Deer and rabbit damage can occur at any time in the orchard. However, this past winter was especially bad when deep snow brought deer herds into orchards. Some orchards experienced up to 30% loss of apple buds. The snow was high enough that rabbits were able to reach the low buds as well. Here’s a roundup of products available to stop pests from damaging your crops in season as well as in the off season.
Deer Shield, Electronic Deer Repellent
Deer Shield broadcasts digital recordings of aggressive, hostile, and territorial deer through high fidelity weather-resistant speakers to trigger a primal fear and flee response. These electronic devices use bioacoustic science that capitalizes on the survival instincts of the deer. The system also uses randomization to prevent the herd from getting accustomed to the sound.
Two Deer Shield models available. Deer Shield Pro is motion-activated and is designed to protect residential gardens and crop access points. The effective range of the motion sensor is 75-feet by 75-feet. The Deer Shield Super Pro is adjustable and uses four speakers. The device can protect areas spanning up to 6 acres. For larger crops, a single unit with two speakers protects up to 800 linear feet of crop line. Deer Shield units operate on either 110 volts current or a standard 12 volt deep cycle battery. Optional solar panels are available.
Bonide Go-Away! Deer and Rabbit Repellent
Bonide Go-Away! Deer and Rabbit Repellent is a naturally-derived animal repellent for use directly on fruit, citrus, vegetables, and root crops to protect them from damage from deer, rabbits, and squirrels. The product is available in both quart concentrate and quart ready-to-use formulations. It can be used on listed crops up to the day of harvest. Applications should start as soon as plants are set or when damage is first noted and should be made every three to seven days until control is noted, and then every two to three weeks to maintain the repellent effectiveness. Apply the product to foliage and developing fruit to the point of run-off.
Bobbex Deer Repellent And Bobbex-R, Small Animal Repellent
Bobbex Deer repellent spray is an all-natural and environmentally-friendly animal repellent proven effective at repelling deer, moose, and elk from browsing and causing damage to plantings and trees. The product consists of a combination of six repellent ingredients that blend the scents of putrescent eggs, garlic, fish, clove oil, and vinegar. It works as a fear repellent through the use of multiple layers of protein products known to be offensive to herbivores. It also tastes unpleasant to the animals. The product contains urea and Epsom, both beneficial for plant development. Bobbex Deer can be applied in any weather, thanks to a patented sticking agent, and is safe for use on the most sensitive plantings.
Bobbex-R repels rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, chipmunks, voles, and other small animals from foraging and destroying of landscapes and gardens. This fear repellent works through smell and taste aversion. Like Bobbex Deer, Bobbex-R can be applied in all weather and is safe for sensitive plantings. It can also be sprayed at the mouth of small animal burrows to prevent re-entry. Bobbex-R contains no petro chemicals. The spray also provides retention of moisture in plantings through periods of frigid weather, reduces frost damage, and decreases the desiccating effects of a hot summer day.
BrowseBan is a safe and natural plant protectant that uses Advanced Animal Aversion Technology in an emulsifiable concentrate to deter animals from browsing. BrowseBan is sprayed directly on the plant surface and forms a protective coating that deters animals from feeding on crops and migrating. The product is a complex blend of select capsacinioides — derived from natural, purified, and concentrated extracts of chili peppers — that has been formulated to create three distinct barriers of protection: scent, taste, and irritant aversions.
Through scent aversion, BrowseBan has an acute odor that causes the animals to flee the area. With taste aversion, the animal learns that the threatening odor is associated with an unpleasant taste. BrowseBan also creates a burning sensation when ingested. Although safe and natural, animals perceive this irritation to be dangerous.
For best results, BrowseBan should be applied prior to or at the earliest onset of animal activity. Where damage is severe, start treatments at least two weeks before the anticipated browsing period and/or the critical stages of plant growth. Repeat treatments every seven days, as needed, through harvest. BrowseBan is designed to easily wash off crops in postharvest. Water will remove BrowseBan from the plant.
The product must be re-applied after rainfall or irrigation in order to maintain its effectiveness. Follow the recommended dilution ratio of 1 gallon BrowseBan per 100 gallons of water.