black tail deer above the Galloping Goose trail, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC,

Deer Repellent

deer family in our yard 10/11
photo by SVSeekins

I still delight seeing deer in our yard.  It feels like we’re a little more in tune with nature than we really are.

deer pruned the bottom 1/2 of shrub
photo by SVSeekins

For the most part, we get along quite well.

Deer offer free pruning services, and I’m OK with the goofy shapes some of the evergreens end up with.

It’s also lovely when they pitch in to mow the lawn every once in a while.

just outside the kitchen window....
photo by SVSeekins

They’re even helpful with supplying fertilizer.  Every little bit counts.  After all,  it’s not cheap to ship in a load of manure each spring.

day lily buds - now you see them...
photo by SVSeekins

It’s nice to know that someone else enjoys the garden as much as I do.  I’m sure we’re both equally excited to see the promise of some pretty summer flowers.

... and now you don't
photo by SVSeekins

Since the deer seem to spend more time in the garden than I do, it shouldn’t surprise me that they get to enjoy the flowers before I do.  We just have different definitions of ‘enjoyment.’

Even so, I feel a bit ripped off that they eat the buds just moments before the flower opens.

Just 2 doors down the street, the deer also ‘enjoy’ C & A’s garden.  But the other day, I noticed their delicious patch of Crocosmia has blooms that haven’t been eaten!  WOW !!

Crocosmia at C & A's
photo by SVSeekins

That’s why, after years of thinking I’d never do it, I decided to experiment with deer repellent.

C & A tell me they used a spray called Plantskydd.

Asking around, a few other gardening friends recommended Bobbex.

home made deer repellent
photo by SVSeekins

I decided to go with the homemade recipe HM suggested.  Easy-peasy:

  • 1 litre warm water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

Thinking that I’d leave the far end of the garden as a buffet for the deer, and the closer part of the garden for my visual enjoyment, I sprayed foliage nearest the entrances of the house that I use the most.

What I’ve learned so far:

  • Deer might not like the smell of the repellent – but neither do I !!
  • Even in dead calm, some spray drifted onto me. I showered & threw my shoes & clothes into the laundry.
  • Dollar Store spray bottles aren’t worth diddly – mine broke before I finished.
  • The next day, it still smelled funny around our front door.  It wasn’t overpowering, but it was unpleasant. (C said he thought someone had peed on the stairs.)
day lily
photo by SVSeekins

The good news is that the daylilies are blooming   🙂

I probably won’t spray around high traffic areas again.

C’s suggestion is to apply only where the deer enter the garden.  I’m wondering if that’ll be enough to deter them from coming in.


P.S. The deer saga continues:

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14 thoughts on “Deer Repellent”

    1. so far it seems to be working – – some lovely day lilies blooming & no more buds eaten… It did rain the other day, so I’m not sure if the protection washed away. I’m not smelling it anymore. Fingers crossed that it’s too mild for me to smell, but still stinky for the deer.

    2. Here’s a suggestion that KL sent in:
      Hi SV. I used to use the deer repellent recipe years ago. I just added 1tps of hot sauce to the same recipe and it worked great. I found it best to use it up right away or else the egg would clog up the spray nozzle. I don’t use it anymore since the backyard is now fully fenced. And the rest of the yard has deer proof plants, which is working out nicely.
      good luck with those pesky 4 legged neighbors.
      Cheers, KL

  1. Try 3 eggs, garlic boiled and crushed, 1/2 cup milk, pour and strain into a 4 litre milk jug and fill with warm water, set in hot sun to putrify for a day or two, spray around plants and garden, this will keep those rats with hooves off your property, the smell goes away in a day. There are more deer now than ever in history.


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