Defends With Benefits

Industry Observer with Nature As Neighbors

Defends With Benefits - A Simple Solution With Bonus Rewards


This is a follow-up to last year's "Lions and Tigers and Pears - Oh Deer!!" in which furtive wildlife trash our best-laid plans.


In Summary: we spend a lot of time every spring pruning, fertilizing and spraying the multiple fruit trees around our property. We even did a video tutorial on proper pruning and spraying - for "maximum fruit". That term is in quotes because, in spite of diligent husbandry, all the fruit mysteriously disappeared overnight!


                                                BEFORE                                            AFTER

We discovered that our local deer family had a wonderful late-night snack at our expense. Every bit of fruit disappeared!

Rural Living Comes With Natural Consequences

You'd think we would know better. Living in a rural area has taught us to protect our gardens from marauding deer. In our defense, we did cover the fruit with heavy mesh bags - thinking that would protect them. Well, that plan didn't work. We found bags scattered about the property - torn up with bite marks through the mesh. Adding Insult to Injury.


Protective Fruit Bags
                                               "Best Laid Plans..."

At the time we tried being philosophical - "Well, at least it went to our local wildlife." But I was determined not to let it happen the next season.

Occam Was Right - A Simple Solution Is The Best

After doing some basic research, and rejecting the more drastic measures (e.g. smelly repellent or hunting), it looked like I needed higher protection for the trees outside our fenced yard. Unfortunately, the trees are next to huge, immovable boulders, requiring a very large enclosure. That is impractical and not cost-effective.


After more research - and a suggestion from fellow Active Rainer Alexandra Siegel - I devise Plan B - Deer Netting. As Alexandra noted, deer netting is used in vineyards throughout Northern California as an environmentally-friendly solution. So I fashion some make-shift head gear for each tree, and drape the nets over each tree - cinching them around the trunk.


Defends With Benefits

Voila - it works! Sure enough, no midnight raids this year. (Or, if they tried, they weren't successful.) And Bonus! The netting actually serves as a net. You can see in the photo that securing the net around the trunk creates a pouch that catches fruit. Solving the age-old problem of fruit falling on the ground to be eaten by bugs and predators before I can get to them.


Putting an end to the midnight raid is a huge relief. No shooting deer, no rotting repellent, and no over-sized fence. Just a simple but elegant solution that provides a bonus feature. It defends with benefits. Looks like we'll be using safety nets again next year.


If you'd like to hear more about the Trials and Tribulations (but Joyful Pleasure) of life in the country, Give Us a Call


Posted by

Debb Janes  Bernie Stea
Call or Text 360-608-4900

We help buyers and sellers in Camas, Washougal, Brush Prairie/Hockinson, Salmon Creek, Felida, and other Vancouver, Washington Areas. 

We bring our passion for nature and beautiful environments to Real Estate. Multigenerational and family estates, country land and homes, and small farmsteads are our speciality.

We agree with our clients, "The true luxury of rural living is having elbowroom for the soul.


Comments (34)

Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your solution.

Deer have been eating our flowers this year.

Sep 26, 2020 03:33 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Sep 26, 2020 06:28 PM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

I lose my figs every time they start to go ripe!  I just might see if I can find some of that deer netting to keep my "harvesters" away. Thanks for the great tip!

Sep 26, 2020 09:07 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD Glad to see your deer problem has been solved and I like the pouch.

Sep 27, 2020 06:56 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Congrats on  your feature this week from Kathy!  Well deserved!

Sep 27, 2020 07:07 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a fantastic idea, and so many benefits as well!

Sep 27, 2020 11:18 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - I really wish I had know that solution years ago.  I just gave up on replacing shrubs that the deer liked.

Sep 27, 2020 11:25 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Debb, thanks to you and Ron and Alexandra Seigel for a tried and true solution that should work in our deer-filled woods.  In summer the doe and her fawns resting in the grass under trees are fine.  I once had bushes outside the home office that deer loved.  Dining on those bushes was appreciated, they were prickly leaf catchers.  The deer did a favor :)

Sep 27, 2020 01:04 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - it pays to have friends! It pays to have a net! It pays to never give up and try, try, try, until you get the right answer! 

What a wonderful follow-up story!!!

Sep 27, 2020 05:04 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, a great suggestion came from Alexandra.  That poor deer family will move on to someone else's yard now.

Sep 28, 2020 09:34 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I'm not sold on the idea. I figured if they ate the bags, they will try it again thru the netting. Either way, good story.

We used to have deer come & get drunk on an apple tree a few doors down. Something happens to them when the apples get too old & they start acting stupid. I mean the deer not the apples!

Sep 28, 2020 09:58 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's a great story, Debb and Bernie. From all the stories I have heard deer seem to be voracious eaters. They used to destroy my Mom's roae garden.

Glad you received a solution from Ron and Alexandra Seigel that worked!!


Sep 28, 2020 04:29 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

A great solution for your fruit trees Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD. One of my recent sellers just sent a letter to the new owners telling them where to buy the feed corn for the deer.  No wonder there were deer at the house every time I showed it. 

Sep 28, 2020 09:24 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Debb and Bernie. Rural living does have natural consequences. And a bit of animal creativity. Enjoy your day!

Sep 29, 2020 05:08 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD much of what happens in our environment is under the topic of "survival".... nature has its "order' and "surviving" is at the top of the list.... animals, insects, plants with large thorns!!! 

Sep 29, 2020 05:19 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Larry's gardens have been destroyed by the deer families passing through our yard each day. We would need too many safety nets to save hs plantings...

Sep 29, 2020 05:22 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Just lost some eggplants to a squirrel so I'll be a lot more careful next time.

Sep 29, 2020 03:02 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this solution!  I wish that would work on our rats in Phoenix.  Awful creatures that eat the fruit on the tree, or off, and live in attics.  Sealing attics works, but the netting wouldn't work.  Instead we warn everyone to pick when close to ripe and pick up everything every day!  We have a LOT of citrus that they love.  Tough conversation for a home buyer!

Oct 05, 2020 07:04 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Hi Debb & Bernie! We see those nets here in the vineyards as well and many people use it in their gardens as well. We have taken over their habitat so, sharing some fruit with them is okay...just not ALL of it! LOL

Glad the nets worked for you guys too!

Oct 07, 2020 09:28 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

And the battle goes on between animals just looking for easy Pickens and humans trying to save some for themselves. Our neighbor has a deer living below their deck who feeds in their garden daily and there's no getting rid of the beautiful animal👍

Oct 09, 2020 08:26 PM