Ultrasonic devices, motion detecting sprinklers, human hair, and even coyote urine are some of the lengths homeowners are going to keep hungry deer from eating their garden plants down to the ground; but there are varieties of homemade deer repellents that work wonders and are much easier, faster, less expensive, and more humane than some of the other solutions found on the internet or in gardening stores.
Homemade deer repellents that work typically have only one key ingredient: eggs. Because deer are vegetarians, they instinctively avoid anything with the smell of egg on it, and they won’t go near any leaves that have been sprayed with it. To make it at home, the fasted way is to crack and egg into about one gallon of water- the volume of water can be decreased to make it stronger- and sprinkled on any plants that the deer have been attracted to. The mixture should be reapplied after rain, sprinkling, or after new growth appears. If sprayed onto food plants, they food should be washed thoroughly before eating.
There are several variations to the egg and water recipe, and gardeners should experiment to find the solution that works best for their situation. Some research has suggested that the homemade deer repellents that work a little better, are the ones that contain putrefied egg solid. To achieve this, one can cook (hard boil or scramble) the egg before mixing in the water. Eggs can be quickly cooked in a microwave safe mug sprayed with a nonstick spray or oil. After being mixed with the water, the egg should be left out for about twenty-four hours so that is starts to putrefy. This stronger smelling mixture will keep deer, rabbits, and even voles, from eating the leaves on which it was sprayed.
Gardeners have tried a variety of variations to this recipe to find the ones that work best. For example, adding an ingredient like vegetable oil or canola oil can help the mixture stick to the leaves. An addition of hot and spicy ingredients, like chili powder, garlic powder, or cinnamon, will provide an additional deterrent for the hungry animals. Besides oil, some recipes use dish soap as the agent to help the mixture adhere to the leaves of the plants.
Finally vigilance is a needed ingredient to the strategy. The deer deterrent must be reapplied regularly in order for it to work. Once washed off by rain, it will only take hours or minutes for the deer to find the tasty and freshly rain-washed leaves to eat. Until deer become conditioned to stay away from the garden with repellent, and until they have established new feeding habits, the repellent must be applied right away after rain or watering, or even after new growth appears.
Eventually, deer do find new places to eat, especially in the summer months when good food is more abundant. Nevertheless, the repellent should be periodically applied even after the deer have seemed to leave, and gardeners should lookout for returning deer as autumn approaches, and fewer greens are available in wilderness areas. Regardless of the other added ingredients, homemade deer repellents that work contain egg, vigilant homeowners.