Best Deer Repellents

Deer, while beautiful and majestic creatures, can be a significant nuisance for homeowners, gardeners, and farmers. Their voracious appetites often lead them to munch on precious plants, flowers, and crops, causing extensive damage. Finding an effective deer repellent is crucial for protecting your greenery and ensuring your outdoor spaces remain vibrant and productive. This comprehensive buying guide will walk you through everything you need to know about deer repellents, including the best products, how they work, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Top Picks

SaleBestseller No. 1
Deer Out 32oz Concentrate Deer Repellent
  • Over 100,000 Repeat Customers - For over 20 years Deer Out is the trusted brand for professional gardeners, landscapers and farmers alike. Works Great!
  • Minty Fresh Scent - Smells Great to Humans but Deer, Elk and Moose are naturally repelled by our Deer Out patented formula.
  • Wont Wash Off - Two Natural Stickers keeps Deer Out on your plants! Deer Out is Rain resistant.
  • All Natural ingredients - Deer Out is environmentally friendly using only natural ingredients. Safe for use around children and pets.
  • Year-Round Formula - Can be used in all Seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter & Fall
SaleBestseller No. 2
Liquid Fence Animal Repellent, 128 Oz, Multicolor
  • REPELS DEER AND RABBITS: Deer and rabbits don’t have to eat vegetation for the repellent to be effective—they have a natural aversion to the scent
  • SPRAY ON PLANTS: Use to treat landscaped ornamental gardens, flowers, shrubs, trees and vines
  • RAIN RESISTANT: Ready-to-use liquid formula starts to work immediately
  • HARMLESS TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS: Won’t harm plants and animals when used and stored as directed
  • APPLY YEAR-ROUND: No need to rotate with other repellent brands – animals’ natural aversion to Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent Ready-to-Use2 will never diminish
Bestseller No. 3
Deer Out 40oz Ready-to-Use Deer Repellent
  • Over 100,000 Repeat Customers - For over 20 years Deer Out is the trusted brand for professional gardeners, landscapers and farmers alike. Works Great!
  • Minty Fresh Scent - Smells Great to Humans but Deer, Elk and Moose are naturally repelled by our Deer Out patented formula.
  • Wont Wash Off - Two Natural Stickers keeps Deer Out on your plants! Deer Out is Rain resistant.
  • All Natural ingredients - Deer Out is environmentally friendly using only natural ingredients. Safe for use around children and pets.
  • Year-Round Formula - Can be used in all Seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter & Fall

Understanding Deer Behavior

Deer are highly adaptable animals with keen senses of smell and taste. Understanding their behavior is key to effectively repelling them. They are most active during dawn and dusk and are particularly drawn to tender, new growth. Deer have a strong sense of territory and can be creatures of habit, often returning to the same locations to feed. Knowing these behaviors can help in selecting and positioning your deer repellent for maximum effectiveness.

Types of Deer Repellents

Chemical Repellents Chemical repellents are among the most common types of deer repellents. They work by emitting odors or tastes that deer find unpleasant. These repellents can be sprayed directly onto plants or around the perimeter of an area. Some common active ingredients include putrescent egg solids, garlic, and capsaicin.

Natural Repellents Natural repellents often use ingredients that are safe for humans, pets, and the environment. These can include essential oils, soap, and other natural substances that deer find repulsive. Natural repellents are a good choice for those looking for an eco-friendly option.

Electronic Repellents Electronic repellents use motion sensors, ultrasonic sounds, or flashing lights to scare deer away. These devices can be highly effective but may require a power source and regular maintenance.

Physical Barriers Physical barriers such as fences or netting are a surefire way to keep deer out of an area. While more permanent and sometimes costly, they provide a long-term solution to deer problems.

Best Deer Repellents

Deer Out Deer Repellent Deer Out is a popular choice due to its effective formula and pleasant minty scent. It is a chemical repellent that uses putrescent egg solids and garlic to deter deer. It is safe for use on edible plants and has a long-lasting effect.

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Liquid Fence is another top-rated chemical repellent. It uses a combination of garlic and egg solids to create an odor that deer find repulsive. It is rain-resistant and can be applied directly to plants.

Bobbex Deer Repellent Bobbex is a natural repellent that combines ingredients like putrescent egg, fish meal, and garlic to create a powerful deterrent. It is environmentally friendly and safe for use around pets and children.

Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler The Orbit Yard Enforcer is an electronic repellent that uses a motion-activated sprinkler to scare deer away. It is highly effective and covers a large area. The sudden burst of water startles deer, deterring them from entering the protected zone.

Scotts Ortho Deer B Gon Deer Repellent Ortho Deer B Gon is a chemical repellent that uses essential oils to deter deer. It is easy to apply and has a pleasant scent for humans. It is effective for up to four weeks and is rain-resistant.

Comparison Table

Product Type Active Ingredients Coverage Safe for Edibles Longevity
Deer Out Deer Repellent Chemical Putrescent egg, garlic Large area Yes Long-lasting
Liquid Fence Chemical Garlic, egg solids Large area Yes Rain-resistant
Bobbex Deer Repellent Natural Egg, fish meal, garlic Medium area Yes Long-lasting
Orbit Yard Enforcer Electronic Motion sensor, water Large area N/A Variable
Ortho Deer B Gon Chemical Essential oils Medium area Yes Up to 4 weeks

FAQs About Deer Repellents

How often should I reapply deer repellent? The frequency of application depends on the product and environmental conditions. Generally, chemical and natural repellents should be reapplied every few weeks or after heavy rain.

Are deer repellents safe for pets and children? Most natural repellents are safe for pets and children. Always check the product label for specific safety information.

Can I use deer repellent on edible plants? Many deer repellents are safe for use on edible plants, but it’s essential to verify this on the product label. Some chemical repellents may not be suitable for food crops.

What is the most effective type of deer repellent? The effectiveness of a deer repellent can vary based on the specific situation. Combining different types of repellents, such as chemical and electronic, often yields the best results.

What is the best time to apply deer repellent?

The best time to apply deer repellent is during the early morning or late afternoon when deer are most active. This ensures that the repellent is fresh and more likely to deter deer when they come to feed.

How long does deer repellent last?

The longevity of deer repellent depends on the type and brand. Chemical and natural repellents typically last between 2 to 4 weeks, while electronic repellents can last as long as they are properly maintained and powered.

Do deer repellents work in winter?

Yes, deer repellents can work in winter, but their effectiveness may be reduced due to snow and harsh weather conditions. Reapplying repellent regularly and using physical barriers can enhance protection during winter.

Can deer repellents harm my plants?

Most deer repellents are designed to be safe for plants. However, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid over-application, which could potentially harm sensitive plants.

Is there a deer repellent that also works on other animals?

Yes, some deer repellents, such as Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent, are formulated to deter both deer and other animals like rabbits. Always check the product label for specific information on other animals it can repel.

Can homemade deer repellents be effective?

Homemade deer repellents can be effective but may not last as long as commercial products. Common ingredients include garlic, soap, and hot peppers. Experimenting with different recipes can help you find a combination that works for your area.

How do motion-activated deer repellents work?

Motion-activated deer repellents use sensors to detect movement and then activate a deterrent, such as a burst of water or an ultrasonic sound. This startles the deer and deters them from returning to the area.

What plants are naturally deer-resistant?

Plants that are naturally deer-resistant include lavender, marigolds, daffodils, and yarrow. These plants have strong scents or textures that deer tend to avoid.

Are ultrasonic deer repellents safe for pets?

Ultrasonic deer repellents are generally safe for pets, but the high-frequency sound may be irritating to some animals. It’s essential to monitor your pets’ reactions and adjust the placement of the device if necessary.

Can deer repellents be used on fruit trees?

Yes, many deer repellents are safe for use on fruit trees. Look for products specifically labeled for use on edibles and follow the application instructions carefully.

Do weather conditions affect the effectiveness of deer repellents?

Yes, weather conditions can significantly impact the effectiveness of deer repellents. Heavy rain, snow, and extreme temperatures can reduce the longevity of chemical and natural repellents, necessitating more frequent applications.

How can I protect my garden from deer without using chemicals?

You can protect your garden from deer without using chemicals by employing physical barriers such as fences or netting, planting deer-resistant plants, and using electronic repellents like motion-activated sprinklers.

What are the active ingredients in deer repellents?

Common active ingredients in deer repellents include putrescent egg solids, garlic, capsaicin, and essential oils. These ingredients create unpleasant smells or tastes that deter deer.

Can deer get used to repellents over time?

Yes, deer can become accustomed to certain repellents over time, especially if the repellent is not rotated or used consistently. Switching between different types of repellents can help maintain their effectiveness.

How do I apply deer repellent to my plants?

To apply deer repellent to your plants, follow the product instructions. Generally, you will spray the repellent directly onto the leaves, stems, and surrounding soil. Ensure even coverage for maximum protection.

Is it necessary to reapply deer repellent after rain?

Yes, it is often necessary to reapply deer repellent after heavy rain, as the rain can wash away the active ingredients, reducing the effectiveness of the repellent.

Are there any environmentally friendly deer repellents?

Yes, many deer repellents are environmentally friendly, using natural ingredients like essential oils and garlic. These products are safe for the environment, humans, and pets.

What should I do if deer repellent isn’t working?

If deer repellent isn’t working, consider trying a different type or brand, increasing the frequency of application, or combining multiple methods such as physical barriers and electronic repellents.

Can deer repellents be harmful to other wildlife?

Most deer repellents are designed to specifically target deer and are generally safe for other wildlife. However, it is always best to check the product label for any warnings or precautions regarding other animals.

Do I need a special sprayer for applying deer repellent?

Some deer repellents come with their own sprayers, while others may require a garden sprayer. Ensure your sprayer is clean and suitable for the type of repellent you are using to avoid clogging and uneven application.

How high should a fence be to keep deer out?

A fence should be at least 8 feet high to effectively keep deer out, as deer are capable of jumping over shorter fences. Electric or angled fences can provide additional deterrence.

What is the best electronic deer repellent?

The best electronic deer repellent depends on your specific needs. The Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler is highly effective for large areas, while ultrasonic devices can be useful for smaller spaces.

Can I use multiple deer repellents together?

Yes, using multiple deer repellents together can enhance effectiveness. Combining chemical repellents with physical barriers or electronic devices can provide comprehensive protection.

How do I know if a deer repellent is safe for my garden?

Check the product label for safety information regarding use on plants and in gardens. Look for repellents that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and specifically labeled safe for gardens.

What are some signs that deer are damaging my garden?

Signs of deer damage include missing or chewed leaves, torn foliage, trampled plants, and deer tracks in the soil. You may also notice droppings or a visible browsing line on shrubs and trees.

Can deer repellents be used on flower beds?

Yes, deer repellents can be used on flower beds. Choose a product that is safe for ornamental plants and follow the application instructions to ensure even coverage and protection.

Are there any scents that naturally repel deer?

Yes, scents such as mint, rosemary, garlic, and certain essential oils are known to naturally repel deer. These can be used in homemade repellents or purchased as commercial products.

How far apart should I place electronic deer repellents?

The placement of electronic deer repellents depends on the coverage area of the device. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, typically spacing devices every 20-30 feet for maximum effectiveness.

Can deer repellent be harmful to birds?

Most deer repellents are not harmful to birds, especially natural and environmentally friendly products. However, always check the product label for any specific warnings regarding wildlife.

What maintenance is required for electronic deer repellents?

Electronic deer repellents require regular maintenance, including checking batteries or power sources, cleaning sensors, and ensuring the device is functioning correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal performance.

What is the cost of deer repellents?

The cost of deer repellents varies depending on the type and brand. Chemical and natural repellents typically range from $10 to $30, while electronic repellents can cost between $50 and $200.

What is the best natural deer repellent?

The best natural deer repellent often includes ingredients like garlic, essential oils, and putrescent egg solids. Bobbex Deer Repellent is a highly recommended natural option that combines these ingredients to effectively deter deer.

Can I make my own deer repellent at home?

Yes, you can make your own deer repellent at home using ingredients such as garlic, soap, eggs, and hot peppers. Homemade recipes often involve mixing these ingredients with water and spraying the solution on plants.

Do reflective surfaces deter deer?

Yes, reflective surfaces can deter deer. Items like aluminum foil, reflective tape, or shiny ornaments can startle deer when they catch the light, making the area less appealing to them.

How often should I check and maintain electronic deer repellents?

Electronic deer repellents should be checked and maintained at least once a month. Ensure the sensors are clean, batteries are charged or replaced, and the device is functioning properly.

What are the disadvantages of using deer repellents?

Disadvantages of using deer repellents include the need for frequent reapplication, potential reduction in effectiveness over time, and the possibility that deer may become accustomed to the repellent. Additionally, some repellents may have unpleasant odors.

Can companion planting help deter deer?

Yes, companion planting can help deter deer. Planting deer-resistant plants like lavender, marigolds, or yarrow alongside more vulnerable plants can help protect them from being eaten.

How do I apply granular deer repellent?

To apply granular deer repellent, sprinkle the granules evenly around the perimeter of the area you want to protect, as well as directly around the plants. Follow the product’s instructions for the recommended amount and frequency of application.

Are there any plants that attract deer?

Yes, there are plants that attract deer, including roses, hostas, tulips, and various types of fruit trees. If you have these plants in your garden, you may need to take extra precautions to protect them.

What are the benefits of using physical barriers to deter deer?

The benefits of using physical barriers like fences or netting include providing a long-term and reliable solution to deer damage. Physical barriers are effective in keeping deer out without the need for reapplication or maintenance of repellents.

How do I choose the right deer repellent for my needs?

To choose the right deer repellent, consider factors such as the size of the area you need to protect, the type of plants you have, and whether you prefer chemical, natural, or electronic repellents. Reading product reviews and comparing different options can also help you make an informed decision.

Can deer repellents affect pollinators like bees and butterflies?

Most deer repellents do not affect pollinators like bees and butterflies, especially if they are natural or organic. However, it’s essential to read the product label to ensure it is safe for all garden wildlife.

Are there deer repellents specifically designed for use during the growing season?

Yes, some deer repellents are formulated to be safe for use during the growing season. These products typically use natural ingredients that won’t harm young plants or inhibit their growth. Always check the product label for growing season compatibility.

How can I keep deer out of my vegetable garden?

To keep deer out of your vegetable garden, use a combination of physical barriers, such as fencing, and natural repellents. Additionally, planting deer-resistant herbs like rosemary and sage around your vegetables can help deter them.

Can I use deer repellents on newly planted shrubs?

Yes, deer repellents can be used on newly planted shrubs. Be sure to choose a product that is safe for new growth and follow the application instructions to avoid any potential damage to the young plants.

What are some common signs that a deer repellent is working?

Common signs that a deer repellent is working include less visible damage to plants, fewer deer tracks in your garden, and deer avoiding the treated areas. Consistent application will reinforce these results over time.

How do scent-based deer repellents work?

Scent-based deer repellents work by emitting odors that deer find unpleasant or associate with danger. These smells can mask the scent of the plants, making them less attractive to deer. Ingredients like garlic, egg solids, and essential oils are commonly used.

What are the best practices for applying deer repellent?

Best practices for applying deer repellent include ensuring even coverage, following the product’s recommended application frequency, and applying during times when deer are most active. Reapply after heavy rain or as directed by the product instructions.

Can I use deer repellent on ornamental grasses?

Yes, deer repellent can be used on ornamental grasses. Ensure the product is safe for use on decorative plants and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

Are there any deer repellents that also fertilize plants?

Some deer repellents contain ingredients that can benefit plant health, but they are not typically designed to act as fertilizers. Always check the product details to see if it offers any additional benefits for your plants.

How can I prevent deer from eating my flower bulbs?

To prevent deer from eating your flower bulbs, you can use a combination of repellents and physical barriers. Planting bulbs that deer find less appealing, such as daffodils or alliums, alongside more attractive bulbs can also help. Additionally, covering newly planted bulbs with chicken wire or netting until they establish can provide extra protection.


Choosing the right deer repellent involves understanding the behavior of deer and the various types of repellents available. Whether you opt for chemical, natural, electronic, or physical barriers, the goal is to protect your plants and garden effectively. By considering factors like safety, coverage, and longevity, you can select the best product for your needs and keep your outdoor spaces deer-free.