When even your deer-resistant plants are being eaten and your landscaping is being devoured, what can you do to keep deer out of your yard? You need a game plan that outsmarts the deer. By using methods that understand how deer tick, you’ll reclaim your yard and protect your investment.
One of the most effective ways to keep deer out of yards or gardens is by using repellents. There are many types of deer repellents available on the market today, including spray repellents, water repellents and electronic shock repellents. It’s important to research and select the most effective deer repellent for your backyard.
Deer have highly developed senses of taste and smell. Spray repellents repel deer by affecting one or more of these sensitive senses. By spraying repellents on your property, deer will learn that your yard is not their dining room.
The most effective deer repellents contain putrescent egg and garlic to target their sense of smell, and capsaicin to target their sense of taste. The garlic and rotten egg smells mimic the stench of decaying animals. Deer will get a whiff of this scent, and are fooled into believing a predator is nearby. A deer, or any animal for that matter, wants to stay far away from a predator, so repellents cause the deer to flee the area.
If for some reason the smell doesn’t stop them, the taste coating your plants definitely will. Capsaicin is the active component in chili peppers that gives peppers their “heat” and produces a burning sensation. Because of this characteristic, capsaicin makes an excellent form of deer deterrent. When you spray repellents that use capsaicin on your garden plants, deer will by turned off by the biting sensation when they taste it, effectively discouraging them from dining on your plants. Deer will move on to greener and tastier pastures.
Plus, these dual-action deer repellents have been shown to work for other animals, such as rabbits and squirrels, so you can rid your yard of multiple critters with just one product.
Keep in mind; some spray repellents contain chemicals which shouldn’t be used in fruit and vegetable gardens, so be cautious. The best choice is organic deer repellent that displays the Organic Materials Review Institute-listed® (OMRI) seal, which means it’s approved for use in organic gardening and safe for your family, your plants, and the environment.
So You’re Ready To Spray, Now What?
Repellents are sold in liquid form, as concentrated or convenient ready-to-use formulas. Simply spray the repellent on areas you want protected. For fast and simple application, look for a battery powered sprayer, especially for larger yards.
To more effectively keep deer out of your yard, look for repellents with a high potency, so they are long lasting. This means they are easier to maintain, since you only have to spray every few months. Some spray repellents require frequent reapplication, especially after rainfall. This can become quite costly to maintain, as well as time-consuming.
High-Tech Water Repellents
Motion-activated water repellents spray deer with jets of water when they are within a set proximity to the sensor. This method will startle the deer and condition the animal to avoid the area. Some infrared sensors can detect movement within areas as large as 1000 square feet. This method also works for other critters that venture into your yard.
Electronic Repellents Mean Business
Electronic repellents use gentle shock to repel. The idea is to startle the deer with the shock, and deter them from damaging the area. Most electronic shock repellents are easy to install, and don’t require the homeowner to run any wires. This method can be used in combination with a spray-repellent for extra protection.
Interested in Fencing?
The only 100% effective deer repellent is a deer fence. Deer fencing is a proven and reliable method of discouraging large animals without harmful effects; it comes in many kinds, from nearly invisible netting to sturdy wire. However, fences tend to not be an option for many homeowners since it negatively affects the aesthetics of the landscape.
Many homeowners have found success using deer repellents to keep deer out of their yards, and you can, too. Try the methods above to see which one works best in your area. You’ll be happy you did.
Article by Jon Kander.