To a deer, your carefully tended garden looks like an all-you-can-eat salad bar. One way to drive deer away from your garden is by employing deer repellents. No deer repellent is 100 percent effective and most lose effectiveness the longer that they are used and deer become used to them. The best method to drive deer away is to alternate repellents to prevent deer from becoming used to them.
Enclose your small garden with a 4-foot-high fence by driving T-posts into the ground and tying cattle panels to them. Though deer can jump over a 4-foot-high fence, they are typically hesitant to enter an enclosed space. For a larger garden, erect a 6-foot-high fence that angles away from the garden. Deer hesitate to jump over fences when they fear that they will become entangled. For more effective repellent, top the fence with electrical wire. Attach aluminum strips to the wire and smear them with peanut butter. When deer lick the peanut butter, they receive a shock that drives them away from the fence.
Collect unwashed human hair in mesh bags. Hang the bags of hair around your garden. The scent of human hair will help keep deer away. A good source for human hair is a styling salon. You can also collect human hair from your own hairbrush. A study conducted in Connecticut showed that human hair is a 34 percent effective repellent.
Purchase travel-sized bars of soap, or cut a regular-sized bar of soap into six pieces. Place the soap into mesh bags and hang them around your garden. Change the soap variety frequently as deer become used to the perfume of the soap you are using.
Mix two eggs with two cups of cold water at high speeds in a blender. Add the mixture to a gallon of water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture over your garden. Do not spray the mixture on plants that you plan to eat. The mixture will create a mild rotten egg smell that repels deer. Reapply the rotten egg mixture up to two more times over the growing season as the rain washes away the egg mixture. Though no studies have been conducted on homemade rotten egg repellents, commercially sold egg-based repellents have been shown to be 46 percent effective at repelling deer.
Sprinkle cayenne pepper over the foliage of your plants. Deer will stop eating the plants once the pepper burns their mouth. This repellent must be reapplied after every rainstorm. The Connecticut study has shown this method to be 15 percent effective at repelling deer.