Deer Repellent Ideas

Deer Repellent Ideas image by Jojo, Nickshanks/Wikimedia Commons, by F. Spangenberg/Wikimedia Commons, by Alvesgaspar/Wikimedia Commons, by SB_Johnny/Wikimedia Commons, by TheLewisRepublic/Wikimedia Commons,

While deer are majestic creatures to behold in the wild, they are importunate pests in your landscape. If the animals decide that your yard contains flora they find palatable, you need deer repellent ideas. There are a number of commercial products on the market, but homeowners report mixed results with them. Fortunately, there are a number of easy ways to deter deer from munching on your plants.

Physical Barrier

According to Terry Yockey from Northern Gardening, the most effective way of repelling deer is by building a fence that is about 8 to 10 feet tall. Space tall fence posts at regular intervals around your property and attach durable mesh or other fencing material to them. This physical barrier prevents the animals from entering your property.

Deer-Safe Flora

Avoid ravenous deer by planting flora that does not appeal to them. Generally speaking, lantana, oleander and also salvia plants are quite safe from deer. Other flora you might want to consider are plants with strong odors, such as lemon balm, spearmint, lavender or sage. Different choices include ornamental grass species. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the deer, which are plaguing your particular yard, have distaste for these plants. If the animals do leave your yard alone for a while after you incorporate these plants in your landscape, gradually change the makeup of your flora to include plants that are not on the list, if you so desire.

Commercial Repellent Products

Commercially available deer repellents are usually quite costly and require painstaking applications of the products at predetermined times. From a financial standpoint, you may come out ahead with commercial repellents if you are dealing with a small or moderate number of deer. Using repellents for bigger populations is too costly. Moreover, repellents might be a cost effective choice if the damage to your flora is not severe and you only plan on treating a moderately sized area.

Traditional Deer Repellents

Coyote urine and feline scat from the zoo or by mail order are traditional deer repellents, which operate on the concept that the predators' scent scares away prey animals, such as deer. It is interesting to note that a study at an Illinois tree reserve revealed that the success rate of coyote urine is only about 50 percent, which does not make it a very effective product. The same holds true for hot pepper wax and garlic clips. The one traditional deer repellent that did show good results was a bar of Dial soap, which researchers hung from a tree. During the Illinois study, two trees were protected with one bar of soap each; deer did not damage either tree during the trial. It matters little which soap brand you might opt for, as long as it carries a noticeable scent. Drill a hole into the bar of soap, loop fishing line through the hole, and attach the soap with the fishing line to a tree limb or hang it from a stake in a flower bed so that it is about 30 inches above ground.

Keywords: deer repellent, pest control, protect garden

About this Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

Photo by: Jojo, Nickshanks/Wikimedia Commons, by F. Spangenberg/Wikimedia Commons, by Alvesgaspar/Wikimedia Commons, by SB_Johnny/Wikimedia Commons, by TheLewisRepublic/Wikimedia Commons,