Will Deer Chew Through Plastic fencing? How To Avoid Damage 

Plastic fencing is a cheap alternative to other materials but is easily damaged by strong animals such as deer, and is questionably resistant to chewing. 

In general, deer don’t chew plastic fencing if they haven’t been on the inside. The ‘invisible’ mesh netting, particularly, causes confusion. If deer, however, have eaten your plants prior to installing a plastic fence, they are likely to chew through within a few weeks if they desire the plants. 

Plastic netting can work in conjunction with other strategies, see: Schedule to Keep Deer Out of The Garden Without A Fence

Galvanized steel fencing material is a better option for non-chewable long-term protection.

This is exactly what we discovered with our grapes! We had a short metal fence up when we planted our grapes and the deer were able to get in and discover how delicious grape vines are. 

After that, we installed a tall plastic netting as a deer fence and used the short fence as a trellis elsewhere. The deer chewed through our plastic fence, stepped in, and ate the new growth on the grapes within a few weeks.

Since then, we repurposed the plastic material for individual plant protection.

Order deer-resistant shrubs, herbaceous perennials, bulbs, roses, and ground covers all in one place.

Will deer chew through netting for individual plants?

Plants can also be protected effectively from deer by wrapping them individually with mesh deer netting. 

Deer have not chewed through any of our deer netting mesh that we have wrapped around individual plants. It helps that the deer have never tasted the plants because we netted them right away after planting them. 

It isn’t worth taking the chance of planting a new tree or shrub without a pre-planned means of protection. By pre-planned, I mean the equipment is ready to set up right after planting. 

Effective plant protection starts with prevention. It’s usually more difficult to stop what has been started. If a deer tastes a plant and knows what it wants, it will become more difficult to manage as they attempt to get at what they want, and more damage will occur.

This article was originally published on foodforestliving.com. If it is now published on any other site, it was done without permission from the copyright owner.

How long does plastic deer netting last? 

All materials, including plastic, have a limited lifetime. While plastic materials are generally known to outlive you, deer netting is made of polypropylene—a soft plastic with a lesser life duration than hard plastics.

Plastic deer netting lasts between 3 weeks and 6 years before replacement is needed. Deer netting may only last for 3 weeks if persistent deer chew through it. If your deer don’t touch the plastic netting it’ll last up to 6 years or more before the sun weakens it to the point of replacement.

Effective fencing is expensive upfront, but over time it’s worth eliminating the struggle and garden losses sooner than later.

  • Wireless deer fences offer “training” with a 2-year warranty to guarantee their effectiveness to deter deer from your yard. 
  • Otherwise, the best fence is made of strong, and long-lasting material.

See: The Best Fence to Keep Deer Out (Cheaper & Easier Too)


While Rachelle's hands are clean for the keyboard, she enjoys writing and designing creative content and resources. You will most likely find her outside planting a cabbage, foraging berries for breakfast, and collecting herbs for year-round tea or making food.

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