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January 25, 2013 2 min read

Choices of organic deer repellents are abundant for gardeners wishing to protect their plants from deer damage while protecting the environment and their fruits and vegetables from potentially harmful chemicals.

The most effective spray-on deer repellent is egg based, and it is also the easiest, least expensive, and organic. Gardeners should mix one raw egg with one gallon of water, and let the mixture sit in the sun long enough for the mixture to become putrid. The odor deters deer because it smells like rotting meat, fooling the deer into thinking there has been a predator eating nearby. Once used on the plants, the odor quickly fades to the human sense of smell. This organic mixture, when sprinkled on plants, will keep deer from eating them.

Eggs are organic, because they are derived from animals, but raw eggs can carry salmonella and other bacteria that gardeners may wish to keep away from plants that are meant for human consumption. If small children or pets are likely to come in contact with the plants being treated, consideration of the possible risks associated with raw eggs should be taken. Used with care, the solution can be sprinkled on plants while avoiding the fruit. Any food grown in a garden, whether treated this way or not, should be washed thoroughly before eating. All types of spray-on deer repellent need to be reapplied regularly, and always after rain. As deer develop new feeding habits, the reapplication will be needed less frequently.

Pellets made from wolf or coyote urine is considered organic, because it is derived from animals. They are as effective as egg solutions, but the odor is more objectionable, and they are controversial because of the use of live animals to procure the urine. These pellets are found in hunting stores or online.

Hot pepper or chili powder, garlic, and hot sauce are other organic ingredients that can make one’s plants taste bad to deer. It can be mixed into an egg solution for an added deterrent.

Several types of organic fertilizers, according to some studies, are effective in repelling deer, especially during the summer months when deer can easily find food elsewhere. Powdered blood, or blood meal, is one type of fertilizer the keeps deer and rabbits at bay. Another is Morganite, and organic nitrogen fertilizer for lawns that can be effective in repelling deer.

Finally, several commercial products that exist on the market are advertised as organic deer repellents. Some are derived from coyote urine, while others are made from fish oil, cinnamon oil, and a variety of other natural ingredients.

Most gardeners who are looking for organic solutions to keeping deer, rabbits, and other unwanted animals away will also want to consider motion-activated sprinklers and barriers, such as wooden fences or natural stone walls.

These organic and natural methods, or a combination of any of them, can keep gardens protected from nuisance animals, and keep the environment and vegetable and fruits gardens free from harmful chemicals.


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