JARS v63n4 - Tips for Beginners: Homemade Deer Repellents

Tips for Beginners: Homemade Deer Repellents
Don Hyatt
McLean, Virginia

Modified from the Massachusetts Feb. 2007 newsletter

This recipe was posted on the Yahoo Rhodie Chat Group in November, 2006. Don is a great rhodie grower and it seemed likely that his recipe would be of interest to many. We need all the help we can get with these four-legged browsers!

"The home-made deer spray I've published in the Potomac Valley Chapter newsletter a couple of times is listed below. It is based on Ed Reiley's recipe but I added some Dawn detergent to help break up the egg, and some milk that seems to help as I whip the eggs.

6 eggs

240 ml (1 cup) milk

80 ml (1/3 cup) hot sauce

0.6 ml (1/8 tsp) Dawn liquid detergent

Whip in a blender until very smooth, and mix with enough water to make about 9-12 liters (2.5-3 gallons) of spray. Be sure to clean out the sprayer well afterwards as otherwise the egg mixture will dry up and clog the sprayer.

It at least makes the plants in my garden less attractive than those of my neighbors (all of which are Bambi Lovers), so when the critters are grazing they may at least eat their plants first. I spray about once a month, but try to replenish after heavy rains. I have been considering the addition of some dormant oil during the winter in an effort to try anything to make my plants less attractive!"

Editors Note: There are a wide variety of deer repellents in use. Some recipes may work better in different regions, perhaps because of different deer species and alternative forage plants. Here on Vancouver Island, where we have Black-tailed deer ( Odocoileus hemionus ) instead of the White-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) that occurs east of the Rocky Mountains, the following simple recipe has been reported as very effective by staff at the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research on Vancouver Island:

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 egg yolk

1 litre of water

Spray plants every 2-3 weeks.

Good luck!