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August 18, 2013 2 min read

Gardeners have attempted a mixed bag of strategies for pushing ruinous deer out of their gardens. Commercial deer repellents can be found in gardening centers, hunting supply stores, and through online retailers, and they can range in price from just a few dollars to expensive electronic devices. This article will focus on commercial deer repellents, as opposed to homemade ones, and discuss which ones are the most effective.

Commercial deer repellents include electronic devices and repellents that come in sprays or pellets. (Of course fences and walls deter deer as well.) The best electronic deer repellent by a long shot is a motion detecting sprinkler. The sprinklers can be purchased online as stand alone sprinklers, with no installation needed. The sprinklers can be set up where the deer are a problem, and the motions detector is able to detect deer day or night, spraying them when detected. This sprinkler answer for deer issues is a perfect one for a few reasons. Homeowners who are regularly away from home can set this up, and it will continue to work, as opposed to sprays, which must be reapplied regularly. Many of the sprinklers are available at reasonable prices. A drawback to this methods is for areas where there is human foot traffic, or areas where water could be a problem. The sprinklers will keep deer away, as well as other garden pests who do not like to get wet.

Commercial deer repellents also include some that transmit sounds to keep the deer away. Consumer reviews of the sonic deer repellents are generally negative, including reports that they are not effective, and other complaints that the sounds are unpleasant to humans and their pets as well. Before purchasing a sonic deer repellent, research should be done by prospective consumers to avoid getting an expensive but ineffective deer repellent.

Spray on repellent is available commercially in several varieties. Commercial deer repellents made from coyote or wolf urine is available in hunting stores, in spray or pellet form. These alert deer that a predator is nearby, discouraging them from sticking around. Like the sonic repellents, this kind has been reported to be less effective than both the sprinkler, and the egg and water spray, discussed below. Additionally, these products have raised eyebrows because of the way in which the wolves or coyotes are treated.

Finally, commercial deer repellents made with real egg ingredients are the most effective. While these solutions can be made at home, they may be purchased in stores or online for those who wish to save the hassle. Any repellent with putrefied egg solid listed as an ingredient will likely be effective. Other ingredients may serve the purpose of preserving the mixture, or aiding in the mixture’s ability to cling to leaves- like mint oil or rosemary oil. Some of these mixtures are advertised to be odor free, but even those that aren’t will lose their odor (to humans, not to the deer) once applied and allowed to dry onto the plants.