We introduced you to Judy Loose in our first “Eco” edition of Leesburg Lifestyle because of her efforts to save and propagate an American Chestnut tree. An avid gardener and nature lover, she noticed an American Chestnut growing wild between her and a neighbor’s property in Waterford. (https://bit.ly/JudyLoose).
American chestnuts, once a wildlife food and building staple in North America, were nearly wiped out by a blight in the 1920’s. She first confirmed her chestnut’s bona fides with the American Chestnut Foundation (http://acf.org), then watched it become a significant pillar in a local effort to breed a tree that is more blight resistant. Offspring of Judy’s tree has spawned second-generation plantings in Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve and Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce.
But Judy is much more than your average nature lover. She has perfected and now markets an environmentally safe deer repellent service that keeps the local deer population from destroying flowers, trees and shrubs. Made from natural oils and rotten eggs, the repellent, offered by her family-owned business Nova Deer Shield, keeps deer away without harming wildlife or domestic pets.
Now their mission is to help homeowners and gardeners protect and enjoy their landscaping by providing deer intervention and tick mitigation. Keeping ticks away is important because of the close association of blacklegged ticks and Lyme Disease, a debilitating ailment caused by bacteria transmitted to humans through infected tick bites. Though mice are the source of this bacteria, these ticks commonly infect deer in wooded areas of the Mid-Atlantic. Symptoms can be treated effectively with antibiotics, but are debilitating if not caught early.
While the instances of Lyme Disease in Loudoun County reportedly have fallen by half in the last decade, there were still 131 cases in 2021, the most recent year where tallies are available from the county health department, and many cases go unreported. Judy says, “My family has all had Lyme disease, more than once. We all love to share our gardens with woodland creatures so long as their presence isn’t destructive, either to expensive landscaping or our families’ health! I take pride in the fact that we are able to provide our customers with peace of mind about being outdoors and enjoying their property.” She adds, “I also take great pleasure when a customer expresses their delight in seeing a plant bloom or grow for the first time in years!”
Her commitment to environmental safety is evident in one of her hobbies. She and her husband are beekeepers, which is never a dull job. She likes to say, “Keeping bees is like raising girls; there’s always drama in the hive.” Bees, among the most sensitive insects to pesticides, thrive in proximity to Nova Deer Shield’s treatments.
The company provides natural deer repellent services from March through October (monthly Spring/Summer service), a one-time winter service (protects plants all winter), and monthly organic tick spray. This year they also are introducing a much anticipated environmentally friendly and highly effective mosquito mitigation program. “We not only provide these services to residential customers but protect commercial sites, including homeowners’ associations, horse farms and schools. We pride ourselves on our personal touch and take seriously our ability to provide unrivaled service.”
“We truly are a family business, though I started the ball rolling,” Judy says. David, her husband, acts as both COO and CFO. “He is my mechanic as well as my accountant!” He is a registered technician with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and even helps with large properties and farms. Both daughters also are CPAs, helping with her books and the company’s marketing and social media.
The company holds both Vertebrate Pest Control (7D) and Public Health Pest Control (8) certification required by the state. Besides Loudoun they serve Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William Counties. Give her a call at 540-882-3703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.