As one of Walt Disney’s most beloved animated feature films, “Bambi” the vulnerable woodland creature, symbolizes what most of us visualize when we see deer crossing the road or even munching leaves in the greenspace near our own backyard. Sweet, affectionate and doe-eyed, Bambi is sympathetic, innocent and hungry.
It can be difficult to separate fiction from reality. We would all like the deer we see to embody the much beloved Bambi, but the truth is that deer and their fawns pose a serious threat to humans.
Climate change is rapidly creating an environment in which wildlife must search for food over a greater area. Deer are inching ever closer to spaces where people eat, play, work, and live. You need to strategize and keep wildlife at a distance. For deer, it is natural to gracefully leap over obstacles to get to a tasty garden or a bunch of woody plantings. Adding a strong 7- 8-foot fence or several fences placed in a staggered pattern, keep near-sighted deer away. There are many effective styles of deer fencing that are nearly invisible for deer. Numerous styles are strengthened at the bottom and have overlapping to keep mice and other tick carrying critters out of your landscape.
While it might be thrilling to witness a white-tailed deer prancing into your yard, keep in mind that they aren’t just bringing their sweet, angelic looks with them. Ticks love to hitch rides on deer, mice and other furry critters. There may be as many as one thousand ticks on one deer alone. While ticks are not born with Lyme disease they easily contract it from field mice. It is a very real and immediate threat for humans.
There are other diseases that humans can contract from a deer tick including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Powassan Virus Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. It’s important to keep the furry intruders from getting into your yard and delivering ticks literally to your front door.
Pro-Active Deer and Tick Defense Strategies
- Install Deer Fencing – Affordable, durable, and environmentally friendly, deer fencing securely encloses your yard so that you and your family can enjoy picnics and games on the lawn or simply walking through your thriving produce or flower garden. Strong, and offered in varying heights of up to 8 feet or more, and differing materials to properly meet your deer and other wildlife deterrent needs, this nearly invisible fencing has been crafted of numerous materials that can be secured below ground to safely offer protection from other wildlife that often burrow such as voles, groundhogs and squirrels who also carry ticks. Deer fencing has proven to prevent over 90% of deer, and ticks from invading gardens, lawns and other private green spaces. It lasts up to 25 years or longer and is the kindest and most effective defense against the invasion of deer, mice and their ticks tag-a-longs.
- Tick-Repellent Clothing – Wearing clothing that fully covers arms and legs is another pro-active step in preventing a tick from hopping onto your skin.
- Spray a Deet Repellent, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to Repel Ticks. Spraying it onto your equipment, shoes, socks and pants has been tested as a very effective method of repelling ticks but it does not kill them.
- Keep Your Yard Tidy – Mice, who transmit diseases to ticks that infest them, love to build nests in stacks of lumber and piles of debris. By tidying up your yard and eliminating the debris that attracts mice you eliminate the problem and put yourself at less risk of contracting a disease via blood-sucking ticks.
- Check Yourself & Other Family Members – Get into the habit of checking yourself and your family members for ticks once you’ve been outside. Ticks are often black, look a lot like poppy seeds and are an eighth of an inch in length. Female deer ticks are reddish-brown to black. Because of their generally small size, using a magnifying glass or the zoom on a phone camera will be helpful in finding them.
The Scary Reality of Tick Bites and Lyme Disease
An individual who has contracted Lyme Disease will experience flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle weakness. Often it is difficult to diagnose this long-hauling disease. It has the potential to be devastatingly painful and debilitating. Its harmful effects can spawn arthritis, chronic severe fatigue, cognitive impairment, joint pain and severe sleep disturbances.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by being a deer-avoider. Put effective safeguards in place to considerably lower your risk of exposure to tick borne Lyme Disease. The “Bambi” you learned to love was Disney fiction, the deer population today is extremely infested with ticks.