DIY Deer Repellents

What Works and What Stinks


Watching deer quietly graze and gracefully sprint through the fields is certainly a wonderful sight. Seeing them do the same in your yard and garden—not so wonderful. There are many different DIY deer repellents, but what really works?

DIY Deer Repellents

When you want to repel the deer without hurting your plants, try some of these ideas using items easily found around the house. The main ingredients in the recipes either smell or taste bad, so be sure to properly wash off any fruits, veggies, or herbs you plan on consuming that come in contact with the sprays.

1. Rotten Egg Spray. Sulfur compounds go to work creating the kind of smell that deter humans and animals alike. Blend the following together:

3 raw eggs
3 cloves of garlic
3 cups of water
3 tablespoons of milk or yogurt
3 tablespoons cayenne pepper

Pour into a container, seal, and let it sit outside for several days to ferment. Strain the mixture into a spray bottle, and apply to plants and around the perimeters of your yard and garden.

2. Chili Pepper Spray. Careful with this one, as the peppers can burn the skin and eyes. Blend the following:

4 habanero peppers
1/4 cup of water
2 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of yogurt or milk

Strain the mixture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a jar with a lid. Add to a spray bottle and dilute with water—one part mixture to 10 parts water.

3. Deer Fence. Using wire or wood, enclose the area around your plants with a fence at least 10 feet tall. Deer will jump over fences shorter than that and squeeze through anything wider than eight inches apart. Make it even harder to jump over by slanting the fence outwards at a 45-degree angle.

Using DIY Deer Deterrents Effectively

Don’t wait until deer begin feeding on your plants. Begin using these methods in early March when they start searching for food. Simply by making your yard unappetizing early on, the deer will look elsewhere and there’s less of a chance they’ll return.

When using a spray, apply in the early morning after morning dew. Reapply weekly and after it rains. Keep in mind that some deterrents may help for a while, but deer may get used to it. Switch up the scents to keep them away longer.

For more tips on how to deal with deer and protect your plants, contact Elite Tree Care.