Tuesdays Tips — Keeping the #@*% Deer Away

Mary Beth: Brazen, bold and more than a little scary! The deer in our neighborhood think they’re in charge and they’re making sure we know it.

The first incident involved one of the herd and my dog, Sage. I was on the phone with Barbara a couple of weeks ago when I heard a huge ruckus outside. Screaming “I’ll call you back!”, I dropped the phone and ran out to protect my maniac dog from an angry buck, and from herself. He was getting ready to ram her as I called her to come up to the porch. Amazingly, she disengaged and came to me. Thank goodness we spent all that time training her! But what I’d really like to know is why on earth she thought she could challenge this creature which is at least four times her size?!

The deer pictured above was in my yard when I pulled in the driveway a couple of days ago. Sage and Kea lost it and I thought they were going right through the window. To my amazement the deer approached the car and moved towards me every time I opened the door and tried to step out. I finally gave up and figured I’d make the best of it by taking a few pictures. By the third shot she was out of there. I’d love to have some insight into her thought process.

What I do know is that the herd frequents my garden (along with the raccoons who have been noisily raiding my crabapple tree every night for at least a week) because I have many delicious goodies that they like to snack on. If I’m going to have anything left to garden in the spring, I’m going to have to mix up a huge vat of my deer spray.

I’ve posted this recipe before, but it’s clearly time for a refresher. This stuff is really stinky, but definitely worth the trouble.

Deer Repellant Spray Recipe:

  • 4 raw eggs
  • 1 tablespoon or more of hot sauce, the hotter the better
  • 1 teaspoon dish soap
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic juice or garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of white pepper
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender with a quart of water. It helps to strain it before putting it into your sprayer because it will clog it, which is really annoying
  2. Pour in a gallon sprayer, add more water to top it off to a gallon and let it sit out of the sun for a couple of days so it gets good and smelly
  3. Spray your plants with a fine mist to coat all the foliage (and flowers)
  4. Respray new growth and after rain or snow

It’s a good idea to switch up the recipe from time to time, because deer will get used to the spray after a while and it won’t be as effective. Add things like a few drops of clove oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, or 1 cup of milk, etc. to change the smell and taste a little. I’ve even added a sliver of Irish Springs soap to my batches and it seems to work really well. I find that the deer may take a bite here and there, but after tasting the spray they move on.

Barbara: I know a lot of you are fans of our photography. One of Mary Beth’s photos was selected by the National Geographic to appear in its 2010 Photo Contest! So please show MB a little love and vote for this gorgeous photo. Today is the last day for voting.

Thanks much!

3 thoughts on “Tuesdays Tips — Keeping the #@*% Deer Away

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  1. Thank you for the recipe! As your neighbor on Block Island, I see the beautiful gardens that you maintain. I am going to check out the Imperial Poppy right now.


    1. Hi Shelley,
      Good luck with the deer spray!
      I looked up the poppies and I believe they are called Red Oriental Poppy, not Imperial, which was what popped into my head when you asked. Good to see you again.
      Mary Beth

  2. I realized it wasn’t Imperial Poppy! I’ll have to enjoy yours as they are Fall planters! I’ll get some this Fall to plant so that we can enjoy them next summer! I always worry though…we leave BI around 10/5 or so and I am never sure when they will mail them to us. Don’t want to miss them – they are $17/ea!!

    See you when I’m out walking Sam!


    p.s. Watch out for this storm! My grandson is a wreck!!

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