U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

April 1998


Published in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PEST MANAGEMENT, 1998, 44(4) 247- 249. Copyright 1998. Permission to use.


In response to increased white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) encroachment on airports, we evaluated the effectiveness of cattle guards as deer exclusion devices. We conducted three experiments in a 2200 ha fenced facility in northern Ohio with high (91/km2) deer densities during 1994 ± 1995. In each experiment, we monitored deer crossings at two or three cattle guards (4.6[L] x 3[W]x 0.5 or 1.0[D] m) constructed at fence openings for 2 weeks pre- and post-installation. For each experiment, the mean daily number of deer crossings after installation of cattle guards was reduced (P < 0.01) by > 88% compared with respective crossing rates during pretreatment. Reduction in deer crossings using cattle guards with 0.5 or 1.0 m deep excavations were similar (95 ± 96% vs 98%) overall. Cattle guards at permanent openings used for vehicular traffic appear a viable technique to reduce deer movements into fenced airports and other facilities where reductions in deer intrusions are desired.