James Toyota, a leading Ontario car dealership, pooled its experts and came up with a review of some of the more popular deer-and-moose repellent devices for motorists traveling the highways and country roads.
Winter will soon be here and with it will be salt that is liberally spread on our roads. While this substance can be very useful in melting ice on the highways, this same substance also attracts four-legged creatures like deer and moose, which are one of the leading causes of winter season car collisions.
In 2009, it was reported that insurance claims arising from these accidents have increased by more than 20%, signaling that the deer and moose problem is getting worse. James Toyota, a leading Certified Toyota Used Cars dealership, pooled its experts and came up with a review of some of the more popular deer-and-moose repellent devices for motorists traveling the highways and country roads..
What is a deer whistle?
The deer / moose whistle is a device that creates sound two ways: air velocity and electronic. Air velocity deer whistles create sound because of the passing air present when the vehicle is at cruising speeds. Electronic deer whistles on the other hand emit ultrasonic waves (sound waves which are inaudible to the human ear, but can be heard by animals like deer and moose).
This device alerts nearby animals which, in turn, drives them away. Basically, it works like an announcement which says that you're there so they'd better not go anywhere near you. When mounting these devices to your car or truck it will accomplish two things:
a. They alert animals so they won't go anywhere near the road or
b. They make deer or moose stop in their tracks while your car or truck passes by.
Thus, "repellent" is not entirely accurate. However, you don't necessarily need to repel them: You just have to prevent them from crossing the road in front of you while travelling along the road.
Air Velocity or Electronic: Which one should I choose?
Both do the same thing - make sound. However, as to which one is more suitable depends on your driving circumstances.
An air velocity deer repellent is usually cheaper than its electronic counterpart, starting at only $5 a piece. If you drive a light car or truck, the choice doesn't really matter a lot. However, take note that Air velocity deer repellents work well ONLY when the vehicle is cruising at speeds of more than 45km's per hour. This means that any cruise speed that is lower than that will render this device ineffective.
There are some vehicles that carry heavy loads and will operate at these lower speeds, in the event that slower speeds are the norm, you will be better off with an electronic version.
Are they guaranteed to work?
There are some maintenance guidelines to make sure that deer/moose whistles will work fine.
For Air Velocity Deer and Moose Whistles:
Make sure that the device is regularly cleaned. This can cause the whistle's tubes to get clogged, rendering the whistle useless.
Most of these whistles are extremely small: about 3 cubic inches on the average, with some models as small as 1 cubic inch. Always check if they are attached properly as they may fall off because of the wind itself.
The more popular brands are Deer Alert by Bell Automotive and the Wind-activated Wildlife Warning Device by Jed Mart. Prices range from $5 to $10.
For Electronic Deer and Moose Whistles:
Most electronic devices are battery powered, and they usually come with a charger that can be connected to the car's cigarette lighter outlet. Thus, check the battery power levels regularly.
Situate the electronic whistle outside of the car as much as possible. Ultrasonic waves, while they can be heard by animals, can easily be blocked by glass and metal. Running the whistle inside the car may not be as effective.
The more popular brands are the Portable Electronic Deer Alert Warning Whistle by AAA Communications and the Trailblazer Electronic Alert by Hopkins. Prices start at $25.
While this device is recommended for those that wish to avoid the four legged elk family members, caution still needs to be observed not to rely entirely on its efficacy.