When deciding on a deer repellent strategy, you should read some tips on product selection and use. Repellents are an important part of a multi-faceted approach to controlling deer. Just as some plants are eaten in some areas and not in others, different animal repellents work differently. There are variations in the way deer react depending on species, regions, seasons, and plants. If there is a lot of plant material for deer to choose from it is easier to repel them. If there isn't much choice of other plants or there is such a high population of deer to plants, the deer are more desperate and hard to control.
There are two modes of action that most deer repellent falls into. There are also repellents that combine both modes. Contact, also called taste repellents, are applied directly to plants, causing them to taste bad. Examples include Bobbex, Hot Pepper Wax, and Treeguard. The other type of repellents are Area, also called odor repellents. These are placed in a area you want to keep deer out of and the deer are repelled by the foul odor, or frightened by the odor of humans or other predators. Examples are Plantskydd, Deer Away, and Deer Scram.
There are also several products for a deer proof garden that combine ingredients or have ingredients that work as both taste and odor repellents. Examples of combination products are Deer-Off, NIMBY, and Deer Ban.
Control products come in ready-to-use liquids, granules, bags, and powder that can be mixed with water. If you prefer, you can make your own products for a deer-proof garden. Repellents can eggs, peppers, dish soap, fertilizers, bars of soap such as Dial and Lifebuoy, garlic cloves, human hair, urine from coyotes, and even large cat feces from local zoos. Check out our whole page of homemade deer repellents recipes that you can make yourself.