of these options? Then you may want to consult my lists of deer-resistant plants, instead.