Tips for Deer & Rabbit Repellent

Q: What do you recommend to stop deer and rabbits from eating everything in your yard? They are eating hostas, azaleas, roses, even some potted plants on the deck! I don’t want to trap them or kill them—just repel ‘em. Any thoughts?

A: Never an easy task! Hungry animals will even gnaw on holly leaves.

However, if you use the right product at the right times, you can deter animals from using your yard as a cafeteria. We use a product called Tree Guard, whose active ingredient is Bitrex. The chemical itself is harmless but has a long lasting bitter taste. I’ve heard that it was originally developed in the 1950s as an alternative to Novocaine but was not successful because of the bitter side effect. It sat on the shelf for years until someone said, “Hey, maybe we can use this to keep animals off plants!” (I’ve not confirmed that this is true, but it makes for a good story.)

The problem with any repellent is that it must remain on the plant to be effective. Two things happen with most repellents: 1) rain washes off the repellent, and 2) the plant grows new, unprotected, leaves.

HOWEVER, Tree Guard contains latex that dries and holds a layer of Bitrex on the leaf. But you’ll still need to apply more to new growth, and as the latex layer eventually wears down. You can get this product at any home and hardware store. I recommend you buy a container with a built-in sprayer for easier use. If you use your own sprayer, the product needs to be cleaned out after each application or it will severely gum up. Apply the product on a regular and on-going basis. You can also have us handle the whole thing for you. In this case we would set up a series of periodic visits to make repeat applications.
-Joe Hertzler

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Bed Transformation!

Once again I am very pleased with the excellent work H&G did on my property.  They turned a section of my ugly front yard with invasive Bermuda grass into a beautiful and simple flower bed with mulch and many small bushes.  This striking transformation adds greatly to the house’s curb appeal.  I look forward to them coming back out this fall and replacing the rest of the front yard with sod and removing all the undesirable Bermuda grass.  Brian was easy and pleasant to work and plan with.  He always responded to my questions immediately.  Jon and his crew were likewise very nice, efficient, and perfectionists in planting my new yard.  Many thanks and accolades to H&G once again!

Sandy Hall

So thankful to be a customer!

when i returned to williamsburg in 2022, it was a real challenge to find a company willing to take on “yet one more customer” – i was ignored and turned down by others… but hertzler and george came to my rescue and i could not be happier – wonderful staff, professional and so friendly, i completely trust them to service my yard!  merry christmas and happy new year to everyone and H&G!


Drainage Help

I would like to let you know how happy we are with the service we received recently.
We had a drainage issue in our yard and did some research, learned your company was highly recommended and decided to see what your company could do.
From the first contact, we had a great experience as the lady that answered the phone was very nice. She put us in contact with Brian Kemp who we also liked from the start, and we made an appt for him to come and take a look. He was right on time, very thorough, and just a very nice fella who we both liked right away and had confidence in. We really liked how he gave us options and listened to what we wanted. We scheduled the work, it was done right on time, and it looks great! Brian was even nice enough to do a video walk through for us afterwards as we weren’t in town. Just great service from start to finish! Thank you Brian

We will definitely be back with more projects in the future.

T.M. - Ford's Colony

Thank You

Just a short note to thank you for all the help you gave us with our garden this year. Jonathon again did a wonderful job doing the bed detailing this summer, as did the mulching crew in the spring. I don’t know the name of the woman who supervised the mulching crew, but I want to let you know how professional she was. In fact, the entire crew was pleasant to work with, especially to experience the care that they took with their work.

Thanks also for being so flexible with the changes we requested for our mowing schedule.

E.L. - Ford's Colony

Always Helpful

Brian came out last week to try to assess a problem we are having in our yard.  He arrived on time, was extremely courteous and took a considerable amount of time analyzing our situation.  While he was unable to reach a solution, he did take the time to research and recommend another business that might be able to help us.  That kind of customer service will make us more likely to call on Hertzler & George if other issues arise.  Thanks, Brian!