As we glide towards winter and the Holidays (Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, etc…) thoughts of family, food and fun permeates our lives. Most folks spend far less time outdoors and much more time indoors this time of year, so it’s easy to forget about the natural world. Yet, life outdoors continues in weather conditions that are cold, wet and uninviting.
Plants, insects, frogs, turtles, birds, and mammals such as mice, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and deer all continue their struggle to survive. And, although concern for vegetation and animals may be foreign to some, these creatures inhabit the environment close to us (and sometimes, in the case of mice, a little too close).
Frogs, turtles, birds and skunks do not harm humans very often, but they do eat earthworms, grubs and other insects. Foxes often eat mice, who harbor and vector Lyme disease, a serious health threat to people. Deer, on the other hand, eat our landscapes!
Loss of natural habitat will likely decrease the population of all these animals and will also increase their incidence of being hit by cars and trucks. Interestingly, a loss of natural habitat due to increased development and urbanization in areas such as Montgomery, Howard and Frederick Counties adversely affects many species of insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Deer have adapted splendidly to the suburban/urban landscape; there are more deer in eastern North America now than at any time in the last 150 years. Anyone living in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville or Darnestown, MD can attest to this fact.
And while deer deserve a place in our world, their extraordinary population growth has not just damaged our suburban landscapes and limited the types of plants we can comfortably grow in our yards, high populations of deer denude the native undergrowth in the small natural areas of forest that still exist.
This extreme feeding from the high deer population removes many of the native plants and insects that feed on those plants and birds that feed on those insects, thus reducing the number of native plant, insect and bird species in and around Montgomery County, MD.
Please take this into consideration over this Holiday Season and think about plans to preserve or install natural habitats that can be preserved and protected from deer and can help to increase the population of the other important inhabitants that share the land around us.
Complete Lawn Care and our employees support protecting our environment through thoughtful care of lawns and landscapes. But, we also understand the importance of natural forests, meadows, and our waterways that ultimately flow into the Chesapeake Bay.