Use dog hair to keep deer away

March 29, 2007

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Gardening season is fast approaching, and undoubtedly the deer are licking their chops in anticipation of the smorgasbords we will prepare for them.

In Mt. Lebanon, sharpshooters have been out in small neighborhood parks killing the would-be garden marauders.

A Dormont animal lover has a kinder and gentler solution: dog hair and panty hose.

Joyce Zilliot stuffs dog hair into panty hose, which she arranges "spread-eagled" around her vegetable gardens and flower beds. She's been doing this for years, and she swears deer and rabbits don't eat her plantings.

"It's not just me. My clients swear by this," Ms. Zilliot said.

The theory is that because deer and rabbits are "prey" animals, they will avoid areas surrounded by the hair of predators, which is what dogs and wolves are.

Ms. Zilliot is not selling dog hair. She's a professional dog groomer, so she has an endless supply of this deer repellent.

"Also, there seems to be something in the panty hose that makes tomatoes grow better," says Ms. Zilliot, who is an organic gardener.

The discarded hair and fur from Ms. Zilliot's canine clients is free to a good garden. Call her at 412-343-9230 if you'd like to pick up some dog hair.


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