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March 06, 2015 2 min read

Grazing deer are a beautiful and peaceful sight out in the wild, but they are a destructive nuisance once they enter a well groomed and tended garden. There are a number of types of deer repellents that work, and this article will briefly discuss the deer repellents that work the best, and the reasons that they work.

Study after study have shown that products that contain putrescent egg or egg solid as the main or active ingredient are the deer repellents that are the most effective over all. Store bought repellents may contain egg or egg solid, but this type of deer repellent can also be easily, and inexpensively, made right at home. To make an effective deer repellent with putrescent egg, one only has to mix one raw egg with anywhere from one cup to one gallon of water. Leave it out in the sun for a little while, the egg will begin to putrefy and the stronger smell is more effective at deterring deer. Some studies have shown that using egg solid is an even more effective deer deterrent. The same recipe can be used, substituting the raw egg with a chopped hard boiled or scrambled egg. Cracking an egg in a microwave safe container and zapping it for a minute is a quick way to cook an egg when taste is not the main concern. Mixed with water, again, the mixture can be left in the sun to putrefy to better repel deer.

There are several theories floating around as to why putrefied egg is the best deer repellent that works. The simplest theory is that being vegetarians, deer are naturally repelled by meat or animal products like egg, and will instinctively avoid eating them, or anything sprayed with them. Another perhaps more farfetched, but feasible theory, is that the smell of rotten eggs fools the deer into thinking that a predator has killed and eaten nearby, and that is producing the awful smell. It seems a little farfetched that deer could process that kind of logic, but their survival instincts depend on their fear of predators, so perhaps this largely fearful animals have keen instincts about predator activity. Their finely tuned fear instinct also comes to play in that last theory, and that is that they are fearful of food that makes them sick, and for that reason will avoid plants sprayed with putrefied egg or egg solid.

Whatever the reason, experts agree that putrescent egg or egg solid ingredients make the deer repellents that work. Once ready, the mixture can be dribbled or sprayed on any plant that has been a victim of a hungry deer. Repellent should be reapplied regularly after rain or watering, but overtime, it will be less urgent to spray, as the deer will learn to avoid areas that smell like egg, and develop new feeding habits in different locations. Since deer are creatures of habits, they will return to good feeding areas regularly, and learn to avoid bad food.