I love nature just as much as the next person but there are a few things that really work my nerves. The insatiable hosta munching deer is one of them, second only to flower box and yard destroying squirrel.
Hair to Repel Deer
There are several ways to deter deer from eating your plants (they seem to love hostas). There are store-bought deer repellents, but I prefer to use a natural deterrent. A friend of mine uses hair. She takes hair from her brush and spreads it around her plants, sort of like decorating a Christmas tree. I guess the individual’s scent is enough to deter the deer from eating the plants.
That works well as long as weather conditions leave the hair in place. A few windy rainy days means re-decorating the plants with more hair.
The Deterrent that Every House Has Plenty Of
If hair is a scarce commodity in your home like it is in ours (we keep our hair very short), you might have to choose another method. Just like with hair, I’m using a substance that is plentiful. As a matter of fact, I’m 100% sure that every household has this commodity and it’s 100% natural. Deer don’t like urine. Yep, everyday ordinary pee.
Last year we didn’t have a deer problem because we allowed Fido to pee wherever he chose; the front yard, side yard or backyard. It didn’t make a difference as long as it wasn’t in the house. It was a wonderful natural deer deterrent.
The upside is that the deer didn’t eat the hosta plants; the downside is that the yard looked like it was a battleground for a serious intergalactic conflict. The dog pee created a plethora of burn spots in the grass.
This year we decided to improve the looks of the lawn and trained Fido to pee in one spot. Our lawn has improved, but the deer have decided to return. So, keeping with the urine theory, we decided to sprinkle urine on the plants.
Outfit the Bathroom
Wait, it’s not as gross as it sounds. All you have to do is keep paper cups in the bathroom. Once every few days, fill one of the cups and sprinkle the urine over the outdoor plants. It will deter the deer.
The only downside is that the urine gets washed away every time it rains so you’ll need to ‘pee’ on your plants after a good soaking. For some reason kids love this deer repellent method…go figure.
Word of warning, do not store urine. Urine has a tendency to develop muscles over time and you may not be strong enough to be able to withstand the odor. Urine is an abundant commodity. Why not put it to good use?
While you’re looking for pest repellents, try this natural mosquito repellent.
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I don’t remember the recipe, but there is a simple solution with eggs that you leave steep for about weeks and mix with water and spray on the plants. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say how it works, but I have a friend who’s an avid hosta grower who swears by it. It does have to be reapplied after a rain.
I have about 25 different free deer repellent recipes on my site you can make yourself, most are natural. Many of the comments include your urine suggestion. We also have a page dedicated to natural deer controls. Don’t forget mechanical controls like the guardener http://www.deer-departed.com/guardener that will just shoot water at the deer and put out an ultrasonic noise to scare them. It has solar panels, you you don’t even need electricity. This is about as green as you get.
How do I keep deer from eating blueberries (that is, if they like em’)? Don’t really want to pee on my berries! I heard ivory soap keeps them away. Any truth to that?
Your comment made me chuckle. I agree, the thought of peeing on your blueberries isn’t very appetizing. Don’t know about Ivory soap. Can anyone offer any advice?
I have had it with deer eating my daylilies just before they bloom out (second year in a row). Only 2 of my 9 plants have blooms left, all the rest have chewed off stems where flowers should be. We just tried the pee method for the first time (and we laughed hysterically after peeing into a bucket to take outside). Wish us luck. Yes, we read it’s a repeat application process. We’re equal to the task.
The pee method worked well for us. I wish you the best of luck. Let us know how it works for you.
Deer Crazy, I feel your pain. There’s got to be a less expensive way than an electric fence.
Between the dog and the urine,we’ve been relatively deer free. The deer seem to graze on the outskirts of our property. They haven’t been coming up to the plants/flowers that line the house.
Having a dog makes it easier for us (don’t tell my daughter, I’ve been complaining ever since we got Fido because I didn’t want a dog). I hesitate to suggest this but…did you ever think of getting a dog? They are a lot of work, but they do keep the deer away.
Oh, I’m at my wits end with the deer! I just caught another one eating my plants. I have alot of flowering plants and tried the pee thing but can’t seem to keep up. Its making me crazy. I just ran one off and with no other ideas handy I went out with liquid dish soap and fertilizer in the rain and sprinkled it all over. I don’t know if this will work or make the deer sick or what. I guess I need to get an electric fence or something.
Hmm Felicia – it seems like you could get the guys in your life to help you with urinating on your plants. Perhaps after dark if you live in a city.
I live in the wilds of Northern Minnesota. And I do mean wild. My husband deer hunts not 100 yards from our back yard. So we should have deer. We have three dogs, and they go outside to pee and poop all over the place, and I have never had a deer in our yard. The only danger our hostas face is my husband and the lawn mower (he recently earned ‘the look’ when he said he “didn’t have time” to avoid mowing over a couple of perennials).
That said, for a long time, we only had one dog, and that was also enough to keep the deer away. So you don’t need to go overboard like we have.
Is that so? Wow, I didn’t realize that.
I wonder how long it takes for the meat remnants to leave one’s system. I’d like to test it out, but I guess I’ll have to wait until next year’s deer season.
Thanks for the info.
Interestingly, this only works with meat eaters.The urine from a person who is a vegetarian would have no effect on the deers.