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Home Remedy Deer Repellant

By Carole Ellis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Harmless home remedies can keep deer away.

If you have a garden outside of a city, then the odds are pretty good that you also have a deer problem at least part of the year. Deer can get into nearly anything, and eat nearly everything if they are hungry enough. As a result, many gardeners lose significant portions of their crops to deer every year. If you do not want to hurt the deer, then you may feel that your control options are limited. However, effective home remedy deer repellents will help you keep your garden pristine and your veggies safe until you are ready to eat them yourself.


Home remedy deer repellents are designed to drive deer away from an area. They may work by frightening the deer or exposing them to unpleasant sights, smells or sounds. Deer repellents do not actually harm deer, but in the case of smelly repellents, they may make the deer feel uncomfortable or make something taste unpleasant.

Home Remedies That Taste Bad

Home remedies can make your veggies taste terrible to the deer. Essential oils like clove oil and detergents like dish soap can be sprayed directly on the plants you want to protect. Refresh the application once weekly and any time it rains. Use vegetable oil or milk, which will go sour once it is applied, to carry the other ingredients. Some people also include hot sauce or pepper in this mixture, but this can result in serious health problems for your feline friends if they end up getting this mixture on their fur or in their eyes.

Home Remedies That Smell Bad

Make a rotten egg deer repellent by boiling eggs, garlic and sometimes milk for several hours. Once you have finished the mixture, you can strain it or not, but it all needs to go in an airtight container and sit outside in direct sun for several days. As you can imagine, it's going to start smelling pretty bad. When the mixture is ripe, spray or pour it onto your garden plants. Once the mixture dries, most of the smell that humans can detect will dissipate, but the scent will linger for the deer and keep them out of your garden.

Home Remedies That Are Frightening

Certain smells and movements can help keep deer away from your garden. One of the easiest options is a small, battery-powered radio wrapped in plastic and left on overnight. However, some gardeners report that deer will often "tune out" radio talking once they figure out it has nothing to do with them. Scarecrows may also work, but at some point the deer will figure out that your figure is not alive if you do not move him regularly or make him in such a way as to allow for movement in wind.

Hanging bars of soap from trees every 3 feet or so around the perimeter of the garden combines surprising movements with an unpleasant smell, as does hanging nylon stockings filled with blood or feather meal fertilizer. You might also string tin cans from trees to create an unpleasant noise and startling shiny movement. Some people hook motion sensors to bright lights to frighten deer.


Generally you will need to use a combination of home remedy deer repellent options to keep all deer at bay. What frightens or discourages one animal may not faze another. Your deer repellent efforts may last for a while, but then it will be necessary to change tactics.