The Best Deer Repellents of 2024 for Your Lawn and Garden 

Deer may look cute, but they can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. The best deer repellents help keep snacking deer at bay.

Best Overall

Bottle of Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent

Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent

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Best Bang for the Buck

Bottle of Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Deer & Rabbit Repellent

Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Deer & Rabbit Repellent

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Longest-Lasting

Bottle of Bobbex Deer Repellent Concentrated Spray

Bobbex Deer Repellent Concentrated Spray

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Foraging deer can cause major damage to home gardens. These adorable woodland critters can ravage your yard by munching on foliage and trampling lawns. To a hungry deer, your colorful garden looks like a tasty snack. Deer repellents can help prevent unwanted snacking and deer-proof your garden

Because it has a long working time and isn’t toxic to deer, we recommend the Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent as our top pick. It has an all-natural formula, excellent weather resistance, and lasts 3 to 4 weeks. All of the best deer repellents we recommend, however, keep peckish deer from grazing on your greenery, and they’re safe and easy to use. Using an effective deer repellent means that you (not the deer) can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent
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  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Deer & Rabbit Repellent 
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  3. LONGEST-LASTING: Bobbex Deer Repellent Concentrated Spray
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  4. BEST SCENT-BASED: Enviro Protection Industries Deer Scram Repellent
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  5. BEST SPRINKLER: Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler
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  6. BEST FENCING: Easy Gardener DeerBlock Netting and Fencing
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  7. BEST NIGHT COVERAGE: Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light
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  8. BEST ULTRASONIC: Garden Secrets Solar Ultrasonic Animal Repellent
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Sprinkler system on a lawn with a deer repellent on top
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Deer Repellents

The best deer repellent keeps hungry deer away from your garden so you can enjoy flowers, fruits, and vegetables for the entire growing season. Using an effective deer repellent to prevent them from eating your greenery without harming them is an important consideration. 

For some expert advice, we reached out to Nicole Carpenter, president of Black Pest Prevention based in Charlotte, North Carolina, who shared her insight. Specifically for the most common deer repellent (scent-based products) she says that natural repellents can be as effective as chemical-based options if applied correctly. “Deer repellents work through emitting a strong unpleasant odor and making plants unpalatable to eat to deer.” Adding that “the only advantage of chemical-based deer repellents over natural repellents is that natural ones require frequent reapplication, especially after rain or watering.” 

With this in mind, we were confident in our approach of focusing mainly on eco-friendly options, which users may simply need to take care to apply more frequently for best results, as Carpenter advises.

To determine the best options, we focused on a variety of deer repellents that are safe for people and pets; use natural, nontoxic ingredients; and utilize an assortment of mechanical, electronic, ultrasonic, taste, and scent-based deterrents. These recommendations for the best deer repellents are versatile, effective, and safe. Choose from permanent or temporary solutions, depending on your needs and preferences.

Our Top Picks

The best deer repellent for gardens and backyards is effective and safe. It keeps deer from grazing on your garden and lawn but does not harm animals or humans. Other aspects depend on your preferences. You can choose from permanent or temporary deterrents as well as the option of physical, electronic, or chemical repellents. Here are the top picks for the best deer repellents. 

Best Overall

Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Scent-based 
  • Form: Concentrate 
  • Weather resistant: No
  • Longevity: 3 to 4 months

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients are safe for children, pets, and wildlife; made with natural peppermint oil 
  • Safe to use on edible fruits, herbs, and vegetables 
  • Leaves behind a fresh peppermint scent after application 

Cons

  • An additional application is necessary after every rainfall

Deer Out’s deer repellent concentrate is a scent-based, all-natural deer repellent. It does not contain harmful chemicals and is a safe option for pets, children, and the environment. 

This concentrate uses a custom blend of ingredients including peppermint oil to keep deer away from your precious plants. Best of all, it has a fresh peppermint scent. This natural repellent is safe to use on edible fruits and vegetables. 

Using ingredients that naturally stick, this repellent can last for up to 3 or 4 months under normal weather conditions. The 32-ounce bottle of concentrate makes 2.5 gallons of spray solution, which is enough to cover 10,000 square feet. 

Get the Deer Out deer repellent at Amazon

Best Bang for the Buck

Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Deer & Rabbit Repellent

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Scent-based 
  • Form: Spray 
  • Weather resistant: Yes 
  • Longevity: 1 month 

Pros

  • Natural scent-based formula is made with putrescent egg solids and garlic 
  • Can be applied year-round and delivers rain-resistant results for reliability 
  • Comes with a sprayer attachment; does not require dilution or pouring before use 
  • Covers up to 20,000 square feet of lawns, gardens, trees, shrubs, and more 

Cons

  • Should be reapplied after every rainfall to ensure maximum effectiveness
  • Does leave a scent behind after application; may not be ideal for use near high-traffic patios and decks

Keeping deer out of garden spaces without breaking the bank is possible with the Liquid Fence deer and rabbit repellent. The putrescent whole egg solids, garlic, sodium lauryl sulfate, potassium sorbate, and thyme oil in this product emit an odor that deer and rabbits hate, keeping them far away from gardens, shrubs, lawns, trees, and other outdoor spaces. 

This rain-resistant formula can be applied year-round for reliability and comes with a sprayer attachment for ease of application in areas of up to 20,000 square feet. Start applying this option once a week for 3 weeks, and then once a month thereafter for best results. 

Get the Liquid Fence deer repellent at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Longest-Lasting

Bobbex Deer Repellent Concentrated Spray

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Taste- and scent-based 
  • Form: Concentrate 
  • Weather resistant: Yes 
  • Longevity: 10 to 14 days

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly, natural, and food-grade ingredients, including putrescent egg solids 
  • Safe for application around humans, pets, and other wildlife
  • Repels deer, elk, and moose for peak versatility against grazing animals 

Cons

  • Unsuitable for edible leaves, herbs, or rough-skinned berries
  • Does not come with a sprayer; requires dilution and pouring before use 
  • Not as long lasting as comparable options on the market

This deer repellent spray from Bobbex is designed to stay effective, even in the rain. It is safe for use on most plants, including many edible fruits and vegetables. Avoid spraying this solution on rough-skinned berries (such as raspberries and strawberries) and on edible leaves and herbs. 

The formula is environmentally friendly and uses only natural ingredients, including putrescent egg, cloves, and garlic oil. The formula repels deer, elk, and moose. It’s safe for all wildlife as well as humans and pets. 

Twenty-one ounces of this concentrate will make 1 gallon of spray solution, depending on the mixture concentration, making this pick suitable for large outdoor areas. During the spring and summer, a maintenance spray is recommended for new growth every 14 days. In the winter months, this concentrate can provide coverage for up to 8 weeks.

Get the Bobbex deer repellent at Amazon or The Home Depot (1 quart).

Best Scent-Based

Enviro Protection Industries Deer Scram Repellent

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Scent-based 
  • Form: Granules 
  • Weather resistant: Yes 
  • Longevity: 30 to 45 days 

Pros

  • Biodegradable and organic granules are quite effective; made with dried blood, garlic, cloves, and pepper 
  • Safe for people, pets, and other nearby wildlife
  • Rain- and snow-resistant formula is ideal for all-season use 

Cons

  • Known to repel bees; may not be suitable for those who live near active hives 
  • Pricey compared to other options on the market

The Enviro Pro Deer Scram repellent granules are ready to use right out of the bucket. There’s no mixing or spraying required—just sprinkle the granules to protect your lawn and garden from both deer and rabbits. 

These organic and all-natural granules use a biological scent-based formula. This product emits an odor that emulates the smell of dead deer but uses ingredients that do not smell bad to humans. There are no synthetic additives or toxic ingredients in this formula, and the granules are safe to use around people and pets. They are biodegradable and will eventually degrade into organic material. 

This 25-pound container of granules is rain- and snow-resistant and won’t wash off or dissolve too quickly. One application can last around 30 to 45 days.

Get the Enviro Protection Industries deer repellent at Amazon.

Best Sprinkler

Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Electronic 
  • Form: Sprinkler 
  • Weather resistant: Yes
  • Longevity: Unlimited

Pros

  • Easy to install; simply assemble the unit and place it into the ground with the built-in stake 
  • Intelligent sensing technology can locate movement up to 40 feet away and has a 120-degree field of view; covers up to 3,840 square feet 
  • Doubles as a sprinkler with a 30-minute watering cycle; sprays up to 70 feet in diameter 

Cons

  • Overly sensitive sensor; may go off with the slightest movement 

Sprinkler systems are a humane way to deter a variety of pests. This sprinkler blasts a harmless spray of water to spook deer and send them running. It’s also effective on other common pests like skunks, raccoons, rabbits, opossums, and more. 

This sprinkler has both day and night detection settings. It allows you to set day-only, night-only, or 24-hour protection, so the sprinkler works only when you want it to. 

This effective deer repellent is spike-mounted and easy to install. Using four AA batteries, the device will give you more than 7,500 activation cycles. It can locate movement as far as 40 feet away and covers 3,840 square feet, and the sprinkler uses as little as 2 cups of water with each spray. This device requires a water source and can attach to almost any garden hose. It can even double as a sprinkler with its optional 30-minute watering cycle that can spray up to 70 feet.

Get the Orbit deer repellent at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Fencing

Easy Gardener DeerBlock Netting and Fencing

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Mechanical
  • Form: Netting/fencing 
  • Weather resistant: Yes
  • Longevity: Unlimited

Pros

  • Protective mesh netting is capable of keeping all animals out of the garden or backyard 
  • Nontoxic and eco-friendly option compared to other products on the market
  • Attaches easily to posts and trees for excellent ease of application 
  • Ultraviolet (UV)-treated polypropylene mesh netting is durable enough for all-season use 

Cons

  • Tangles easily; may require more than 1 set of hands to install 
  • Not as heavy duty as some electric or wire mesh fencing 

The Easy Gardener DeerBlock is a protective mesh netting that prevents hungry deer from munching on your garden. It is a physical barrier that is safe and non-toxic. The 7-foot-by-100-foot roll is great for most home gardeners, and it can be used around individual plants as a fence or plant growth cover—or around the perimeter of an entire lawn or garden. 

This netting is made with UV-treated polypropylene, so it won’t break down quickly in sunlight. It won’t rust or rot over time like metal or wooden fencing. The lightweight material is easy to install; it can be fastened to trees or posts and it won’t obscure views. It is designed to be reusable, and it’s durable enough to keep up year-round. You can easily reinstall the barrier as needed, season after season. 

Get the Easy Gardener deer repellent at Amazon.

Best Night Coverage

Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Electronic 
  • Form: Light 
  • Weather resistant: Yes 
  • Longevity: Unlimited 

Pros

  • Weatherproof design is built to withstand rain, sleet, snow, and other inclement weather 
  • Automatically switches off at full daylight to conserve energy and remain active 
  • Works by emulating the eyes of a predator to scare all kinds of animals 

Cons

  • Needs at least 4 units to be completely effective; may come with a hefty price tag

This pest control light activates at dusk and emits a constant flash all night, every night. Anyone who has awakened to a freshly destroyed garden can attest to how deer are often more active at night than during the day. This light fends off animals that feed at night by making them feel like they are being watched.

This effective repellent light is automatic, solar-powered, and completely weatherproof. Once it’s installed, you can sit back knowing it will automatically trigger at night to keep deer and predators out of your garden. It also switches off at full daylight. 

Deer repellent lights are safe for use around children and pets. For repelling deer, Nite Guard recommends using four lights to create a cluster mount, which flashes light in all directions. 

Get the Nite Guard deer repellent at Northern Tool + Equipment.

Best Ultrasonic

Garden Secrets Solar Ultrasonic Animal Repellent

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Electronic 
  • Form: Ultrasonic 
  • Weather resistant: Yes 
  • Longevity: Unlimited 

Pros

  • Undetectable to human ears; won’t cause any disturbance for those who lounge in outdoor spaces 
  • Solar-powered and water-resistant construction is built to withstand the elements 
  • Includes LED light for nighttime deterrence of multiple animals 

Cons

  • Frequencies may be heard by household pets
  • Users will want to adjust the frequency biweekly for optimal use 

The Garden Secrets ultrasonic animal repellent doesn’t just repel deer; it can also deter birds, raccoons, skunks, rodents, and more. It uses ultrasonic frequencies which bother pests but are mostly undetectable to the human ear.

Since there are no chemicals, this device is safe to use around children. But it’s important to keep in mind that the noises may be detectable by household pets. 

This ultrasonic device can be wall-mounted or stuck into the ground. It is solar-powered and resistant to light rain. An attached LED light helps deter deer at night, and you also can adjust the ultrasonic frequency. Garden Secrets recommends adjusting the frequency biweekly, so deer and other pests do not get accustomed to the noise.

Get the Garden Secrets deer repellent at Amazon.

Or, DIY Your Own Deer Repellent 

If a store-bought product isn’t ideal, users can also opt for a homemade deer repellent. Simply blend 3 tablespoons of milk or yogurt, three cloves of garlic, and 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper with 1 gallon of water and strain into a gallon jug. For best results, wait 24 hours while the mixture becomes more potent before applying with a yard sprayer in March and April. Reapply weekly for best results. This homemade deer deterrent is also capable of deterring skunks, groundhogs, rabbits, and some birds. 

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What to Consider When Choosing a Deer Repellent

The best deer repellent will depend on your yard and your preferences. First, consider whether you might be looking for a permanent or a temporary option. Next, decide if a deterrent device or a taste- or a scent-based product is best for your lawn or garden. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best deer repellent.

Types of Deer Repellents

There are a variety of deer deterrents, and they all help prevent deer from wandering through your lawn and nibbling on your garden. You can choose from physical deterrents, chemical repellents, motion-sensing options, and more. The most effective strategies usually combine a deer repellent with other methods, like creating barriers with raised garden beds and deer repellent plants. Using a combination of methods can help keep your lawn and garden deer-free.

Mechanical Repellents 

Mechanical repellents and physical barriers deer-proof your garden and lawn without using chemicals. These repellents work by blocking the deer’s path or scaring the deer. Common mechanical repellents include walls, fencing, and deer netting.

Walls and fencing are great deer deterrents. When installing deer-proof fencing, consider height, placement, and strength. Deer are strong animals, and some can jump as high as 8 feet.

Mesh deer netting is less expensive than constructed walls and fences when repelling deer. It is nearly invisible, so it feels less obtrusive. It is less durable than a wall or deer fence, but it’s a budget-friendly alternative to building new fencing.

Electronic Devices 

Electronic deer repellent devices may rely on solar power, batteries, or plug-in power to operate. Electronic repellents include motion-activated devices, like sprinklers and lights. 

Motion-sensing sprinklers shoot a burst of water when they detect motion. The surprise scares the deer and sends them running. One downside of motion-sensing sprinklers is that they can accidentally spray an unlucky pet or person. They also need a water source and run the risk of freezing in cold winters. 

Most deer aren’t fans of bright lights. Some deer repellent lights detect motion and shine a light to startle the deer; however, deer repellent lights are only effective at night.

Ultrasonic Devices

Like electronic devices, ultrasonic deer repellers need a power source. Most often the source is either batteries or built-in solar power. However, they work using a specific pest deterrent method: ultrasonic frequencies. 

Ultrasonic pest control devices emit high-frequency sounds to deter pests. These sounds are usually too high for the human ear to hear. Ultrasonic deer repellents are a humane and noninvasive deterrent option. Some combine ultrasonic technology with motion-sensors and lights to scare deer away.

Taste-Based Repellents

Taste-based repellents leave an unappetizing layer of flavor on your plants; your plants still look great, but they taste undesirable to deer. Common ingredients include spicy chili peppers and bitter chemicals. After a quick nibble, a deer will realize these greens aren’t anything it wants to munch on. 

These types of repellents usually come in concentrates or sprays and are applied directly to the plant. While most deer repellent sprays are semi-weatherproof, it’s important to remember that these repellents will wash off over time. Most of these repellents will need reapplication at least every few weeks.

Scent-Based Repellents

Deer populations have a strong sense of smell that they use to detect predators, so scent-based repellents can help keep deer away. 

Some repellents use smells that are unpleasant to deer but tolerable for humans, like peppermint or clove. Others have a foul or dangerous scent that deer hate, such as rotten eggs or predator urine. Scent-based repellents deter deer from coming near your garden (not even for a nibble!) and keeps them away from your prized plants.

Natural vs. Chemical

Sprays, concentrates, and granular deer repellents can contain natural or chemical ingredients. Both types of repellents deter deer by affecting their sense of smell or taste. Some may cause a bit of pain, but without causing any harm.

Chemical or commercial repellents use synthetic chemicals to deter deer. These repellents often aren’t safe to use on plants you plan to eat. It is also important to consider pets or children who may come into contact with chemical repellents in the garden. 

Natural deer repellents can include home remedies and naturally derived commercial products. Common ingredients include putrescent egg solids, garlic oil, and capsaicin. These products are usually biodegradable, making them an eco-friendly option. While naturally derived repellents may be a safer option if children and pets come in contact with the garden, not all natural repellents are safe to use on edible plants.

Form

Deer repellents come in a variety of forms: You can choose from physical deterrents, barriers, granules, sprays, concentrates, and ultrasonic devices. Your choice may depend on whether you’d like a permanent solution, like a deer fence, or a temporary solution, like sprays or granules. 

When it comes to physical repellents, aesthetics are one aspect to consider. If you don’t like the look of a type of deer fence material, you can choose a repellent device instead. But keep in mind that some physical repellents need a power source, like electricity, battery power, or solar power, and sprinkler repellents need a water source. 

When choosing a scent- or taste-based repellent, safety is a common concern. Sprays, liquid concentrates, and granular repellents are made from a range of different ingredients. When treating a veggie patch, or if there are pets or children in the household, nontoxic options are a prudent choice. 

Scent

Scent is a strong deterrent for many deer. Some deer repellents use threatening scents, such as the smell of blood or predator urine. Other repellents smell just plain gross to deer, turning them off to the area. 

The problem with some deer repellents is that they don’t smell bad only to deer; they can smell pretty funky to humans as well. Deer repellents made from ingredients like putrescent eggs or predator urine can smell awful to both deer and humans. 

Consider looking for a deer repellent that uses ingredients like peppermint or clove oils. These are examples of scents that deer dislike but don’t bother most people. They can repel deer without creating a stink in your garden.

Weather Conditions 

Weather conditions can affect some types of deer repellents. Physical deterrents like fencing and netting are pretty much unaffected by weather. Most electronic options are weatherproof, but it is important to double-check that feature if you live in a rainy or snowy area.

Motion-sensing sprinklers are a great repellent option but aren’t the optimal for climates that dip below freezing. Since they rely on a water source, they can freeze in wintry weather. It’s a good idea to take in sprinklers in freezing weather to prevent any deer damage to the hose or sprinkler.

When it comes to sprays, rain and snow will wash them away over time. It’s important to re-treat your garden according to the repellent instructions. If you don’t, you might have some sneaky deer on your hands after a bout of heavy rain.

Longevity 

Some deer repellent options are more permanent than others. Fence companies will take a lot more initial cost and effort, but it can offer a long-lasting solution. Liquids and granules will have a smaller upfront cost but will need reapplication. 

Devices like sprinklers and lights are a great in-between option. These devices are flexible and semipermanent. Some gardeners recommend moving them around occasionally to make the deterrent unpredictable and confuse deer. But they can also be left in place if they are effective where they are. 

Options like sprays or granules have the least longevity, and they need more frequent reapplication.

Mobility 

If you plan on expanding your garden, it helps to have a movable deer repellent option. Fences and walls are a more permanent option and will take some disassembling to move around. 

Deer netting is a physical barrier that is much more flexible than fencing, and you can rearrange netting fences to accommodate changes. Another option is to use the netting as a drape on top of individual plants or areas; it stops deer from nibbling and is easy to move around. 

Sprinklers and lights also are a mobile option. They’ll require some installation work, but they are generally easy to move where you need them. Sprays, concentrates, and granules are the most flexible option. They are quick to apply and are used directly on the plants.

Versatility 

Many deer repellents don’t only deter deer; they can work on other critters as well. Some taste- and scent-based repellents repel other pests, like rabbits, raccoons, skunks, and rodents. 

Ultrasonic devices and motion-sensing sprinklers and lights can deter many pests. Some have the option to customize sensitivity and range settings, so you can repel critters from the smallest bunny to the tallest deer. 

Most deer repellents are safe to use on a wide variety of garden plants. But when it comes to plants you intend to eat, it’s important to use a nontoxic repellent. You can find deer repellents that are safe to use directly on fruits and vegetables.

FAQs 

To effectively solve your deer problem, make sure to follow the directions on your chosen deer repellent method. Each product has a different strategy to repel critters; some methods may be a permanent solution, while others may need reapplication or maintenance over time. Here are some frequently asked questions about deer repellents. 

Q. How do I permanently get rid of deer?

The best and most effective way to get rid of deer permanently is to install a wire or electric fence. If this is not an option, an effective deer repellent can also provide the desired effect, especially if it’s applied as the manufacturer suggests.

Q. Do motion-activated lights scare deer? 

Motion-activated lights are effective at scaring deer off in yards, gardens, and other backyard spaces. One of the best outdoor motion sensor lights is the Urpower SL-002 Outdoor Solar Motion Sensor Lights, which detect motion from 13 feet away, illuminate areas up to 25 feet away, and can be installed on a variety of vertical and horizontal surfaces. 

Q. What color are deer afraid of? 

Bright colors like blue, yellow, red, orange, and pink are capable of deterring deer from fences, gardens, and patios. Deer have dichromatic vision, which means they cannot process these colors. The rule of thumb is to place flags of these colors all over an outdoor space to keep deer out. 

Q. What smells repel deer? 

Deer dislike certain strong smells and smells they perceive to be dangerous. Deer repellents may use odorous smells like eggs, garlic, and cloves or ingredients that contain or mimic biological smells, like blood or predator urine.

Q. When should I apply deer repellent?

Nicole Carpenter from Black Pest Prevention says that “it’s a good practice to start applying deer repellents early in spring and continue applying it till late fall.” Adding that users should “apply deer repellents in the evening and ensure that you cover all parts of the plant, including leaves, stems, and buds.”

She also stresses the importance of changing up the product you’re using. “Deer can get accustomed to a certain repellent and it’s important to switch a product to something different after about one month (a new repellent should have completely different active ingredients).” 

Q. How do I apply deer repellent?

Application will depend on the type of deer repellent you choose. Deer repellents can come in the form of devices, sprays, concentrates, granules, and more.

Q. When should I water my plants after applying deer repellent?

When using spray-on deer repellent, you should wait to water plants until the repellent is fully dry. Most products will specify how long to wait before watering your plants. 

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Jasmine Harding

Contributing Writer

Jasmine Harding is a freelance writer specializing in home products. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2020 and covers a range of product-related topics, from the best household appliances and tools to the latest gadgets and tech for the home.

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