Urban Wildlife Conflicts

Big Game - Antelope, Deer and Elk

Habitat Management

Planting landscaping plants that are not attractive (not palatable) helps reduce damage from wildlife. Lists of species that are unattractive to wildlife can be obtained from nurseries, county extension agents, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and on the Internet.


Plant covers and protective netting on plants is a good way to protect them. Fencing is an effective technique; a variety of fence designs can be used. Depending on the number of plants to be protected and the planting arrangement, they can be fenced individually, or collectively. The best fence type (barbed wire, mesh) will depend on the situation. Fencing is often the only means to protect young trees and shrubs from males rubbing their antlers on them at the end of the velvet period or during the rut.


A variety of products can be used to protect plants from being eaten. Repellents such as Repel®, Scare Away® and Deer Away® can be purchased from nurseries, feed stores or from catalog and Internet suppliers. A repellent can be made using Tabasco® or other hot sauce diluted in water, then it can be sprayed with a spray bottle on plants. Deer can sometimes be repelled with handfuls of human hair (from barber shops or beauty salons) in 6- 8 inch ‘bags’ made from sections of women’s nylon hose and hung 24-36 inches above the ground at approximately 3-foot intervals. Repellents are temporary and will have to be renewed periodically. Exposure to sun slowly degrades them, and precipitation will wash them away.


Scarecrows and effigies may repel deer under certain circumstances, especially if they are moving. Motion activated lights may also protect areas from these animals. Mylar streamers, mylar strips twisted a few times and strung between poles like single strand fencing, pinwheels, and disposable aluminum pie plates dangling fromstring are other methods to frighten animals. The Contech motion activated sprinkler is a sprinkler pest chaser thatcan also be effective. Search on the Internet for “sprinkler pest chaser”.
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