View Full Version : home made spreader/sticker to make sprays rain-fast?
02-06-2008, 02:48 PM
I am messing with my local deer population - trying to avoid the cost of perimeter fencing for the whole property. I have had good luck deterring dear from critical plants (primarily young apples and plums) using a spray made mostly of blood meal tea with some pepper and egg mixed in... (it must smell like some kind of insane bovine massacre when I'm done...)
The problem is that I get lots of rain, particularly in spring, when new shoots are particularly tasty.
I am looking for a home-makable concoction that works like a commercial spreader-sticker product used in pesticide application... it goes soluble, but once dried resists rain, trapping the active compound on the leaf through the weather. I don't know the chemistry of this stuff. But I generally stay away from things with names like Octyl phenoxypoly ethoxy ethanol
Any theories, ideas or candidates?!
03-06-2008, 04:17 AM
If you are including whole eggs in your concoction, the egg whites may be enough to make the stuff stick through several rains, as long as it has the chance to dry thoroughly first. Egg white is a natural glue, and has a certain amount of 'waterproofness'. People used to use it as a glue to fasten dinner plates and cups back together, and they said it tolerated washing.
Otherwide, you might have to set up a hotwire. Hang strips of aluminum foil at intervals, and then smear some peanut butter on them. The jolt via wet tongue might get your point across.
If you have some mesh fencing lying around, just lay it on the ground around your most attractive plants. Deer fear foot traps just like cattle (you've seen those white lines on country highways). They can't see the fencing due to their eye arrangement, but they can feel it. And, since they don't know how far inward it extends, they won't jump it. I used this method when I lived in hardcore deer country (Toledo, WA). I laid it around my tiny garden and watched them come through every morning and evening. They looked longingly at my peas, corn and lettuce, but the most they got was a bite of peavine that strayed within reach of a stretching neck.
03-06-2008, 07:13 AM
I used to use an egg yolk spray to keep the deer away, but as you say, the rain (or fog in my case) made it less effective.
I put a few drops of olive oil in a hand sprayer and a few drops of hot sauce. I separated the whites from the yolks because they clog up the sprayer. Then I mixed the yolks with water and strained the yolks into the sprayer, because they had clumps that could also clog. Refrigerate the spray bottle between uses. There is a chemical in the yolks that mammals don't like, I forget what it's called. It's not just the rotten egg smell.
If the whites are a good glue, maybe making a separate spray out of them would help. I never tried it, but it sounds pretty good. And you've probably noticed, the deer don't stop going into the garden, they just don't eat. But they are always testing, and enough moisture overnight and bingo, they eat!
And because I have rabbits, raccoons, mice that also eat the veggies and fruits, too, I ended up fencing the perimeter, and it's the BEST thing I ever did! The expense is not too bad if you do it yourself. I did have some trouble with the birds not seeing the chicken wire at dusk and dawn, so I ran a line of colored construction string around the very top, and that has worked so far. :)
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