Thanks for your interest in DeerShield llc. I’d like to take this chance to tell you about me and my company.
It started with golf. I grew up in Fox Point. Golf was a big part of my family life and I thoroughly enjoyed the sport. I began playing competitively during the summer and then played on the Nicolet High School golf team all four years. The varsity team had events at many of the area’s top golf courses: Blue Mound, Ozaukee and West Bend Country Clubs to name just a few. While my love for golf courses increased my talent did not and rather than pursuing birdies and eagles I chose to enter the realm of golf course management.
I attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison and earned a degree in Soil Science with a focus on turfgrass management. Upon graduation I spent two seasons at a golf course in Chicagoland and then returned in 1994 to become an assistant at Blue Mound Country Club in Wauwatosa. Shortly after my hire we needed someone to be the clubhouse gardener. I accepted the role as an opportunity to learn something new, as flower gardening was completely foreign to me.
During the winter at Blue Mound the arbor vitae, yews etc. were treated with deer repellent to protect them from winter browsing. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.
On or around May 3, 1995, shortly before the club’s opening day, I had a bed of tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinth that was stunning. The entire walk from the proshop to the first tee would be like a walk through a greenhouse. The night before opening day the deer struck. My innocence crushed on the empty stems. The damage was so complete that I didn’t notice it at first. That incident pushed me to finding solutions to deer damage on gardens all summer long. Remedies like: soap or hair or predator urine to hot sauces to garlic and on and on.
The week after Thanksgiving in 1995 led to another life-changing moment. Following a curling match at the Milwaukee Curling Club a friend of mine mentioned he had trouble with the deer eating his yews. I told him about the Blue Mound solution and left it at that. It wasn’t until the next morning that I put the two together and thought there might be a business in this. In early December 1995 “Jay’s Deer Deterrent and Landscape Company” was born.
I had a couple of customers that first month. My thought was this would keep me busy in the winter, when golf courses were slow, and then in the summer I could continue pouring my heart into the golf course. I was wrong.
I bought an ad for $235 in the “Northshore Lifestyle” (Now “M” magazine) magazine in early 2006. By this time I had removed the “Landscape Company” from my title as people were calling me to shovel. A stringer from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saw my ad and did a story about my new business. The story ran in the neighbors section of the North Shore edition in late March 2006. That article jump started the business which is now almost 85% in the summer and 15% in the winter.
Over the years I have added the other legs of the business. Lawn fertilization and weed control, followed by the garlic mustard about 10 years ago. Mosquitoes came in about 2004 and the poison ivy in 2009. Each of my five services began because of feedback and questions from my friends and customers.
In November of 2010 we quietly celebrated 15 years in business and now here in the spring of 2011 launch the website of DeerShield llc. Thanks for your interest.
Jay C. Packard
Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thursday, March 28 1996
Deer deterrent may preserve plants
A Milwaukee area man says he has found a way to make a buck by keeping the deer away.
It’s not genetic engineering but Jay’s Deer Deterrent Co. that has led its owner, Jay Packard, to fill a niche on the North Shore.
The idea of applying a chemical treatment to keep away deer sprang out of Packard’s job at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club, 10122 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, where he is the head gardener and assistant golf course superintendent.
During his tenure there, Packard said, the country club had been experiencing the same problem many homeowners were facing – an overabundance of deer was destroying the plant life.
“Each day, I’d see all these beautiful old shrub rows decimated, and you could see exactly where the deer had reached to,” Packard said.
The summer months usually don’t pose a problem, since natural vegetation for the deer is abundant. It’s winter and early spring, Packard said when deer devour homeowners’ precious foliage.
“A deer is a browser,” he said. “They’ll eat a little bit here, a little bit there and just kind of meander around. That’s why for deer, it’s kind of difficult to control them. All of a sudden they won’t come around for a while, then they’re back.”
As head gardener, it was Packard’s job to try to solve the problem at the country club.
After a variety of different formulas, he found a concoction that kept the deer away. It worked so well that the number of deer at the country club has fallen off dramatically.
“Compared with herds of 24 to 30 running around the golf course in the past few years,” he said, “this year (some people) are complaining about no deer.
“Their patterns have changed. They realize there’s no food on our golf course, so they’re out on the home lawns and have gone other places.”
After solving the problem at the club, Packard said, he began applying the same chemical treatment to homes around the North Shore, in much the same fashion as companies such as ChemLawn apply treatments for greener grass.
It was only last December, however, when Packard began approaching the average homeowner.
Depending upon how much vegetation a home has around it, Packard said, he can apply the chemical treatment for between $30 and $75.
Unless it’s a wetter season than average, Packard said, a homeowner needs only about four applications a year to keep the deer away.
Packard said his business is suited to the North Shore because most residents are opposed to programs such a sharpshooting but want to keep their plants from being destroyed. So the non-toxic application is the perfect solution, he said.
“The deer will realize this stuff tastes pretty poor and move on,” he said.
Unlike other remedies such as coyote urine, which is water soluble, Packard said, his treatment is guaranteed to work.
“The problem with all of it is it washes off in the rain,” he said. “You get a good downpour and (it’s) washed off.
“The key for why my business can work is it lasts longer then just one rainstorm. I add a chemical which adheres the repellent to the foliage.”
Once a deer begins munching on vegetation that has been treated with the chemical, Packard said it causes a distasted the will stop the deer in its tracks.
Most important, Packard said, is that the chemical application will not damage some of the costlier plants to which it’s applied. The only thing a homeowner will noticed, he said, is a milk-like substance on the tops of the shrubs that usually fades after a few rainfalls.