Sure, deer may look cute, but they can wreak havoc on your lawn, flower beds, and vegetable garden in a matter of minutes.
Curious deer in search of a snack tend to be attracted to the vibrant colors in your yard, which then lead to them trampling your green grass and eating all those newly planted flowers, vegetable seedlings, and even the fruits off your trees and shrubs.
If you don’t take preventative measures to protect your yard from unwanted visits, deer (and potentially other wildlife) will continue to forage in your garden, eventually clearing your beds of all the foliage you worked so hard to plant and grow.
So what can you do?
The most effective way to ensure the fruits of your labor don’t get devastated by hungry deer is by using a non-invasive and non-toxic deer repellent.
Below, you’ll find reviews of the best deer repellents currently available, as well as a helpful buying guide to help you make the best choice.
Disclosure: All products on this page are independently selected. If you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Best deer repellent reviews
Best Overall: Deer Out 32oz Concentrate Deer Repellent
To start things off, this Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent is my top pick.
A favorite within the gardening community and with over 100,000 repeat customers, there’s plenty to love about the Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent.
Containing 100% natural ingredients, this repellent ensures that deer steer clear of your plants, without causing any harm to the animals or foliage.
It keeps deer out of your garden for three to four months using an all-natural formula free of synthetic chemicals and poisons. The spray uses a custom blend of oils with a refreshing peppermint scent that helps repel deer while being easy on your nose. (You know what I mean if you’ve ever had to use cayenne pepper spray in your garden!)
Armed with this deer repellent, you’ll be able to safeguard just about anything outside, including flower beds, garbage cans, lawns, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees.
As soon as you apply it to the areas you want to protect from deer, the formula instantly adheres itself to the surface of whatever it’s been sprayed on, and begins emitting a peppermint fragrance to deter deer, mice, raccoons, and even squirrels.
Another thing I really like about the Deer Out Concentrate Deer Repellent is that it comes with a money-back guarantee, which displays the confidence that Deer Out has in the quality of its products. If you find that the product doesn’t work, you’ll get your money back—no questions asked.
- Multiple animals: Besides deer, this repellent can also be used for other garden pests, including rodents, rats, raccoons, mice, and opossums
- Money-back guarantee: Demonstrating the quality of this product, Deer Out offers a money-back guarantee with each purchase
- Price point: High price point might not be suitable for all
- 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
Best Value: Bobbex Deer Repellent
Just because you might be on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your beautiful plants and shrubs to hungry deer! For those looking to save some money, check out the Bobbex Deer Repellent.
Blending affordability with premium performance, the Bobbex Deer Repellent features long-lasting wear that is one of the best on the market.
Once you apply this spray to areas in your garden you want to protect from deer, the formula won’t wash away under any circumstances—not even rain!
With its all-natural ingredients, Bobbex Deer Repellent is an environmentally friendly choice and is safe for all creatures.
This means that once applied to your chosen areas, deer, elk, and moose will stay away but the spray is harmless to all other types of wildlife.
Not only that, Bobbex Deer Repellent claims its formula is so safe that it can be used across most types of plants without causing any damage to them, and that includes vegetables, too! However, keep in mind it isn’t suitable for edible berries.
- Long-lasting: This deer repellent is very long-lasting and won’t wash off once it’s applied
- Environmentally friendly: The all-natural formula does not contain any toxic or harsh chemicals
- Intense smell: The intensity of the smell might be too strong for some people
- long-lasting - bobbex deer repellent is proven to be the most effective long-lasting spray on the market. once applied, this deer spray will not wash away.
- natural ingredients - bobbex is environmentally friendly, using only natural ingredients that stop deer browsing by using multiple smell and taste deterrents. this animal repellent will keep deer, elk, and moose out of your garden or yard.
- easy to apply - apply the spray directly on the surface of foliage to repel deer. this product is not a concentrate, it is readily diluted in water, and the trigger sprayer devices make it simple to apply.
- harmless to wildlife - this liquid deterrent is environmentally compatible and harmless to all wildlife including humans, your dog or cat, birds, and aquatic life.
- safe for use on most plants - this ready-to-use formula can be directly applied to ornamentals and most edible vegetables, but it is not designed for use on most edible leaves and herbs, nor on rough-skinned berries like strawberries or raspberries.
Best Spray: Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent
If you’re in the market for the best spray-on deer repellent, I recommend checking out the Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent.
Specifically created to help repel deer and rabbits, the Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent features a strong scent that can repel deer and rabbits whenever they get too close to your prized plants.
Since deer instinctively stay away from certain smells and tastes, this formula contains a double whammy scent of rotten egg and garlic that can stop the animal from getting too close to your plants, let alone start nibbling at them.
Offering plenty of versatility, Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent can be used on and around your flowers, trees, vines, lawn, and other non-edible landscaping. (Technically it’s safe for use around vegetables and other edible plants as well, but you probably don’t want the stench of rotten egg and garlic on them.)
One of the best features of this repellent is once you’ve applied it, you won’t need to worry about having to regularly reapply after rain or irrigation—it’s formulated to not wash away.
The highly effective formula can also be used year-round and is able to withstand adverse weather conditions, such as snow. All in all, a great choice for those that want a low-maintenance, high-performance spray repellent.
- Long-lasting: This repellent is rain-resistant and will not wash away
- Safe for animals and plants: This repellent is safe enough for use on all plants, and does not contain any harmful chemicals that could be dangerous to wildlife
- Strong scent: Might be too strong for some people
- 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
Best Alternative: Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler
Last but certainly not least, there’s the Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler, which is a great alternative for people who want to repel deer in the most humane way.
Unlike standard animal repellents that feature strong scents and sometimes even harmful chemicals, the Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler can effectively repel animals from your garden by shooting them with water when they get too close.
This innovative sprinkler system is the only sprinkler deterrent on the market that offers up to 24-hour protection and features a special night detection feature that can pick up on movement in low-light conditions.
And if you’re worried about wasting water, this motion-activated sprinkler saves on both water and battery life, so it offers great value for your money.
As soon as you set it up (a simple process that only requires a spike to be pushed into the ground), all you have to do is turn it on and let it get to work.
Thanks to sensing technology, the sprinkler is quickly able to learn the difference between animals and trees (or tall plants), so water won’t be wasted every time the wind blows and causes the leaves or branches of nearby trees and plants to move.
The unit is powered on just 4 AA batteries, so you’ll get over 7,500 activation cycles (yes, you read that right). It’s a great alternative to standard deer repellent sprays.
- Humane: This highly effective repellent sprinkler is able to keep all types of animals (including deer) off your property by spraying them with water whenever they get too close
- 24-hour protection: This sprinkler system is the only deterrent sprinkler that offers 24-hour protection
- Non-scented: This sprinkler only uses water to repel animals, which may not startle or deter them if they get used to it
- HUMANELY DETERS ANIMALS: Keeps animals out of plants, yards and gardens using a harmless spray of water
- UNIQUE DAY AND NIGHT DETECTION: The only deterrent sprinkler on the market with options for day only, night only, or 24 hour protection, giving you the flexibility to ensure the Yard Enforcer only activates when you need it
- STABLE DESIGN: Simply press spike into soil or turf to firmly hold the Yard Enforcer in place.
- SAVE WATER AND BATTERY LIFE: Includes sensing technology for optimum water and battery conservation; get over 7,500 activation cycles on just 4 AA alkaline batteries and as little as 2 cups of water per activation.
- INTELLIGENT SENSING TECHNOLOGY: Sensing technology learns the difference between trees and animals, so your water will not activate every time the wind blows.
Before you go ahead and make a purchase, take a few moments to read through my buyer’s guide for some helpful pointers. Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a deer repellent:
Though there are a variety of different alternatives to the traditional spray repellent, scented deer repellent sprays are by far the most popular and effective way to ensure deer stay clear of your yard.
But depending on your preference and what brand you purchase, deer repellents will vary in scent, so it’s important to keep this in mind when you make your decision.
Some deer repellents contain scents that smell pleasant to us but are foul to deers (such as peppermint) while some of the more affordable deer repellents have a potent scent that’s unpleasant to the noses of both deer and humans.
Though the scent might not be a deal-breaker if you plan on spraying it out in your garden or lawn, it may be more of an issue if you’re planning to spray it near the windows of your home.
This is another important consideration when deciding on which deer repellent to use. Do you have any other type of animal that likes to nibble at your plants and flowers?
If so, then you might want to consider purchasing a repellent that can target more than one animal at a time, such as rabbits, squirrels, rodents, or rats.
Bear in mind that if this is the type of repellent that you want to use, you should make sure that there aren’t any toxic or harsh chemicals in the formula that could potentially be harmful to wildlife.
If you need a recommendation for a multi-animal repellent, then I recommend the Deer Out Concentrate Repellent as it contains 100% all-natural ingredients that are safe for use around animals.
The next factor that you should take into consideration is how effective it’ll be in all types of weather conditions, and whether or not it’ll wash away when exposed to rain or irrigation.
The best deer repellents on the market are able to withstand these types of conditions without any change in the effectiveness of the product, though there’s some deer repellent that will, unfortunately, wash away in rain or snow.
Though all of the deer repellent sprays I’ve recommended above are able to withstand different environmental conditions without washing away, I do recommend that you reapply in the winter months, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to wet and snowy weather.
And lastly, another important thing to keep in mind is how safe the deer repellent is to use, both for yourself and the wildlife you’re trying to keep away.
Some of the lower-quality deer repellents on the market may contain harsh and toxic chemicals that are harmful to both humans and animals, as well as potentially have an adverse effect on the plants or trees it’s applied to.
So if you’re planning to purchase a spray repellent, I strongly recommend that you only consider those that have all-natural formulations with no questionable ingredients.
Not only does this ensure your foliage stays green and healthy, it also means you can apply the repellent with the peace of mind that you won’t be harming any wildlife, pets, or children that happen to come in contact with it.
Frequently asked questions
What scent do deer hate the most?
Though each deer will react differently to various scents, it’s highly common for deer to dislike the strong smells of garlic, peppermint, chili peppers, and eggs.
Does deer repellent really work?
Though results will vary, deer repellent is generally very effective when used to keep deer out of gardens.
Out of all the different types of repellent currently available on the market, scented spray repellent tends to be the most effective and affordable way to ensure deer stay out of your yard.
Unlike sonic or visual deterrents (which deer can become used to if regularly exposed), most deer despise the odors that repellents give off (such as peppermint, chili peppers, or garlic) and won’t find the plants and flowers appealing due to their strong smell.
What is the most effective deer repellent?
There are many different types of deer repellent on the market that are highly effective, and this can be seen from my reviews above.
However, one of the most effective deer repellents you can use is the Deer Out Concentrate Repellent, as it doesn’t wash off once applied to your plants and trees, and deer are very turned off by the smell of peppermint.
How do you use deer repellent spray?
Deer repellent is super easy to use and begins to work immediately after you apply it.
Generally, to use deer repellent spray, all you need to do is spray your flowers and trees (or anywhere else you’re trying to protect, like raised beds and planters) while they’re dry. This allows the formula to properly adhere itself to the surface once it’s sprayed on.
For the most part, so long as you use a high-quality repellent spray, you won’t need to reapply it. However, many people choose to reapply in the event of heavy rainfall, or during the winter months where snow is common.
If you’re still unsure about how to properly apply your deer repellent spray, check the packaging for specific instructions, or visit the manufacturer’s website where you can find more information about how to use your particular brand of deer repellent.
View the Web Story on the best deer repellents.