Deer droppings in the yard are definitely a disgusting issue. Whenever you spot them, you’ll want to get rid of this poop right away.
However, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of deer scat as a garden fertilizer. So, should you remove them or use them as fertilizer?
In this post, I’ll help you make up your mind about what to do with deer poop in the yard. More importantly, I’ll guide you on safely removing or using these droppings as fertilizer.
Are Deer Droppings Harmful?
Deer poop has a few safety problems associated with it. If someone gets close to it, they might end up getting sick.
This is because deer poop often contains pathogens that can be contagious, especially for children. The same is also true for people with compromised immunity, such as the elderly or pregnant women.
Another problem with deer scat is that it sometimes carries harmful bacteria like E. coli. This bacteria can be hazardous to people and animals around it.
What about its impact on your garden? Well, deer droppings contain a high amount of nitrogen content.
So, when these droppings fall on the grass, they supply the lawn and surrounding plants with the necessary nitrogen to thrive.
Still, the problem is when a large amount of droppings are concentrated in a particular area. In this case, this waste can cause the grass to burn out due to the high amount of nitrogen.
That being said, you can still use deer poop as fertilizer for your garden if you do it safely and correctly.
Is Deer Poop a Good Fertilizer for a Garden?
Whether deer scat can be good for your garden depends on the lifestyle of the animal that has produced it.
Deer roaming in the wild usually produce droppings that aren’t so beneficial for fertilizing. This is because of the poor diet they consume in the wild.
Conversely, deer living near urban areas can access ample food waste that often contains valuable nutrients.
This considerably improves their diet and enhances their scat value as a fertilizer.
That way, if the deer in your area belong to the second group, you can use their poop to fertilize your grass.
However, as mentioned above, you need to be cautious if significant accumulations are centered in one area. In this case, the concentration of poop in a small spot may lead to burnout on the lawn.
To prevent this scenario, you need to spread this scat over the whole garden’s space. Alternatively, you can mix it with other components to prepare a fertilizer for the garden plants.
Either way, you need to know how to safely use this poop as a fertilizer.
How to Safely Use Deer Poop as a Fertilizer
First, you should run deer droppings through a hot composting process for around five days before using it. The temperature needs to hit at least 140°F in the process.
Moreover, it also needs to be composted for at least 40 days. This is more than enough time to kill all pathogens that tend to form inside the deer droppings.
That said, even after taking these safety measures, I recommend you avoid using droppings as a fertilizer for edible plants.
This is because it may still have a slight harmful impact even after this long composting process. Instead, you can use this fertilizer for non-edible gardens like those for flowers and shrubs.
How to Safely Remove Deer Poops in Your Garden
If you’re not going to use the poop as fertilizer, you’ll need to remove it from your garden as quickly as possible.
Here’s how to do it safely: wear safety gloves and use a shovel to pick up the poop and place it into a plastic bag. Then, seal the bag properly before you discard it in the trash bin.
If there’s quite a massive amount of scat, or you’re feeling disgusted removing it, consider calling a landscaping company to do the job for you.
How to Repel Deer from Your Garden: The Two Easiest Tactics
To avoid the hassle of having to remove deer poop frequently, you should prevent these animals from entering your garden in the first place.
Although you can use several methods to achieve this, not all are easy or affordable.
In this section, I’ll share two simple and low-cost tactics you can apply today to keep deer away from your yard.
Here they are:
1. Make Your Garden a Bit Scary
You can use a few harmless scare tactics to keep deer out of your garden. I highly recommend motion-activated sprinklers for this purpose.
Their sudden movement and noise can scare deer and drive them away from the place.
Alternatively, use ultrasonic devices to repel deer. These devices will generate noise the deer can’t stand, so they’ll run away.
And if you own a dog, it’s time to let it play around the garden. The scent and barking of the dogs can frighten deer that try to approach the yard.
2. Grow Deer-Deterrent Plants
Some strong-smelling herbs and plants can repel deer when they approach your garden. This will make them stay away from the yard and go elsewhere.
These pungent deer-deterrent plants include rosemary, lavender, oregano, garlic, thyme, chives, and catmint.
Deer also dislike plants that have foliage with hairy or fuzzy texture. This is because if they munch on them, the plants cause deer to experience unpleasant sensations on their tongues.
Examples of plants with fuzzy leaves are lady’s mantle, yarrow, purple top vervain, and heliotrope.
So, you can spread these herbs and plants around your garden to keep deer away.
And that’d be my personal opinion in a nutshell! And if you have children who play regularly in the garden, you should definitely remove deer poop once detected.
I’d recommend you do the same if you won’t be able to hot-compost these droppings before using them as a fertilizer.
Otherwise, you can use the scat to fertilize your lawn and non-edible plants. Hopefully, now you can figure out what to do with deer poop in your yard.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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