Date of this Version
A 2-year study was undertaken to assess the efficacy of Deer Stopper™ repellent for reducing white-tailed deer damage to ornamental plantings. Efficacy testing was conducted on a captive deer herd at Auburn University’s White-tailed Deer Research Facility and the Stimpson Wildlife Sanctuary, Jackson, AL. Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata), a highly preferred browse species in this area, was used as the test plant at all study sites. Plants were arranged randomly between treatment and control. Treatment plants were sprayed with prescribed applications of Deer Stopper™ and percent defoliation and browsing estimated for each plant. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare effectiveness of treatments. During the first 3 months of the study, deer became acclimated to the plants with little browsing pressure to either treatment or control plants. Once deer began to browse on the shrubs consistently, the mean number of leaves on treatment plants was significantly higher (df=26,1; F=22.11; P=0.000) than the mean number of leaves on control plants. Preliminary analyses of these data suggest that Deer Stopper™ was effective in reducing browsing damage to Japanese Holly.