The Q&A Archives: Repelling Deer

Questioner's Location: Chicago, IL
Date: January 21, 1998

Question: Would coyote urine keep deer away? We've tried dog hair, moth balls, and soap. They've done nothing.

Answer: Deer will eat most anything if they're hungry enough. I guess they get tired of the native plants and go searching for something tastier. Developed landscapes have such wonderful new plants, it's hard for the deer to keep from browsing, and tasting what's out there! If you want to try coyote urine, it's available from Burpee (800/888-1447 or www.burpee.com).<br><br>As you've discovered, the advertised repellants really aren't all that effective. A large barking dog is a good deterent. So are loud noises and lights at night. But, basically, fencing is the only real solution tokeeping deer out of your garden. If you're not ready to invest in an eight-foot high fence, try putting a sprinkler on a motion detector so it starts automatically when motion is detected in the area. Alternately, you could hook up a radio or some flood lights to go on when there's activity in the area.<br><br>Wish there were easier methods to deal with the wildlife, but animals are fairly smart about how to get to the food they really want.<br><br>Good luck!<br>

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