Have you ever slaved all summer to grow a beautiful garden, only to find it demolished after one night of deer snacking? How can you be assertive without hurting animals that are just trying to survive? You can’t build a fence because, in addition to being very expensive, the deer will probably find a way over it. You must guard against deer by using their survival instincts for your own gain and repelling them in any way you can. You will have to find the right deer repellent for you.
The deer’s sense of smell is the best place to start. They have keep olfactory senses which they use to detect predators. They do not stand a chance against more aggressive animals and are therefore more apt to run away rather than take a chance. Urine marking a predator’s territory is a clear sign for deer to stay away if they value their lives. You can use this, too.
There are scented chemicals that are similar to the smell of real animal urine. Few animals would be willing to risk getting food that is clearly in the middle of a predator’s territory. These can be found in any hunting or home care department. Still there is something about spraying stuff that stinks on to the plants.
Deer, much like dogs, can hear sounds much higher than a human would be able to hear. While dogs express their displeasure at these noises by barking, deer will simply go away. Whistles can be bought which you can blow if you see the animal stalking your garden, but one cannot be expected to be on watch at all hours of the day and night. There are automatic whistles which can play when something in your yard triggers its motion detectors. You can go about your own life with no inconvenience whatsoever, but deer will flee from your area.
Some claim chopped garlic has a strong enough scent to make deer turn back. Others swear by chopped up hot peppers. If you hang bars of Dove soap above your plants, that is also rumored to work. Other uses are moth balls, ammonia, vinegar, and cloves. Try things out until you find one that really works!
A new wave of deer-resistance has started. People call it ‘deeroscaping’ and use the term when they organize their property to be unpalatable to deer. This typically involves growing certain plants that deer find disgusting very close to ones they find delicious. It should hopefully keep them far enough away from your garden so they don’t even notice plants they might want. Any decorative grass is one example, along with sage, verbena, spearmint, and mums. Full lists are pages long.
These are all good steps for summer months when other food is readily available; deer won’t bother with your heinous yard when there are plenty of other peaceful, nice-smelling places to eat. In the winter, though, deer do not have the luxury of being picky. They can and will eat anything they can find. You may have to use ALL of these steps in the winter.