Damage to ornamental plants by white-tailed deer has increased dramatically over recent years. Deer damage to home landscapes and gardens is the number one complaint in suburban areas. An integrated approach to deer damage management can often be the most optimal way to deal with the problem. Using any one or a combination of strategies including population management, fencing, vegetation management, and commercial repellents or scare tactics is the best approach to minimize negative impacts from deer. Commercial deer repellents have become increasingly popular with residential homeowners as a means of keeping deer damage at tolerable levels.
The white-tailed deer is of great economic and aesthetic importance to Maryland citizens. But an overpopulation of deer can result in negative consequences, such as damaged crops, landscapes, and forests, and safety concerns due to deer vehicle collisions and Lyme disease. State, local and private groups all have a stake in helping to manage the state's deer population.
Damage to ornamental plants by white-tailed deer continues to increase. The increase is attributed to rising deer populations, human populations shifting to rural and suburban homesites, loss of deer habitat, and landowner decisions to prevent deer hunting. This fact sheet provides landowners with an overview of plants that may reduce or eliminate costly deer browsing.