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How to get rid of deer?

Deer can be problematic for landowners, as a deer can invade your property and do damage to your vegetable garden and other plants.

December 28, 2021

26 min read time

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How to get rid of deer?


A deer is among the most adorable woodland creatures you can find. They walk gracefully, and they are a great sight to behold. However, they can be problematic for landowners, as a deer can invade your property and do damage to your vegetable garden and other plants.

If you’re having this problem with deer, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will be discussing how to get rid of deer, and the steps you can take to keep them out.

All you have to do is keep reading!

What Attracts Deer To Your Yard?How to get rid of deer?

Knowing how to get rid of deer means you have to first understand why they are attracted to your yard in the first place. With this knowledge, you can begin making the right plans to get rid of them.

So what do these ruminants want in your yard?

Just like every other animal, a deer also goes out in search of food. If you have a vegetable garden filled with nutritious fruit trees and other juicy plants, then a deer can invade.

Keep in mind that a deer is a large animal with a healthy appetite, and its eating habits will be evident after it is done with your garden. The situation gets worse if you are dealing with more than one deer, as several of them can destroy the foliage of your plants and cause stunted or unproductive growth.

We have to mention that they aren’t interested in coming into your house, as it doesn’t offer them much by the way of food.

Why You Should Get Rid Of Deer From Your Yard

The reason you should keep deer off your property is simple – they eat off plant foliage, which in turn leads to stunted growth.

The most affected plants by a deer invasion are low-hanging trees, bushes, and shrubs.

But destroying plant foliage isn’t the only problem with deer, as the males have another destructive habit. Bucks are fond of scraping their antlers on hard surfaces, most especially tree trunks.

As you may already know, their antlers are very hard, and while they may not cause any damage to brick pavement, they will definitely damage your tree trunks.

If you have other wooden structures in your garden such as posts or columns, then deer antlers can do damage to them too.

All the damage to your wooden structure will cost you money to repair or replace. As for the damaged foliage, it will take a full season to be replenished and it will affect your garden produce at the end of the season.

What Will Keep Deer Away?

Now that you understand why a deer comes into your yard, you can follow these approaches to get rid of deer.

  • Use deer repellents
  • Use noises
  • Build deer barriers
  • Use deer resistant plants

Many landowners have employed one or more of these tactics to get rid of deer and it worked very well for them. It can work well for you too if you follow the steps below.

Let’s expand on methods to control deers one by one.

1. Use deer repellent

Deer has a good sense of smell, and this enables them to track down foods. Unfortunately for them their sense of smell also means they can be offended by very strong odors.

Thankfully, there are many strong smells you can use to get rid of deer from your yard. One of such odors is eggs. Yes, a homemade mixture of 20/80 eggs and water can be used to deter deer.

After you have made the mixture, pour it into a spray bottle, shake it thoroughly, and spray the content all around your yard.

With the egg and water mixture now all over your garden, the sun rays will beat it and its strong offensive odor will be amplified. This smell is just too much for the deer to beer, and it will not bother stepping into your garden.

It will have no other option but to search for food elsewhere.

Another strong odor you can use as a deer repellent is bar soap scent, as that is also too strong for its nose to bear. With this in mind, you can hang several bars of soap from your tree limbs to prevent deer from eating the foliage.

Once it gets close, the bar soap odor will discourage it from coming any closer and it will leave.

Another homemade deer repellent you can try is a mixture of hot sauce, garlic powder, liquid dish soap, and water. These odors are equally strong and can repel deer from your yard.

I advise that you apply deer repellent at least 24 hours before expected rainfall and that you spray mixtures to heights of at least 6 feet.

You can reapply the deer repellent once every month for effective results.

2. Use scare tactics

Deer may be large animals, but they are fairly easy to scare.

A deer is a very conscious creature, which is why it always stays alert in case of predators. You can apply this knowledge when getting rid of them.

Nuisance deer can be scared with the following methods:

  • Motion-activated lights
  • Whistles and loud banging noises
  • Scarecrows

You can buy motion-activated lights from a pest management store near you and read the user instructions. They are simple gadgets that work with a motion sensor that detects nuisance deer movement.

When these movements are picked up, the bright moving lights are activated and this will scare them away. Be sure to install the motion sensors in areas where the deer is most likely to pass through.

Motion-triggered alarms can be used too. These alarms may not produce scary lights, but they can give off loud noises which the intruders hate.

They too work with sensors that detect unwanted movement around your garden, so when an invader moves within range, the alarm will go off and scare the deer off.

Be sure to place the motion detector in the areas where the deer is most likely to walk past to improve your chances of detecting them.

If you aren’t tech-savvy, then there’s another way you can use noise to scare them.

You can also try the simple approach of blowing loud annoying whistles.

Yes, the sharp screeching sound produced by whistles can scare deer away. So if you see one invading your yard, all you have to do is blow out loudly to scare the deer.

If the deer doesn’t move, then you can come outside and take a few steps towards it while vigorously blowing the whistle.

This works in two ways:

  • Your presence will keep the deer uncomfortable
  • The consistent and loud whistle blowing will become louder and scare them away

Another scare tactic is placing predator-like scarecrows in your garden, as the sight of them can deter deer.

You can buy dummy wolves and shepherd dogs and place them in strategic areas around your garden.

These dummies should be in form of inflatable predator-shaped balloons. They should also look vicious too.

Inflate some dummy wolves and dogs then place them around the plants that deer are most likely to eat. Hang them loosely by a short string so that they can move as the wind blows. This will make the dummies appear life-like, and the intruders will be prompted to flee.

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3. Use protective netting

If you don’t like the smell of eggs or garlic around your garden, then you can try another approach – use protective netting!

These nets can guard your flowerbeds and shrubs against nuisance deer, but make sure the netting is made of strong wire mesh so the deer can’t chew through or use their antlers to rip it open.

For larger trees, you can add tubing around the trunk to protect against deer. Keep in mind that the tubing has to be loose enough to allow the trees to grow.

4. Build a fence around your yard

What better way to handle a deer problem than building a fence around your yard or garden?

Make sure the fence covers the perimeter of your yard so there will be no entry points for the deer.

Of course, some deer can be stubborn, so they will try and poke the fence or rub their antlers against it, but there’s a solution to that too – temporary electric fences!

This type of fence produces a temporary electric shock that won’t kill the nuisance deer but will give it a warning sting to stay away.

The fence should be at least 8 feet high so the deer won’t be able to leap over.

5. Use deer-resistant plants as repellents

There’s more great news with regards to getting rid of deer – you can use deer-resistant plants to solve your deer problem!

These are plants that deer find unappetizing, so if you plant them among your other garden plants, the deer will mistakenly take a bite off some of them and be discouraged to graze further.

Before you plant, make sure that the plants are a match for the area. You can do this by referencing the USDA hardiness zone map.

Below are some plants that can work as deer repellents.

  • Dusty Miller
  • Sunflower
  • Forget-me-not
  • Foxglove
  • Dahlia

Other perennial deer repellents include:

  • Wormwood
  • Yarrow
  • Lavender
  • Yucca
  • Wood Hyacinth

Do Coffee Grounds Keep Deer Away?

As I have mentioned before, deer have a strong sense of smell, and this is how they find food sources. This strong sense of smell has been used against them by spreading strong-smelling substances around gardens.

One of such substances is coffee grounds. But can it really keep deer away?

To be honest, there has been no scientific evidence that proves coffee grounds will deter deer, however, the bitter smell that comes with coffee grounds can signal the deer that humans are around, which may prompt them to stay away from your property.

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How Do I Keep Deer Away From My Property?

If you’re not one to use natural repellents like coffee grounds, garlic, chili, or eggs. Then you can try other means to keep deer away from your property.

Here’s what I recommend.

1. Buy dogs

Dogs are man’s best friends for many reasons. They can keep you company and ward off intruders. With that in mind, you can buy one or two shepherd dogs and let them roam around your yard. Dogs are one of the best ways to keep deer at bay.

When they see deer, they will bark loudly at it and the noise will scare them away. If the deer is resilient, then the dogs will be prompted to chase. Of course, a deer cannot withstand the strong bite of a big dog and it knows, which is why it will run away.

2. Use dog urine

Deer can detect the presence of a predator by any means, and the scent of predator urine is one of such smells.

With this in mind, you can get your dogs to pee in your yard so the scent can deter nuisance deer from invading.

No, you don’t have to gather dog pee in a cup and spread it around yourself, just leave your dogs outside and allow them to pick their spots!

Wolf urine can also be used to deter deer. And while you can’t just buy a wolf and leave it to roam freely in your compound, you can buy some from a pest control store.

Commercially sold wolf urine comes in spray bottles, so you can spray all around your yard, especially the deer entry points to keep them away. Read the instructions of this repellent on the spray bottle before use.

What Smells Do Deer Hate?

Deer have a powerful sense of smell, which they use this scouting for food and identifying nearby predators. There are many plant-based scents that deer absolutely detest and will stay away from. This is because it disrupts their sense of smell which they need to detect predators.

If a deer cannot detect a predator, then it will not feel safe around that environment. If you have strong-smelling plants around your yard, then deer will steer clear.

Below are a few repellants that deer hate.

1. Marigolds (Tagetes Species)

Marigolds have a very strong natural scent that can keep intruders away. But I have to warn that marigolds can also be offensive to humans, as the scent can be too strong to bear.

2. Putrescent Egg Solids

This is also a natural smell that can keep deer from entering your yard. But just like marigolds, putrescent egg solid scent also can be too strong for humans to bear.

To be more specific, they smell really stinky!

If you don’t mind your garden smelling like rotten eggs, then feel free to give it a try.

3. Mint (Mentha species)

Mint scent is another effective natural approach to keeping deer from entering your compound. And unlike eggs and marigolds, mint has a more appealing scent to humans, but is too strong for deer to tolerate.

You can use mint scent in many ways as a deer repellent. One of which is including mint plants in your garden.

Below are some mint herbs that you can use as a natural repellent.

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Pennyroyal
  • Water mint
  • Apple mint
  • Wild mint
  • Water mint

For best results, plant the mint herbs near the plants that the deer feeds on, as this will discourage them from even coming close.

4. Wolf Urine

As far as deer is concerned, wolf urine isn’t just a deterrent, it is also a sign of danger, as they know they will be eaten if they get caught by one. And this is exactly why they hate the scent.

A deer will flee once it gets a whiff of wolf urine and it will probably never come back to that environment.

If you’re still not convinced how much a deer is scared of wolves, ask yourself why they prefer hiding in wooded, covered environments?

It’s because of wolves!

5. Coffee grounds

Deer don’t like strong scents, as it blocks off the smell of predators. And this is why they would probably hate coffee grounds too.

To have a fair idea of just how strong coffee grounds scent is to a deer, just think about how strong the scent is to a human. Just open up a jar of coffee grounds and inhale.

So if the coffee scent is very strong when perceived by humans, just imagine how strong it will be when perceived by a deer!

Final Words

Deer have only one major interest in your yard, and that’s food plants. They won’t bother visiting if your compound offers them nothing by the way of edible vegetation. Luckily, their biological features make them very easy to get rid of.

Deers have a large size that makes it easy to keep them out with a perimeter fence, and their strong sense of smell, as well as fear of predators, makes it easy to use strong natural scents to deter them.

They also do not like loud sudden noises, as that spells danger for them. That being said, we hope this article on how to get rid of deer has been helpful.

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