Cheap Deer Repellant that works

medabber(3b)July 20, 2012

Deer have been a royal pain for the past two years (worse than typical). Have a neighbor with a salt lick and another that feeds throughout the winter. Last year, I saw a handful of daylily blooms. The are several hundred clumps here. They grazed a large area of hosta to the ground last year as well. That area has immature plants now that had been mature clumps in 2010. I found an old recipe and gave it the old Dean twist (if x is good ... twice is better or if three nails in a triangle are good, then a square with one in the center to form 4 triangles is better). Here is my version - no deer PROBLEMS the past three nights (fresh tracks but not damage): 5 eggs + a hot sauce that HAS garlic in it (used Louisiana Hot Sauce $.85 @ County Market) whole bottle + a teaspoon or so of Asian chili oil for added heat + a teaspoon or a bit less of liquid dish detergent to emulsify the oil and enough water to LIQUIFY + water to the concentrate = 2 gallons

No idea how long it will last. cheap enough to re-apply every few weeks if need be. (posting from Facebook American Hosta Society group - open to all)

It is now 3.5 weeks an first deer grazing spotted (numerous pass through leaving only tracks). three rains: 1.5, 1, and .25 respectively plus three times heavy overhead watering. Not bad. Just mixed up a new batch tonight - back out to it!

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I got as far as the Asian chili oil, and broke out in a big laugh. The smile persists......

Great recipe, and worthy adversary to deer eating any plant.
Almost makes me wish I had a deer problem just to watch the deer react. Of course, the garlic is to give it an odor that will be a warning THIS PLANT HAS THAT AWFUL STUFF ON IT....

I'll be sending this to some friends who have the deer visitors. One especially who has begun growing hosta:

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:16AM
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I saw your post on facebook a while back. I think I might try it to see if it works on groundhogs too. The deer haven't been back to my gardens since spring, I used Repellex and a granular repellent early on but I didn't see your recipe until afterwards.

Right now my biggest problem is the darn groundhogs. We keep trapping them out but I think they are coming in from the surrounding woods. Just when I think I've seen the last of them, I go out and find leaves ripped off another plant. Grrr.

I thought we had armadillos too but I've come to the conclusion that it is just the box turtle army rooting around in the mulch. There must be a dozen of them in the woods. There were five the other morning munching on the watermelon and cantelope rinds we put out for them, and I didn't see all of the individuals I am familiar with so I know there are more. (And yes, we feed them, they do a great job keeping the slugs and bugs down so I want them around!)


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:36AM
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Ludi _PA_7a

Fortunately for me I live in a tight clump of suburbia and deer are seldom a problem as there is wayyy to much traffic.

But on the topic of cheap deer repellant, I used to live in a neighborhood with a serious gardener that always used to put little bars of Irish Spring soap on sticks near and around the plants he did not want the deer to eat. He would take a whole bar and break it into 4 pieces. Then he took a small twig (he had an oak tree) and pushed the soap onto it so that it sat at the top like a lollipop. Then he plunged it into the ground so that the soap was about 6 inches off the ground near a grouping of plants he did not want munched.

Worked like a charm !!!

Granted, he did have to place them about every five feet, but ironically the marbling of the soap on these little twigs added a sort of whimsical character to his overall garden design. There was also the issue of overhead watering and rain. Overtime they would âÂÂmeltâ off the twig but not at a rapid pace by any means.

I'm not sure if this is an outdated technique, it was almost 15 years ago that I lived in his neighborhood. But never the less it did work.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:13AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Thanks for the recipe, Don. My sense of Deer Repellants is that their effectiveness is directly related to the amount of pressure in the population. In other words as the population increases, the competition for food increases and the effectiveness of repellants diminishes. The most effective Deer solution, I believe, is HH's electric fence with the peanut butter spread on it so that Bambi learns quickly to avoid this area.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:20AM
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bernd ny zone5

One lady posted here, she lives in the country, that she brews a strong coffee for her husband and then sends him out at night to mark her property lines. No deer there. Is really inexpensive and easy. ;)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Jon 6a SE MA

Irish Spring seems to work against deer, but it is having no effect on the rabbits that have invaded my backyard. Some of the recipes include vegetable oil and a couple of drops of white glue in medabber's recipe. Blending the mixture and straining through cheesecloth will allow spraying.

Repellex has bloodmeal as it's main repellent and continued use can cause a nutrient imbalance where it is sprayed regularly. Regular bloodmeal should work just as well sprinkled around. I have some bloodmeal and I think I am going to use it as a "fence" to direct the rabbits and deer elsewhere and mix up a concoction similar to medabber's to spray around.

I would love to let my puupy, Shasta, loose to go after the rabbits and deer, she would make short work of getting rid of them...

....but, somehow I think I would be getting a visit from the dog officer.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:17AM
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Great solutions for deer and grounhogs or marrmots. My husbamd says bullets are cheaper then hosta lol. Well maybe the marrmots but not sure if he would do the deer in that way. Funny solutions and you made my early morning

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Jon, the Repellex I used comes in a tablet form that is placed in the ground at the hosta's roots, and is systemic in the plant, making it taste horrible. Only needs to be done once a season. I haven't seen a spray. The ingredient is capsacin and the carrier that makes it systemic is DMSO.

No blood meal in that one, tho I have used blood meal on occasion when I had a rabbit problem.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Jon 6a SE MA


The first one I looked at on their site said it had bloodmeal as the main repellent. My mistake, I should have checked their other products.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 2:19PM
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Madebber's recipe using hot sauce and eggs is a great taste repellent.

Another inexpensive repellent that will work for all animals of prey, including deer and rabbits is Shake-Away's Deer Repellent. They make 4 varieties of the product, but they are all basically the same.

The Deer Repellent is the only product that uses genuine Coyote Urine in granule form. Deer and Rabbits keen sense of smell and instinctual fear of predators will keep them from a garden treated with this easy to use product.

Shake-Away can be found at many Ace Hardware stores or online at

Here is a link that might be useful: Deer and Rabbit Repellent

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

I know someone who lived on a deer farm in PA at one time and coyote "pee" is a very good repellent for deer. They sold it on the farm. I don't think they had any use for it as the object there was to keep the deer fenced in.

Does it last through rains?


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:01PM
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