Updated May 2023
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Deer Out Deer Repellent Concentrate
Deer Out
Deer Repellent Concentrate
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Highly Effective
Bottom Line

Effective repellent that can provide months of protection with a single application.


Unlike most repellents, the peppermint smell deters deer but doesn't smell bad to most people. Environmentally friendly—won't harm birds, bees, or pets. The 32-ounce bottle of concentrate makes 2.5 gallons of repellent.


Is intended to keep deer from eating plants, rather than repel them entirely.

Best Bang for the Buck
Deer Out Ready-to-Use Deer Repellent
Deer Out
Ready-to-Use Deer Repellent
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Pleasant Scent
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A pre-mixed repellent that's easy to apply and incredibly affordable.


This is a long-lasting, rain-resistant, safe, and natural repellent. Can be sprayed directly on plants you want to protect. The minty smell is pleasant to most people, but still effectively deters deer from eating your plants.


The nozzle can clog easily.

Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light
Nite Guard
Solar Predator Control Light
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Trusted Brand
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A red light gives raccoons, coyotes, or other nocturnal munchers the eerie sense that they're being watched.


Red light gives animals snacking on your garden or livestock the uncomfortable feeling they have been spotted. Durable model that's waterproof and weatherproof. Mount on a structure, garden gate, coop, or pole.


Some customers found them more effective than others. Try moving them if animals get used to them.

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate
Liquid Fence
Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate
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Most Unique
Bottom Line

A clever formula that tricks deer into believing predators are lurking nearby.


This does an excellent job of keeping deer away from your plants. The smell fades to the human nose after the formula dries, which only takes about 20-30 minutes in most cases. Repellent is harmless to deer and other animals.


Smells unpleasant when applied and requires consistent reapplication.

Messina Deer Stopper II
Deer Stopper II
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Easy to Use
Bottom Line

This ready-to-spray formula is organic, so you can safely use it on your favorite edibles.


Organic compound that can be used on fruits and vegetables. Both taste and scent deter deer. Clove and cinnamon scent is undetectable or very light for humans once it's dry. Doesn't damage plants.


Some deer are able to get past the taste if they are hungry enough. Claims of weather resistance may be overstated.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best deer repellent

While deer aren’t aggressive, they will boldly stroll onto your property at dawn or dusk to munch on your plants. This is more than a minor frustration because it leaves your shrubs shredded, flowers beheaded and vegetable gardens empty. The good news is deer are skittish. If you scare them off a few times, chances are they won't return because your yard is no longer a safe place. To frighten these docile creatures away without harming them, you need deer repellent.

Many types of deer repellent are scents or tastes that deer don’t like. These can be an unpleasant taste or a smell that makes deer think a predator has been nearby. When the deer encounter these, they’ll steer clear of your property. Most deer repellents aren’t harmful to children or pets, but read the product label to be certain. Also, once dry, deer repellent is generally not offensive to humans and becomes water resistant.

There are other types of deer repellent that target other senses. For instance, combining a motion sensor with a sprinkler gives deer that venture too close a short blast of water that frightens them away. Or a motion sensor can be set up to trigger a flash of light or ultrasonic frequency that makes the deer dart off.

Our top choice is the Deer Out Deer Repellent. This pet-friendly option is safe around children and effective in any season. It’s easy to apply: just spray it on, let it dry for roughly an hour and your yard is protected from deer for up to 90 days.

Best deer repellents

Deer Out Deer Repellent

This deer repellent from a trusted name has been helping farmers, gardeners, landscapers and homeowners for over two decades. The 32-ounce bottle of concentrate makes 2.5 gallons of repellent. Once applied, it sticks on plants and won't wash off in rain or snow. What makes this repellent so appealing is the minty fresh scent, which is pleasing to humans but unpleasant to animals like deer, moose and elk. The environmentally friendly formula uses only natural ingredients, which makes it a safe option if you have children or pets. If you aren’t satisfied, the product has a money-back guarantee.

Deer Out Ready-to-Use Deer Repellent

This option from Deer Out is ready to use as is, no mixing required. The 40-ounce bottle contains enough solution to cover 1,250 square feet. Since its environmentally friendly formula uses all-natural ingredients, it can be sprayed directly on flowers, vines, trees, shrubs, vegetable plants and row crops without concern. It’s also safe to use around children and pets. To apply, shake the bottle and spray, making sure to cover the entire plant. Deer Out takes about an hour to dry, but after that it’s rain resistant. During peak growing season, you might have to apply it more often, but it’s usually effective for 30 to 90 days.

Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light

This Nite Guard light offers a different solution to your deer problem. This device turns on at dusk and flashes all night long. The flash is interpreted by nocturnal animals as the glint of a predator's eye, so it keeps them from venturing onto your property. It’s waterproof, environmentally friendly and safe for use around children and pets. Since the Nite Guard light isn't activated by motion, deer can see it from a distance and steer clear of your yard. For best results, the company recommends installing these units at the deer's eye level so the flashes are seen more easily. 

Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent Concentrate

Liquid Fence is another option that repels deer using scent. It makes deer think a predator is nearby, so they avoid the area completely. Although this product may be offensive to humans when first applied, after it dries the smell fades (for humans) and the repellent becomes rain resistant. This product can be used all year round, and you don’t have to rotate it with other products to maintain its effectiveness. It must be applied when temperatures are above freezing, and you need to allow about six hours for it to dry. This 40-ounce concentrate can cover up to 6,000 square feet.

Messina Wildlife Deer Stopper II

This deer repellent starts working immediately. Just shake the bottle and spray, being sure to cover the entire plant. The plant-based formula contains no harsh chemicals, so it’s safe for use around children and pets. The smell is pleasant to humans, and it’s safe to apply this product to vegetable gardens. Deer Stopper II is weatherproof in as little as 20 minutes and remains effective for up to 30 days. If you notice any signs of feeding in your yard before the 30 days are up, just reapply for continued protection. The 32-ounce trigger spray bottle can cover up to 1,000 square feet.

Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler

For a different approach to wildlife problems, consider the Orbit Yard Enforcer, essentially a sprinkler connected to a motion detector. When deer get too close, the sprinkler delivers a short blast of water to frighten them away. The intelligent sensing technology learns the difference between branches blowing in the wind and animals moving across your yard. It can be programmed to work only during the day, only at night or constantly. This system requires four AA alkaline batteries and is easy to install. It uses just a pint of water per activation, and the batteries can deliver up to 7,500 activations.

Yard Sentinel Outdoor Ultrasonic Animal Repeller

This ultrasonic device can repel just about any wild animal that comes onto your property. Using an adjustable infrared motion sensor along with nighttime scanning technology, the Yard Sentinel has a range of up to 5,500 square feet. If you prefer, you can set the repeller to deliver a continuous sonic sweep. It has an adjustable frequency, so you can fine-tune the unit to target the most troublesome animals. This device is powered by four C batteries, but it also includes an AC adapter with a 33-foot extension cord to help ensure the product never fails when it’s needed.

What to know before you buy deer repellent


Deer repellents come in a wide array of options, because what works for some deer may not stop others, and some methods are easier to use than others. Some of the most common types of deer repellent include concentrates, sprays, lights, pouches, netting, stations, granules and electric posts.

Concentrates: This common type of deer repellent is one of the most cost-effective measures available. You mix the concentrate with water and apply it directly to the plants you want to protect. The mixture repels deer with an unpleasant taste, odor, or both. Concentrates tend to be long-lasting, and they are a great option if you need to cover a large space.

Sprays: These liquid repellents come in handy, ready-to-use spray bottles and ward off deer with unpleasant smells and tastes. One is a good option if you need to repel deer in a limited area like a small flower garden. They’re also suitable if your goal is to protect a potted plant or two. If you’d rather not soak your plants with strange odors and potential chemicals, consider a jet spray option. This type of deer repellent is a motion-activated device that blasts water at deer.

Lights: The typical light deterrent flashes LED lights at nocturnal yard invaders. Deer think there is a predator nearby and run off. Many of these lights run on solar power and require little maintenance.

Pouches: If you’re looking for a way to repel both deer and other pests like rabbits, consider pouches. You simply hang the pouches from the branches of shrubbery and the unpleasant scent wards off pests.

Netting: If you don’t mind the look of netting over your plants, this is another option. It’s a simple method: the net blocks the deer from getting to vegetation. As long as the netting stays intact, it can be a very long-lasting repellent to most pests.

Stations: Another way to repel deer is with stations, which typically come in the form of round plastic pods that you stake into the ground. They distribute a scent that’s unpleasant to deer. The plastic casing helps the stations stand up to the elements.

Granules: Another deer repellent requires you to sprinkle granules around your plants. The granules, which contain ingredients like blood meal and garlic, repel deer by emitting unpleasant odors.

Electric posts: This method is more controversial. A sweet scent lures the deer to the post, and when the animal touches the post with its nose it receives a minor shock. The shock is meant to teach the animal to stay away from the area. The shock of an electric post is purportedly minor and not enough to harm the animal, merely frighten it, but it’s up to you to decide how comfortable you are with this method. With all the other options available, you might want to explore them first.

Tips for using deer repellent

Deer repellents are easy to use. In many cases, you apply them or set them up and forget about them. To ensure success, here are some tips to get the most out of your deer repellent.

  • Know how long the deer repellent will remain effective. Duration should be indicated in the instructions on the product. Some repellents must be reapplied after a few months. Others must be reapplied after a heavy rain.
  • Move visual repellents occasionally. If you use a visual repellent like a flashing LED light, consider moving it around the yard periodically. Moving it like a real predator would move makes it less predictable to the deer.
  • Watch for common signs of deer. The most obvious sign that you’ve been invaded is chomped plants, but look for other signs as well, such flattened grass, droppings and trees that have marks that look like antler rubbing. Focus your deer repellent in these areas.
  • Look for a money-back guarantee. Some products come with a money-back guarantee. Since different methods work for different deer, keep an eye out for offers like these.


Q. How much does deer repellent cost? 

A. You can find many spray repellents and granules as well as six-packs of deer repellent stations for $12 to $20. Spend $20 to $50 and you can buy larger amounts of repellent, such as 32-ounce concentrates and 1-gallon ready-to-use liquids. Lights and netting are also commonly found in this price range. Electric shock repellents typically cost a bit more than $50, while motion-activated sprays cost around $70.

Q. How long does deer repellent last?

A. That depends on the type you use. Most liquid deterrents need reapplication every few days to a few months, depending on the type. They might also need reapplication after it rains. Other methods, such as shock posts and pouches, can last a year or more. For scent- and taste-based applications, refer to the instructions on the product.

Q. What’s better, deer repellent or a fence?

A. The problem with fences is that deer are quite ingenious about getting around them. Deer can push under them or, if the fence is less than 8 feet tall, leap over them. Furthermore, fences are costly, and they can obstruct your view of the yard. So you might want to try repellents before you build a fence.

Q. I tried deer repellent and it smelled horrible. Why try again?

A. It’s true that some deer repellents repel humans as much as deer, especially if the repellent is made to smell like animal urine (as some are). Fortunately, many repellents smell great to humans.

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