Which Deer Repellents Work Best?

Reader Contribution by Vicki Mattern
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I have a large property and can’t afford to fence the entire area, which includes many ornamental shrubs and perennials. What are the most effective deer repellents?

We empathize. For a gardener, few things are more frustrating than discovering headless stems the very morning you expect to see full blooms. Even “deer-resistant” plants are sometimes good eats to a hungry deer. No repellent, commercial or homemade, can provide 100 percent protection, but some do work better than others.

After surveying 22 earlier studies of deer repellents and then conducting their own controlled study at two different locations, researchers at Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station concluded that egg-based repellents worked better than predator urines and blood-based products. Repellents applied more often were more effective than those applied less frequently.

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