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Part of country living in many parts of the world is those cute but pesky deer. If you are fortunate enough to live in the country or even in one of those ever increasing urban areas that have encroached upon deer habitat, chances are deer represent more than just something pretty to look at around your place. Deer can be pure evil in the garden. The good news is that with very little outlay in cash and just a few minutes of your time, deer can be deterred from dining on the bounty that you aim to see on your table and not in Bambi’s belly.
Properly concocted, home made deer deterrent preparations are both effective and safe. We don’t advocate the use of harsh chemicals or formulas that utilize any form of animal urine, as the urine may be obtained in a less than pleasant manner. What we do advocate are strategies that feature safe, “found around the place” ingredients. We present some choices here that are both effective and safe for both the garden and the deer.
Deer can become accustomed to your repellent, so it is recommended that you change things up throughout the year. Add a little something different to the formula if you notice the deer beginning to return. Ingredients such as, garlic, mint, scented dish soap, vinegar, fresh green onion tops, essential oil of cloves, beef bouillon, clear ammonia, moth balls, Murphy’s oil, even a little, ahemm, human urine can be added. Any additional ingredients you add, should be done so in moderation, as we know how accute a deer’s sense of smell is – a little bit will go a long way. You should record what you add and what seems to work well and what doesn’t. This way you will have a custom blend that is targeted to the particular species of deer that frequents your garden and can easily be duplicated year after year.
Plan to re-apply deer repellent every 3 weeks or so, as it will lose its effectiveness over time and as mentioned previously, deer may become somewhat accustomed to the scents over time. Rain and even your own watering schedule may also help hasten the degradation of the repellent.
Caution: We’ll leave it up to your own judgment just exactly where to apply your repellent and where not to. Based on the ingredients you choose, applying directly to buds and already set fruits and vegetables, might not be a great choice. Instead consider leafy portions of adjacent plants and even structures such as fence posts, tree trunks, etc.
Deer Repellent Recipe #16 eggs
4 hot peppers or enough to make it VERY HOT!
6-12 gloves of garlic, enough to make it stink.
Put it all in a blender and liquify it.
Put it in an old milk jug.
Set it out in the sun to let it cook and get real stinky and hot for a couple days.
Strain it good if you want to use it in a sprayer.
You can pour it on and around the plants out of the jug.
Deer Repellent Recipe #2This will not hurt the deer. Deer will shy away from the scent of other
animals, so you trick them with the bloodmeal and hair clippings.
A barber shop is a good source for some hair sweepings.
1 yard old sheeting, cotton, or muslin
1/4 C. bloodmeal
1 C. hair clippings
Cut the fabric into small 4-inch squares. Mix the bloodmeal and hair together and place about a tablespoon onto the center of each square. Bring up the ends and secure with a string or rubber band.
To use, hang these little packets from the branches of the trees and shrubs where deer are a problem. You should be able to notice the deer avoiding the spot almost immediately.
The Soap Bar SolutionDrill a hole and hang it with fishing line. Hang one bar in each tree or bush you want to protect. It is rumored that Life Buoy is especially effective.
Motion Sensor SprinklersIf you have a water system that supports a sprinkler then you should definitely consider a motion-activated sprinkler to chase marauding deer away. These devices will sense the movement of deer and set off a powerful and noisy, impulse sprinkler that is guaranteed to startle all but the boldest buck. You can also “pre-aim” the sprinkler in the direction of plants you suspect the deer will be feasting on.
Our neighbor uses one of these that he sets to on at dusk and switches off during the day. When sneaking out after dark for a few raspberries from our patch on the fence line, I often get a cold blast from the darn thing!
Here is a link to one of these products, the Scarecrow Sprinkler.
Share Your Own Recipes With Your Fellow Rural Independents
You’re the experts, out there in he heartland doing battle with your own pesky deer. Please share your own recipes and tricks with us and we’ll update all of rural independent land with your latest and greatest suggestions.
Submit your ideas here.
Good luck, fellow repellers!