More DIY Deer Repelling Tips!

2676777225 8cdf152fc0 More DIY Deer Repelling Tips!It never hurts to have a few more trick of the trade in your arsenal when it comes to home remedy garden solutions!  Here are a few more DIY deer repelling tips this time from guest blogger Andy, an avid hunter and gardener, who’s rural backyard has taught him a thing or two about deer behavior.

Using powdered milk is a great trick for keeping deer off of one (or just a couple) plants but it can be difficult to keep up with because after a couple rains the powder milk is less effective. So here are a few more choices that might last a little longer or better suit your gardening needs. Each of my suggestions are based on past experience or things that I have heard talking to many people over the years on the subject.

  1. Use Hair Clippings:  My first suggestion for protecting small flower or vegetable gardens is similar to the powdered milk idea; human hair is one of the more popular methods second in line from the powdered milk. Deer smell humans and tend to get scared and leave that area. I have tried this method myself and it does work and can work very well for up to a month, this time frame will depend on the weather conditions and how much hair you use. I have been told by some that deer learn the scent of local humans after a while and are no longer fearful of that area and go about eating your plants.  The solution for this, and what I did from the get-go, is to use a decent amount of hair and change up who it comes from. Using hair from different humans is easy, all you have to do is go to your local barber shop or salon. They are normally more than willing to give you the hair for free which also makes this the cheapest fix for keeping deer away. Remember to put new hair out once every three to four weeks or as needed based on the weather to keep your garden deer free! A trick for keeping deer off of your larger bushes is simple, use the above methods but in order to make this work on bushes is to put some powdered milk around the front of the bushes or on the side that the deer commonly come from. After that you take small clumps of hair and tie them in the upper portions of the bushes, use thin twine and put them about every eighteen inches apart and at different heights. This has worked for me and other’s I know!
  2. Make A Moving Fence: For those of you who grow decent sized vegetable gardens or flower gardens the above methods just don’t work very well. You can try something that worked well for me when I used to grow a 20″ x 40″ vegetable garden. You start by posting out your garden at the four corners, tie rows of string as if it were fencing, I did mine about every twelve inches up to about four feet high (four rows of string), then take and tie plastic bags and pie plates to the string at different places and heights all the way around, the noise keeps them away and if they do touch the string the pie plates make noise and scare them off, wind is always your friend with this method. I will warn (from experience) if you have plants too close to the edge the deer will learn not to touch the string and eat anything they can reach with their neck, otherwise in about 5 years of using this method I never had a problem other than that.  When using plastic bags in this type of fence make sure you poke holes in the bags, it keeps air moving through them and also does not allow water to fill them.
  3. Use Newspapers: A tale (so to speak) I heard once, was that you could put newspaper in your garden and that would keep deer away, but I have never tried this suggestion or ever heard of anyone else doing it. I can see how it would work due to the smells and such but it would be very messy and very short lasting and certainly not very easy on the eyes in a garden. So I will pass the suggestion on and ask if you do try it please let me know how it works and how long it lasts!
  4. Make Sapling Cages:  The next trick is for trees, if you are having a problem with them eating your young trees (three feet or less) use the same methods as you would for your garden or build chicken wire cages around in a circle that are tall enough that the deer cannot reach their head down in and eat the leaves off of your beloved trees.
  5. Make A Three-Sided Barrier: This method is used for larger trees by tree farmers, orchards and local government in extreme cases.  First, you post out a triangle around the tree, normally 18 inches from the trunk of the tree to each post. Use garden stakes or any 1″ wide square or round wood roughly four to six feet in length. After staking you then take chicken wire or any type of metal rolled fencing and wrap it around the posts, cut to proper length, make sure you have a decent pair of wire cutters when doing this, it will make the job a lot easier. Secure the wiring to the fence using staples and you are all done, this normally can be left for many years depending on the type of tree and if the tree is already being staked to correct leaning, you can go ahead and use those stakes as your corner posts. Everything needed to do this easy project can be found at your local home improvement store, farm store and some garden shops.
  6. Use A Flying Pie Pan Trick: If you are trying to keep deer from eating fruit trees and/or the fruit on them, this can be difficult subject. I have been asked about this many times and have asked this question myself for many years. The only trick I have seen used was used on bigger apple and pear trees and the home owner got this suggestion from a farmer (or so I told). You take small string and tie it to branches eight to twelve feet off the ground and then cut the string so it hangs about 5 feet off the ground (deer head height) and then tie metal pie plates to them and let them hang down and fly in the wind. If the deer hear or see them moving objects they won’t come near, the ones that get curious normally they end up touching it and that in itself scares them away. You would normally do many pie plates per tree depending on how big the tree is and how stubborn your deer are. I am told this works wonders and lasts all year.
  7. Try Store Bought Tree Tubes: If you are having a problem with the deer rubbing their antlers on your trees, or animals are gnawing on your tree trunks, there is one easy fix for both of these problems. If your tree is still at a young age at the time of planting  (or at ant time before the tree begins to really branch out) you can add a Tree Tube, which is used on small tree’s to keep either of those problems from happening to them. This method is used by your local governments across America. The tube would then be cut off after the tree was reaching its growth limits for that tube or I have also seen it left behind, biodegrading, and becoming part of the tree after years of growth. This is a small investment that will give your trees a better chance to survive and live a much better life in the end.

There are always the chemical deer repellents on the market, some of these work, most do not from what I have found in my experience. They are often very costly, most are not environmentally friendly and the worse part of it is that a lot of them are un-safe for pets and other small animals, thus making these not very good options for you. I personally do not recommend commercial deer repellent, and hope you can find  less expensive environmentally safe options!  I hope one of the DIY repellents I’ve discovered works for you.

Guest Blogger:  Andy

Photo courtesy of:Alan Light

About Amy


  1. Amy says:

    Thanks for these great ideas Andy! I’ll have to pick your brain again for more DIY tips!

  2. Andy says:

    I am always more then happy to share tips and ideas on all sorts of subjects! I hope these tips help some readers keep deer away!

  3. Now we just have to get Andy started on his own blog. This article is *quality*.

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