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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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!


Five Stars All Around

We hired H&G to help us re-do our landscaping after a different local landscaping company did a sub par job with plant selections and installations. That company also was very hard to deal with. H&G stepped right up with Jennifer creating a new planting scheme comprising of native plants with some we had never seen before and which we love! She is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with – a true landscaping charm! Jon did the installations and also did a fantastic job. He was very meticulous on planting and finishing the job neatly with mulch. Unlike that other company’s installer, Jon left us extremely happy with the job done. Customer service on the phone – pleasant, patient and helpful. The only, and ever so minor aspect of their work, is they don’t offer a guarantee on the plants or install. I suppose that’s becoming industry standard. However, now looking over all the plantings with a bit of time passing, I am confident that there won’t need to be any replacements. Watering is of course the key element. Thank you H&G, the country cottage landscaping we’ve wanted is now ours – FIVE STARS!

Chris Dombrowski
Ford's Colony | Homeowner

True professionals

Had these guys build a surface-grade patio in May 2023. They looked at the project, sent me a proposed scope of work and contract via email, took a deposit of 1/2 the total via bank transfer. They set a date weeks later to start the job. They showed up on time, worked professionally and cleaned up at the end of the day. Whole job took 3 days, and they even replaced all the patio furniture on the last day. The final product was precisely what I asked for, done in a high-quality, workmanlike way.

H&G are not the cheapest guys out there, but for the extra money you get a professional product, professionally executed, on time, on budget. Honestly: I don’t think it gets any better than that.


Ken Blakely

Beyond Satisfied

We had an ugly uneven weedy patio and a driveway that needed reshaping and gravel. The transformation is stunning. Your representative Brian was patient and helpful in designing repairs to our satisfaction and your work crew was exceptional. Edwardo the work site foreman was extremely knowledgeable and professional and created a beautiful patio. His crew was superior.

Tim & Cynthia Porter

Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile

Hertzler and George were contracted to perform some landscaping for a seller of mine to get the home ready to show. They had just finished an extensive re-landscaping of the next door neighbors entire yard. I was very impressed by their attention to detail and their desire to satisfy their client. Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile to achieve complete client satisfaction. They provide a complete mix of landscaping design services and maintenance of existing landscaping

Tim Parker
Liz Moore Real Estate