Deer deterrent devices abound. There are hundreds of commercially available deer deterrents, and hundreds of homemade deer deterrents have been invented by frustrated gardeners everywhere. The deer deterrents from home inventors are often quite amusing, and many of them report success.
Deer deterrents and their efficacy are a hot topic today, with the increasing number of deer in the world and the expansion of human living areas into the woods. There are various types of commercial deer deterrents. This is a guide to the usefullness of these devices.
Odor/Biological Deer Deterrent
Deer deterrents can be odor deterrents, such as milorganite (sewage sludge). Biological deer deterrents include garlic, coyote urine, human urine, feather meal, lion or other cat feces, fermented blood, and bags of human hair. Although they may work to varying degrees, these deer deterrents also repel humans and are extremely unaesthetic to deal with and keep in your garden.
Taste Deer Deterrent
Deer deterrents can also work by making the plants themselves taste bad. Many of the commercially available spray-on deer deterrents are various mixtures of hot peppers, rotten eggs, garlic, and glue. These compounds can work well if applied conscientiously.
Chemical Deer Deterrent
Chemical deterrents such as thiram (denatonium benzoate), moth balls, creosote, and deodorant soap have been tried with varying degrees of success. Some deer deterrents taste bitter.
Ultrasonic Deer Deterrent
Deer can learn that these deterrent devices do not harm them. Some ultrasonic deterrents change frequency so that deer do not get used to the sound.
Water Spraying Deterrent
Activated by a motion sensor, these devices work in many situations but generally require a connection to a high-pressure water supply and are not useful in sub-freezing temperatures. Also, it might result in a shower for the gardener as well.
Scare Type Deer Deterrent
Devices such as exploders, lights, and sirens are not practical because they are very offensive to nearby humans. Deer approach this type of deterrent device cautiously, but some will gradually learn that there is no danger and ignore these devices.
Stretching Monofilament Fishing Line
Stretching monofilament fishing line should never be used to deter deer. It may cause injury or death to deer and other accidental victims when they become entangled in the line.
Dogs Inside a Fence
Dogs inside a fenced enclosure or a buried invisible fence can be very effective deer deterrent, provided the dog is a type that likes to chase deer and is large enough. Deer may attack dogs, at potentially great risk to the dog. Keeping two dogs together works better because a deer is far less likely to challenge two dogs. A dog kept on a tether is less effective, and the dog is at risk of greater injury because it cannot get away.
Wireless Electric Deer Deterrent
Individual posts are placed where deer will find them. Each post contains a miniaturized charging circuit, and when a deer touches the sweet smelling post it receives a shock on the nose, training it to stay out of the area. The Wireless Deer Fence® works like a baited electric fence without the wires.