A single deer can wreak havoc on your garden plants and landscape plantings in a relatively short time. When erecting a barrier fence is not practical or cost-effective, there are many traditional remedies to repel deer, some of which are surprisingly effective. You will obtain the best results by using a variety of repellents and rotating their use. Deer become accustomed to their scents after a few weeks and will brazenly venture forth onto your property unless a new foul-smelling repellent is installed.
Repel deer with fragrant bars of bath soap. Bars can be left in their wrappers or large bars can be unwrapped and cut into smaller pieces. Drill a hole in the bars, insert string or stiff wire and hang from garden stakes or lower branches on trees and shrubs. Space them a few feet apart all around the perimeter of the desired area. Eventually the deer will become accustomed to the smell and it will no longer be effective.
Place human hair in mesh bags and hang the bags from lower branches of trees and shrubs around the perimeter of your property in the same manner as bars of soap in step 1. Dirty hair is more effective than freshly shampooed hair, according to the University of Minnesota Extension.
Mix one dozen well-beaten raw eggs with 5 gallons of water, which will cover approximately one acre of land. Spray this around the perimeter of the property and also on plants that deer find particularly attractive. The smell of rotting eggs repels the deer. This method should be reapplied after rainfall.
Mix 2 tbsp. hot pepper sauce with 12 ½ gallons of water and a retention additive such as Wilt-Pruf or Vapor-Gard. Spray the resulting mixture on plants the deer are attracted to. The hotness of this preparation will discourage deer from eating the plants again. Reapply the mixture after rainfall.
Spread manure or urine of large felines such as lions, tigers and cougars around the perimeter of your property. These felines are natural predators of deer and the deer will avoid the area. Although commercially available, they are difficult to find, according to the University of Connecticut Extension, but they are sometimes available from zoos for the asking. Keep these animal waste products from direct contact with plants or foliage. They do not remain effective long, even in the absence of rainfall, and must be reapplied frequently.