Yes, deer do eat strawberries. As a matter of fact, they are known to be fond of many types of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries. In this article, we’ll dive into why deer might be attracted to strawberries, the impact that deer can have on strawberry crops, and what can be done to prevent deer from eating strawberries.
So, if you are a strawberry grower or simply want to protect your home garden, make sure to read on!
Deer’s diet and food preferences
Deer are herbivores, meaning they feed on plants, shrubs, and trees. In their natural habitat, they feed on a variety of plants that provide them with the nutrients they need to survive. However, when they venture into human-populated areas, they have been known to feed on a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops, including strawberries.
Strawberries are an attractive food source for deer because they are sweet and juicy. In addition, they are low in fiber and high in sugar, making them an ideal snack for deer. This makes them particularly vulnerable to deer damage during the fruiting season.
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Impact of deer on strawberry crops
The impact of deer on strawberry crops can be significant. In just one night, a single deer can eat an entire row of strawberries, leaving behind only stems and leaves. This type of damage can result in a substantial loss of yield for the grower and can also reduce the quality of the remaining fruit.
Moreover, deer also transmit diseases and parasites through their saliva and feces, which can infect the strawberries and other crops in the area. This can lead to further losses and potentially even render the crop unmarketable.
Protecting strawberries from deer damage
There are several methods that can be used to protect strawberries from deer damage. These include:
One of the most effective methods of protecting strawberries from deer is to construct a fence around the strawberry bed. The fence should be at least 8 feet tall to prevent deer from jumping over it, and it should be made of a material that is difficult for deer to see through, such as chicken wire or mesh fencing.
Another option is to use repellents. There are several types of repellents available, including chemical and natural repellents. Chemical repellents use strong odors or tastes to deter deer, while natural repellents use ingredients such as hot pepper, garlic, or vinegar to keep deer away.
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Planting deterrent plants
You can also plant deterrent plants near your strawberries to discourage deer from approaching the area. Some plants that have been known to deter deer include daffodils, alliums, and lavender.
In conclusion, deer do eat strawberries and can have a significant impact on strawberry crops. However, by taking steps to protect your strawberries, such as constructing a fence, using repellents, and planting deterrent plants, you can reduce the risk of deer damage and protect your crop.
Whether you are a commercial strawberry grower or simply want to protect your home garden, following these tips will help ensure that your strawberries stay safe from hungry deer.