10 Best Deer Repellents | April 2017

We spent 34 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. Skip to the best deer repellent on Amazon.
10 Best Deer Repellents | April 2017
Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 9
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
Ortho Deer B Gone comes in a handy 1-gallon jug, so you don't have to worry about doing any mixing or diluting, and you can keep your hands clean. You have to keep priming the nozzle for it to work, though, so it's better for smaller gardens and not vast stretches of lawn.
  • doesn't harm vegetation
  • sprayer doesn't clog
  • can't use on plants you eat
Brand Ortho
Model 0489110
Weight 9.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
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, however.
  • no disgusting odor
  • won't harm any animal that eats it
  • will attract flies
Brand Enviro Pro Deer Scram
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
Plantskydd Repellent is a water-soluble powder, and each box can make up to 10 quarts of spray when mixed. It acts as a foliage feed fertilizer in addition to keeping your plants from getting eaten, so your garden will grow healthy and strong while staying safe.
  • good for protecting new growth
  • also works for rabbits
  • no mixing instructions included
Brand Plantskydd
Model pending
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
Deer Stopper Concentrate 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, but it won't stain or discolor your plants, so feel free to use it more often.
  • only requires a light spray
  • prevents bedding down and grazing
  • reapplying can get expensive
Brand Messina Wildlife
Model DS-C-032
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
This spray from I Must Garden 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
  • spray bottle clogs easily
Brand I Must Garden
Model DA32
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
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.
  • money-back guarantee
  • easily applied with a spray bottle
  • will wash off in the rain
Brand Deer Out
Model pending
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Hoont Cobra is a sprayer with a sensitive motion detector, and it shoots a powerful jet of water at Bambi if he gets too close. It makes a loud noise at the same time, so the animal won't get hurt, but he will think twice about coming to your garden for supper again.
  • thirty-foot range
  • very low water consumption
  • good for repelling other pests too
Brand Hoont
Model pending
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
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-hour, 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 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
Bobbex B550100 is a concentrated repellent 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.
  • won't harm vegetation
  • made from all-natural ingredients
  • easy to mix in water
Brand Bobbex
Model B550100
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
The Contech Scarecrow protects up to 800 square feet of your property, and you can even link several of them together to make your yard impenetrable. It also works at night, so any nocturnal critters are sure to get soaked as well, ensuring you wake up to an intact garden.
  • runs on a single 9v battery
  • adjustable arc and distance
  • 17-inch stake keeps it grounded
Brand Contech Scarecrow
Model 300000791
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

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 April 22 2017 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.