5 Simple Deer Repellent Tips

by M.D. on May 10, 2007

deer-repellent-tips.jpgWhen you’ve taken the time, and money to plant flowers, shrubs, or a vegetable garden, you want to keep them safe from nibbling deer. How do you do it? Well here’s five simple tips to remember when deciding on using deer repellent.

Start early – Protect your plants early. Start by spraying deer repellent in early Spring. Give your garden, shrubs, or other area you want protected, a shot of deer repellent at the beginning of the planting season. Your deterrent will be in place before the deer start coming around, and inflicting damage.

Change it up – Deer become accustomed to tastes or smells. Deer also become timid when something new is introduced into their environment. Rather than just changing the brand of deer repellent you’re using, identify what the active ingredient is. Then, change the active ingredient. Some competing brands may use the same active ingredient, yet in different strengths.

Trigger all the senses – When possible, try to affect as many senses of the deer as possible. Sight, sound, smell, and taste are all vulnerable areas of our four-legged friends. Targeting two of the senses at the same time will make it that much more intimidating to the deer. That’s why we suggest using a Our #1 Rated (which deters the deer by making your plants taste foul, or carry an offensive odor) deer repellent, in combination with a motion activated repellent such as a scarecrow sprinkler. This way you also affect the deer’s sight and sound vulnerabilities.

Edible or inedible – Determine which type of deer repellent you’ll be using on your edible and inedible plants. Be sure to spray both types of forage when they are completely dry. Reapply your deterrent to the inedible plants more frequently, and after heavy rain showers. There are different strengths of deer repellents for garden plants. You’ll be eating vegetables from those, so the repellent washes off. Repellent for shrubs and flowers usually contains an ingredient to help it stick. Make sure and read the label carefully.

Deterrent plants – We all have our favorite plants that we grow. When possible though, remove the initial temptation from the equation. Introducing deer resistant plants with certain types of flowers or shrubs that the deer don’t have a sweet tooth for, is a deer repellent in an indirect way.

Following these five steps will lead you on the way to keeping your plants safe, and the deer where they belong, out of your garden!

Repellent Review will be testing some popular brands of deer repellent this summer, and into the Fall, when deer grazing becomes busy. Be sure to bookmark us, and return back then to get the results of our deer repellent showdown!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Vic April 21, 2008 at 11:55 am

Hi. We back onto state park land and have tons of deer. Nothing kept them from eating our plants until we started mixing commercial deer repelent sprays (now using at 1/3rd the recommended strength, primarily for the smell) with Dave’s Insanity Sauce (an unbelievably hot hot sauce – 6 to 10 drops per gallon). This spring, for the first time in years, all our azaleas are blooming, and we even had no winter damage. Just don’t use it on vegetables that you are planning to eat!

M.D. June 5, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Hi Vic,

Sounds like quite a combination. A few licks of that probably do the trick!

deerdeparted August 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Gee, this info looks familiar to my deer repellent tips. Thanks for rewriting it. I am adding reviews to my site and working on my own commercial repellent business, so I am sure we will continue to cross paths in the future. If you think of something we can work together on. Let me know. Good luck to both of us.

Bill June 14, 2010 at 10:34 am

We’ve found that in the Seattle and Portland areas we any really hot sauce will repel not only deer but also rodents. Habanero based powders work as well. Some people are using them under their homes to repel rodents and raccoons.

M.D. March 22, 2011 at 8:24 am

There’s only so many ways you can do it 🙂

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