A single strand of electrified polytape will keep deer out of the garden without harming you or your children.
Your garden looks beautiful. The beans, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and flowers are all growing well, and you're enjoying the results of your diligent care. Then one morning you discover some tomatoes are missing and several bean plants have been nipped. The culprit has left tell-tale ragged edges on the plants, and most of the missing shoots are more than 2 feet above ground. Tracks in the soft garden soil make it clear that white-tailed deer were responsible.
As a specialist in managing wildlife damage, I've seen a lot of plant losses caused by these four-legged vegetarians. The deer population in North America is higher than ever; some biologists speculate that whitetail numbers exceed 20 million nationwide. The impact of deer on vegetable gardens and landscape plants is particularly severe in suburban areas where there is some woodland habitat and not enough deer-hunting to keep numbers down.
In many cases, deer damage to home gardens during the summer can be prevented with a simple electric fence. An electric fence is not a complete physical barrier; instead, it produces an electric shock that conditions animals to avoid the fence. To a deer, an electric fence is an unfamiliar object. A deer investigating the fence for the first time may touch it with its nose. If the deer receives a sufficient shock on this first encounter, it usually stays clear of the fence afterward.