It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to plant young saplings, redesign your home’s landscaping, or prepare a new garden to harvest in the upcoming season. Unfortunately, there are many pests that threaten to invade your yard and garden and devastate your hard work. Amongst the most stubbornly intrusive of these pests are deer.
If you have recently noticed pest damage around your yard, how can you determine what kind of animal problem you are facing? Have deer been causing problems in your garden? What can you do to tell the difference between deer and other pests? Look for these 5 telltale signs of deer damage.
1 – Height of Damage
Small rodents, like squirrels and rabbits, can definitely do damage to your garden. But they will not be able to reach the same branches and bushes as deer can. If you find damage at heights of 3-6 feet off the ground, you are most likely facing a deer problem.
2 – Hoof Prints
Deer have a very distinctive hoof print that you can look for near debris or in damaged areas. Their print looks like an upside down heart and, thanks to their substantial size and weight as compared to other pests, deer tend to leave easily identifiable tracks after invading your gardens.
3 – Scat (Droppings)
Deer leave behind pebble sized droppings as they munch on your garden plants. If you think you are dealing with a deer problem, look around the damaged areas for small scat piles.
4 – Torn Leaves and Stripped Branches
Deer do not have front teeth, so they rip leaves off of trees and bushes instead of biting them. This creates a distinctive trail of debris that can be attributed to deer. If you see torn leaves that have been ripped off without bite marks, you are probably the victim of a deer invasion. Sometimes deer will pull entire leaves off of their favorite plants, leaving behind stripped branches; this is another good sign that deer are dining on your garden plants.
5 – Tree Rubbing
Deer tend to rub the bark off trees, especially small saplings. If you noticed rubs on the trees around your yard, deer are the most likely culprits.
Garden pests tend to sneak in during the night or early morning to cause damage. You might not be able to see the invaders, but you can identify them by reviewing the damage they have done and what they have left behind. If you notice these 5 signs of deer damage, take steps to protect your yard and garden from these beautiful, yet troublesome, pests.