Hundreds of commercial deer repellents of every type are available, indicating how serious the deer problem is in the U.S. and many other countries. In addition to commercial repellents, there are almost as many homemade deer repellents as there are frustrated gardeners.
Types of deer repellents
- Odor repellents make the entire area smell bad
- Taste repellents make the plants unappealing to eat,
- Mechanical repellents scare the deer
- Electrical repellents shock the deer.
Odor-Based Area Deer Repellentscan be either biological or chemical. This type of repellent keeps deer out by filling the entire area with a strong odor.
A few odor repellents don’t smell bad including shredded deodorant soap and garlic, but most biological odor repellents are gross and they smell horrible, including Milorganite, lion and other feces, fermented blood, feather meal, and bags of human hair. Note! Predator urine is also sold claiming to repel deer. This urine is often collected under the most inhumane conditions so predator urine should never be used. Additionally, predator urine is not an effective deer repellent.
Chemical odor repellents are noxious and dangerous for humans. Chemicals sometimes used are moth balls, lime sulfur, Thiram, creosote, nicotine, ammonia, and many other compounds. These chemicals are toxic.
Taste-Based Contact Deer Repellents for spraying directly on to plants often contain hot sauce, garlic, rotten eggs, and adhesive to make the plants taste bad, smell bad, or to burn the deer’s nose. There are many deer repellent sprays that are commercially available and, on the Internet, there are many recipes for homemade taste-based deer repellents. This type of repellent has to be reapplied regularly and also after rain. Sometimes deer ignore taste-based repellents. These sprays cannote be used on edibles.
Mechanical Deer Repellents are designed to scare the deer away.
Ultrasonic Deer Repellents are supposed to repel deer with sound beyond human hearing. Some ultrasonic repellents change frequency so that deer do not get used to the sound. Deer soon learn that these devices do not harm them.
A Water Spraying Repellent that is activated by a motion sensor works in many situations. However, this device requires a connection to a high-pressure water supply and is not useful in temperatures below freezing. The forgetful gardener may also get a shower.
Scare Type Deer Repellent Devices such as exploders, lights, and sirens are not practical because they are very offensive to nearby humans. Deer approach this type of repellent device cautiously, but often learn to ignore them.
Many other scare devices have been invented that use unexpected sound or motion to repel deer. Some of them ar every innovative.
Electric Deer Repellents shock the deer on the nose and teach them to stay away.
An ordinary electric fence will work very well if the deer touches it but unless the fence is very tall the deer will jump over it without touching the wires.
So to get the deer to touch the wires before they jump over, the wires can be baited. A baited electric fence is also known as a peanut butter fence because peanut butter is often used as bait.
The Wirelss Deer Fence® works like a baited electric fence but with no wires. The sweet smell of the posts entices the deer to touch a post and so it is trained to stay away when it smells the posts.