The 10 Best Deer Repellents

Updated March 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Deer Repellents
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're having trouble keeping the local wildlife out of your garden, then a high-quality deer repellent might be your best bet. The options on this list will keep animals off your property without harming them, and many are completely safe to use around children or pets. Don't let these pests turn your flower bed into a buffet -- keep them out for good with one of our selections. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best deer repellent on Amazon.

10. Messina Wildlife Deer Stopper

Messina Wildlife Deer Stopper is made from food-grade ingredients, so it's safe to spray on vegetables that you plan on eating later. Each application lasts about a month regardless of conditions, and it won't stain or discolor your plants.
  • requires only a light spray
  • prevents bedding down and grazing
  • reapplying it can get expensive
Brand Messina Wildlife
Model DS-C-032
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

9. Fillixar Deterrent

The Fillixar Deterrent serves a dual purpose as it keeps herbivores and predators away, so not only will your garden be safe, but also your chickens and outdoor cats if you have any. It uses a constantly flashing red light to make animals think they are being watched.
  • fully waterproof
  • may even deter criminals
  • works only at night
Brand Fillixar
Model pending
Weight 6.1 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Enviro Pro Deer Scram

Enviro Pro Deer Scram is made entirely of animal byproducts, like meat and bone meal, which makes deer think that there's a carcass nearby and, therefore, predators in the area. It requires using quite a bit of the stuff to have an impact, though.
  • completely biodegradable
  • won't harm any animal that eats it
  • will attract flies
Brand Enviro Pro Deer Scram
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Nature’s Mace

Nature’s Mace is available as a concentrate or ready-to-use spray and is extremely effective at keeping deer away from your foliage. It is completely safe to use around children and pets, and can even be sprayed on edible plants. In fact, it fertilizes them.
  • made with all organic ingredients
  • repels using scent and taste
  • doesn't leave a visible film
Brand Nature's Mace
Model pending
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Deer Out

If you're worried about stinking up your garden, then Deer Out is definitely worth a try. It has a minty aroma that many users find quite pleasant, but is off-putting to deer. It's also long-lasting inside the container, so it won't go bad on you if you don't use it all.
  • 100-percent money-back guarantee
  • applied easily from a spray bottle
  • must be well shaken before each use
Brand Deer Out
Model pending
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Eliminator Advanced

If you don't like the idea of spreading pellets or formulas around your yard, then you will appreciate the Eliminator Advanced. It makes use of flashing lights and an ultrasonic frequency to keep rodents, deer, and other pests at bay.
  • charges via solar power
  • simple for anybody to use
  • motion-sensor activated
Brand Eliminator
Model pending
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Bobbex B550100

Bobbex B550100 is a concentrated option that lasts up to two months in even the wettest conditions. It uses both taste and smell to deter animals, but the odor isn't very strong to human noses after it dries. It's equally effective on elk and moose as it is on deer.
  • doesn't harm aquatic life
  • made with recycled ingredients
  • can't be used on edible vegetation
Brand Bobbex
Model B550100
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit

Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit comes in bottles ranging from 32 ounces up to 2.5 gallons, so no matter what size yard you have, there is one that can treat it. Once it dries, it is completely odorless to humans, and it is safe to use on edible plants.
  • great choice for herb gardens
  • scent-based repellent
  • suitable for homes with dogs or cats
Brand Liquid Fence
Model 70123-1
Weight 45.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. I Must Garden Spice Scent

I Must Garden Spice Scent uses an egg base that's been proven to repel deer, then tops it with oils from plants that the animals won't eat, like peppermint and cinnamon. This both increases the effectiveness of the deterrent and extends its lifespan.
  • great budget option
  • also has insecticidal properties
  • lasts through many rainfalls
Brand I Must Garden
Model DA32
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Soldier Sentinel

If you want to keep all sorts of pests away, the Soldier Sentinel has an adjustable ultrasonic setting that can deter deer, rabbits, rodents, and more. You can also set the protection mode to day, night, or 24 hours, so you can tailor your efforts to the most active times.
  • can be made undetectable by humans
  • weatherproof for use in all climates
  • powerful infrared motion sensor
Brand Pest Soldier
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Keeping Deer At Bay: Choosing A Deer Repellent

Once a deer has taken an interest in your property, it can be an immense hassle to get them to vacate the area again. The problem is compounded when the deer arrive in numbers, and is further exacerbated if your property is rich in edible foods, flowering plants, and other flora you value for its looks or that you planned to eat yourself. A deer is easily frightened away by the sudden appearance of a person, but will return time and time again to feed on your flowers, foods, and shrubs -- not to mention the garbage you leave out at night -- if you don't give them a convincing reason to leave and not return. The solution to an unwanted ungulate guest is to use the right deer repellent.

There are two approaches to repelling deer and other pests: use a scent based repellent the animal will find so odious they will not be able to stand the stench and will look for other foraging grounds, or use a surprise based repellent device that frightens the deer away every time they come near, soon teaching the animals that your property is not a safe area.

If you choose to go with the scent repellent approach, choosing the right formula means assessing the habits of the deer you're trying to repel. If the animals only go after a small bed of flowers or edible plants, for example, consider one of the highly concentrated and long lasting formulas and apply it as a barrier to the limited area at issue. These powerful liquid formulas usually last weeks if not months, firmly establishing the treated area as unapproachable to deer (and rabbits and squirrels and other mammals at that). On the other hand, most concentrated liquid repellents are quite pricey.

Pellet style scent repellents are cheaper than liquid repellents and are perfect for spreading liberally around a yard or large planted area where deer are nibbling. You can distribute large amounts of these pellets across your property and repeat the process as needed until the deer no longer return. These pellet repellents require a bit more hands on effort, but are pleasantly affordable.

The other approach to keeping deer at bay is to use a mechanical device that scares them off. Some such devices use ultrasonic sound waves the human ear can't detect but that animals can't stand. The benefit is zero effect on yourself or your property, but know that other animals, like your dog, may be effected. Most such devices also use flashing lights which make them more effective at scaring deer, but which can also be an annoyance to humans. Motion detecting sprinklers are another great tool in your "fight" against deer, as no buck or doe who is suddenly blasted with water will soon forget the fearful experience. These sprinklers can be rather expensive, though, and require a water source and occasional recalibration and maintenance.

How To Make Your Property Less Deer Friendly

The best way to prevent deer from ruining your yard or garden is to prevent them from ever entering it. Erecting a fence too high for a nimble deer to jump means installing a barrier as much as ten feet high, which may be prohibitive for some properties based on ordinances, aesthetics, logistics, or cost. Large hedges can stand in for a fence, but they will take years to reach sufficient height and thickness to reliably prevent deer.

Basic yard and garden maintenance does much to dissuade deer from coming near. Keep the grass trimmed short and pick vegetables and fruits once they ripen. Also keep plants, shrubs, and trees properly trimmed and clear out underbrush, thereby reducing the number of spots in which a deer can hide or even bed down.

If you want to plant flowers or edibles without the protection of a fence, help to create a virtual barrier around the plants by also growing things like garlic, mint, and onions -- these are plants you can harvest and enjoy but that are unpleasant to the deer's nose and which can mask the scent of more alluring options.

American Deer: A Survival Story

While it's impossible to know exact numbers, experts estimate that the total population of deer in the region today known as the United States, just prior to first contact with Europeans in the late 15th Century numbered between 30 million and 40 million animals. As of an estimate assembled in 2014, there are an estimated 32.2 million deer -- including white-tailed deer, blacktail, and mule deer -- in the country today. Those similar figures suggest an uncanny population stability at first glance, but in fact obscure a dramatic story of decline and resurgence.

With the dramatic increase of deer hunting brought on by new settlement and then the subsequent rapid population expansion of the centuries intervening between the 15th and 21st, American deer population in fact plummeted precipitously. By the turn of the 20th Century, there were only some 500,000 deer left in America. The species faced a genuine threat to its continued survival. Fortunately, this threat was recognized by the United States government, which enacted the Lacey Act in 1900. It was the country's first federal wildlife law and it restricted interstate transport and sales of venison and hides (among other things), thereby slowing the unbridled harvest of deer. And it worked.

Soon supported by laws and new conservation departments that cropped up in dozens of states in the early 1900s, deer populations soon rebounded. The human population shift toward living cities that began largely as a result of the Great Depression eradicating countless rural jobs was yet another boon to deer populations. Suddenly the deer had newly uninhabited space in former farmland and pastures in which to roam, graze, and settle.

Above anything else, it is the deer's remarkable adaptability that has helped the species recover and flourish from the brink of collapse. Deer can live an entirely wild life deep in untouched forests, or they can survive in the suburbs and even in the cities mankind creates where once wildlife ruled. Today, even with as many as ten million deer hunters annually taking to the forests and hoping for a kill or three, deer populations remain robust and stable.

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Last updated on March 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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