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Best Deer Repellents

Updated April 2024
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Best of the Best
Deer Out Deer Repellent Concentrate
Deer Out
Deer Repellent Concentrate
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Highly Effective
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This effective, all-natural repellent is backed by a money-back guarantee and provides 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 and 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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Best spray deer repellent
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The premixed Deer Out repellent is affordable and keeps deer away from your plants for up to four months.


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 may require occasional cleaning for optimal performance.

Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light
Nite Guard
Solar Predator Control Light
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Lighted defense
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Nite Guard’s predator deterrent uses flashing red lights to mimic predators and scare deer away from your property, keeping your garden safe from dusk to dawn.


Red light gives animals snacking on your garden the uncomfortable feeling they’re being watched. It’s durable, can survive the elements and is easily mountable.


Since they’re solar powered, their effectiveness might be reduced on cloudy or rainy days.

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate
Liquid Fence
Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate
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Trusted brand
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This clever formula disrupts the deer’s sense of smell, leading it to believe predators are nearby. Available in multiple sizes to protect gardens or large tracts.


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


Smells unpleasant during application.

Bobbex  Concentrated Deer Repellent
Concentrated Deer Repellent
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Best long-lasting deer repellent
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Uses natural ingredients to repel deer with a long-lasting formula that won't wash away.


Backed by 25 years of research and use, Bobbex repels deer with a powerful, long-lasting formula that blends natural ingredients. It is safe for humans, pets and wildlife.


This product has a mild, temporary odor that, once dry, humans can’t detect.

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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. About BestReviews  
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.About BestReviews 

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 repellents

Deer are beautiful as wildlife, but as regular visitors to your yard, they can cause damage that is frustrating and expensive. From delicate flowers to prized vegetables, deer graze on a wide variety of plants. This guide can help you choose the most effective deer repellent to keep your landscaping safe and healthy.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for invasive deer. Deer are adaptable, and to outsmart them, many wildlife organizations recommend using a combination of repellent types for best results. Sprays might work well in some yards but not others, so consider alternatives like motion-activated sprinklers or lights. 

Sorting through the many deer repellents can be confusing. To simplify your search, we explored what makes a repellent effective and evaluated dozens of options. Our top choice, Deer Out Deer Repellent Concentrate, is a great first line of defense. It's affordable and long-lasting, and it deters deer by making your plants unpalatable, discouraging them from browsing in your yard.

Which deer repellent is the most effective at repelling deer?

Deer Out Deer Repellent Concentrate

Deer Out Deer Repellent Concentrate on white background
Deer Out’s concentrate is made with natural ingredients and protects your yard for up to 90 days.

Best deer repellent

Product Specifications

Type: Concentrate | Natural Ingredients: Yes | Scent: Peppermint

Deer Out comes in a 32-ounce container. When mixed 1:8 with water, it makes 2 gallons of repellent, enough to cover 10,000 square feet of property, making it a great choice for large areas. Depending on the size of your property, a single container could be enough to shield your yard for an entire season, making it also a budget-friendly option. 

Made with natural ingredients, Deer Out is safe to spray directly on plants without harming them, pets or children. The repellent uses a blend of oils, including peppermint, to deter deer with an unpleasant taste and discourage them from munching on your vegetation.

Deer Out boasts impressive water resistance, offering protection for up to 90 days after a one-hour drying time. Deer Out is effective year-round, which means you can reapply it for continuous protection.

Deer Out Ready-to-Use Deer Repellent

Deer Out Ready-to-Use Deer Repellent on white background
Deer Out’s ready-to-use formula is safe, convenient and has a minty scent.

Best spray deer repellent

Product Specifications

Type: Spray | Natural Ingredients: Yes | Scent: Peppermint 

For smaller areas or a hassle-free option, the 40-ounce Deer Out spray bottle might be the solution for you. This premixed repellent protects about 1,200 square feet of plants and eliminates the need to measure or mix a concentrate. While it covers a smaller area and may cost slightly more per square foot than a concentrate, the convenience is worth it for some people.

The Deer Out spray, like the concentrate, has a minty scent that's safe for plants, pets and children. It dries quickly within an hour and is water resistant, protecting your plants for up to 90 days. To maximize its lifespan, it’s best to store Deer Out in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

For those who want a grab-and-go option, the premixed Deer Out spray is a convenient and effective choice. Plus, Deer Out offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for added peace of mind.

Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light

Nite Guard Solar Predator Control Light on white background
Nite Guard lights repel deer and other animals, including owls, coyotes and racoons.

Best lighted defense

Product Specifications

Type: Lighted | Pet and Child Safe: Yes | Power Source: Solar 

Unlike liquid repellents, Nite Guard takes a visual approach. These solar-powered lights come in a pack of four and automatically flicker throughout the night. The flashing pattern mimics the glint of a predator's eye, startling deer and making them think they're being watched, ultimately discouraging them from browsing on your property.

Nite Guard lights are most effective when placed about 4 feet high on posts positioned around the perimeter of the yard. Deer are intelligent and can learn over time that the lights don’t pose a genuine threat, so it's recommended that you move the posts every week or two. This prevents deer from getting used to the lights and losing their fear, ensuring continued protection for your yard.

These solar-powered lights are fully automatic, so you don’t have to remember to turn them on and off. They charge during the day and are built to withstand the elements. Nite Guard lights also repel owls, hawks, coyotes and racoons for even broader protection for your property.

Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent Concentrate

Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent Concentrate
The Liquid Fence Concentrate can treat 1,000 square feet with one 6.4-ounce bottle.

Trusted brand

Product Specifications

Type: Concentrate | Natural Ingredients: No | Scent: Garlic, pepper and eggs (until it dries) 

Liquid Fence Concentrate repels both deer and rabbits with a dual punch of scent and taste. Made with a blend of natural and synthetic ingredients, it can be sprayed directly on plants without harming them. However, it can be harmful if swallowed, so keep the container out of reach of children and pets.  

Liquid Fence Concentrate makes repelling deer and rabbits a breeze. Simply mix it 1:10 with water. One 6.4-ounce bottle treats 1,000 square feet. For maximum effectiveness, apply the liquid a second time a week after the first application. Then, to keep unwanted visitors at bay, reapply every four weeks. The best part? Liquid Fence Concentrate starts working immediately, it is effective year-round and it eliminates the need to constantly switch repellents.

Liquid Fence has a strong unpleasant odor that fades once the product dries. If you have a large area to cover, this concentrate is a cost-effective remedy that can help keep deer (and rabbits) away all year long.

Bobbex Concentrated Deer Repellent

Bobbex Concentrated Deer Repellent on white background
Bobbex Concentrated Deer Repellent won’t be washed away by rain, keeping flowers and plants safe.

Best long-lasting deer repellent

Product Specifications

Type: Concentrate | Natural Ingredients: Yes | Scent: Rotting eggs, fish meal, meat meal, garlic (until it dries)

Bobbex uses a natural, eco-friendly formula to offer long-lasting defense against deer. It repels not just deer but also other herbivores, keeping your plants safe from unwanted munching. Bobbex is safe for people, pets and surrounding wildlife when used as directed. As an added bonus, Bobbex can even help plants retain moisture during dry spells.

Bobbex goes the extra mile for plants. This concentrated formula mixes easily with water and dries in just six hours. Rain won't wash away its protection, keeping your ornamental flowers safe year-round. Plus, Bobbex repels without leaving any harmful residue, making it a worry-free choice for your garden. Overall, it's easy to apply and cost-effective, making it a great buy for large properties.

Orbit 62120 Garden Enforcer

Orbit 62120 Garden Enforcer
The Orbit Garden Enforcer safely sprays deer and other critters with water when it detects movement nearby.

Best motion-activated sprinkler 

Product Specifications

Type: Motion-activated sprinkler | Detection Range: 40’ | Power Source: 4 AA alkaline batteries

Keep deer and other unwanted animals out of your yard with the motion-activated Orbit Garden Enforcer. This sprinkler detects movement within a 40-foot radius (20 feet for smaller animals), and when triggered it unleashes a surprising blast of water to scare off critters. Plus, the smart sensor technology learns to distinguish between animals and windblown leaves or moving branches, minimizing accidental sprays.

Orbit's motion-activated sprinkler offers customizable protection with three detection modes: night only, daylight only and 24/7, so you can tailor it to your needs. Powered by four AA batteries and lasting for an impressive 7,500 activations, it's an economical solution. Plus, the adjustable tripod extends up to 54 inches for optimal coverage of your yard.

We love that the Yard Enforcer can also function as a sprinkler to help keep your lawn watered. If you want an all-in-one device that can protect your yard from destructive critters and keep it healthy, the Garden Enforcer is a solid option.

What to know before you buy deer repellent


Deer repellents come in a wide variety of modes. That’s because not all of them are effective for all deer. Some deer have better assimilated to living in close proximity to people, so lights, sounds and spurts of water might not be perceived as threats. Other deer adapt and learn to disregard certain types of repellents. Consequently, you might need to alternate between different types of deer repellent to have the best chance of success. Concentrates, sprays, granules, pouches, stakes, electric shock, lights, sonic repellents, motion-activated sprinklers and netting are all methods that have been used with varying degrees of success.


Deer repellent that comes in a concentrated form gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Concentrates can last for weeks or months and are best for covering large areas. Depending on the brand, you might be able to cover 10,000 square feet with a 32-ounce bottle. The only downside is you need to dilute it with water and put it in a spray bottle before it's ready to use. Once applied and dry, the solution gives plants an unpleasant odor and taste for deer but isn’t offensive to humans. Unless the concentrate’s odor mimics that of a predator, it won't scare the deer away. The goal is to condition the deer to avoid eating the vegetation on your property. 


A spray works the same way as a concentrate. It is not harmful to plants, but it coats them with a solution that, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, relies on "fear, conditioned avoidance, pain or taste" to be effective. Because the spray comes premixed and is ready to use right out of the bottle, you pay a little more for convenience. And a spray is a good option if you only seek to repel deer in a limited area like a small flower garden. Sprays are also suitable if your goal is to protect a potted plant or two.


While liquid concentrates and sprays are best for covering tall plants, granular formulas are best for shrubbery or other plants that grow close to the ground. Some companies suggest that deer-repellent granules be used as a perimeter to help deter deer from crossing into gardens. Two important benefits of granular formula deer repellents are they can be applied in all temperatures and you know precisely when they need to be reapplied — the product is only active if you can see it. 

Deer-repellent 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. You can purchase deer-repellent pouches or make them yourself by placing deodorant bar soap shavings in a sock and hanging it anywhere you do not want deer.

Deer-repellent stakes

Deer-repellent stakes are very similar to pouches. These typically come in the form of round plastic pods that you stake into the ground at strategic locations. Like the pouches, they distribute a scent that is unpleasant to deer. The plastic casing helps the stakes stand up to the elements.

Electric shock

The electric shock approach is more controversial because it relies on hurting the animal (not seriously) to condition it to stay away from specific areas. A sweet scent or pheromone lures the deer to a post. When the animal touches the electrified post with its nose, it receives a minor shock. The intensity of the shock is designed to startle the deer and train it to stay away. However, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, deer have “higher internal resistance to electricity than most animals.” This means the shock might not be as effective a deterrent as you might hope.


Most people know what “like a deer in the headlights” means. Bright lights trigger a panic response in deer and make them incapable of acting. Using motion-activated lights can initially spook a deer. Over time, however, if there is no actual threat when the lights flash on, the deer may learn to ignore these lights.

Ultrasonic repellents

Ultrasonic repellents function like motion-activated lights. Initially, these sounds, which are inaudible to humans, can frighten away deer. Unfortunately, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, over time, deer get used to the sounds and they no longer work as a deterrent. For persistent deer, the organization recommends combining several repellent methods, deeming this the most effective approach.

Motion-activated sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers tend to be more effective than lights or sounds. When a deer enters the range of the motion sensor, a sprinkler spits out a burst of water (and sound), startling the deer so it runs away. While detractors claim deer get used to this method as well, many happy customers say it can be effective for years. However, the state of Delaware concurs with Maryland in stating that a “combination of visual and auditory deterrents may be more effective than a single deterrent by itself.”  


This is another option if you don’t mind the look of netting over your plants. This simple method blocks the deer from getting to vegetation. As long as the netting stays intact, it can be a long-lasting repellent to most pests.

Tips for using deer repellent

Deer repellents are easy to use. In many cases, you can 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. While all repellents must be reapplied from time to time, some last longer than others. Some deer repellents might last for a month or more, while others need to be reapplied after a week or ten days. Many liquid repellents also need to 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 makes it less predictable to the deer, so the deterrent stays effective longer.
  • 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 as 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.

Plants and other natural methods for repelling deer

When it comes to using plants to control deer, it isn’t about “repelling” — deer live in nature, so adding a few specific plants won't necessarily frighten them away. Instead, think of it as not drawing attention to your yard. The reason deer gravitate to your yard is because it offers desirable food that can be obtained with minimal risk. The best way to keep deer out of your yard is to refrain from planting things they like to eat. 

Deer love hosta plants. They are often the first to go because they are easy to eat and contain a great deal of water. You might notice a few nibbles out of the tips of the leaves for a few days, but after that, one day you will find the plants eaten down to the stems. Fruit trees, blueberries, ivy, roses, tulips and vegetable gardens are also plants that attract deer. If you want to keep the curious (and hungry) creatures away, don't offer them a free buffet.

Additionally, you can add a few plants to your yard that deer are not interested in to keep them from exploring. For example, fuzzy or prickly plants, such as lamb’s ear or heartleaf brunnera, are not palatable, so deer avoid them. The same can be said for finely textured vegetation because it's hard to consume enough to be satisfying. Consequently, deer tend to pay less attention to ferns and forsythia, so planting these items could help diminish a deer's curiosity. For a more aggressive approach, bee balm and chives have a fragrance that is unappealing to deer. Irritating or poisonous options, such as peppers, daffodils and azaleas, can produce positive results as well.

How to make homemade deer repellent

If you want to try homemade deer repellent, be aware that it will have a pungent odor while you make it and let it ripen at room temperature for a day. This is because it uses hot sauce or cayenne pepper along with garlic and milk, yogurt or eggs. Mix the ingredients together in a blender with two cups of water and add the solution to a garden spray bottle. Apply the homemade repellent on your plants after the morning dew has dried. After the repellent dries, the smell should be unnoticeable to humans, but deer will still find it offensive.


Q. How much does deer repellent cost? 

A. The most affordable deer repellents are liquid or granular options, typically available for roughly $15 to $50. Flashing lights and sonic deer repellents are available in the $30 to $60 price range. If you are looking for a sprinkler with a motion sensor or a larger supply of granular repellent (such as a 25-pound bucket), the price is approximately $100.

Q. How long does deer repellent last?

A. That depends on the type you use. Most liquid and granular deterrents need reapplication every few days to few months, depending on the type and the weather — most repellents need to be reapplied after it rains. For these scent- and taste-based applications, it’s best to refer to the usage instructions on the product. Other methods, such as electric shocks, flashing lights, sonic repellents and water bursts, will last as long as the products remain in good working order and batteries and bulbs (if any) are replaced as needed. These types of repellents may last for years. However, deer adapt to their environment and it’s possible some of these methods won’t remain effective from season to season.

Q. What’s better: deer repellent or fencing?

A. The problem with fences is that deer are quite ingenious about getting around them. Deer can push under or through them, wriggling between a gap in the slats. And if the fence is less than eight feet tall — which is an uncommonly tall fence — deer can leap over it. 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. If repellents don’t work, it might be time to consider more costly deterrents like fencing.

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

A. Some deer repellents repel humans as much as deer, especially if the repellent smells like animal urine (as some do). Fortunately, many repellents smell great to humans. If you are sensitive to odors, there are other deer repellent options, such as flashing lights and bursts of water, which might better suit your needs.

How we analyzed

The writers at BestReviews are familiar with the products they cover and recommend. Many have focused on the types of products they are writing about for several years, giving them a deeper understanding of which features a product needs to really stand out. However, that’s just the beginning. Writers then consider the manufacturer's promises and evaluate how those claims hold up in real-world applications. And to make sure the results aren't biased, BestReviews considers reviews from consumers and experts to better understand where a product shines and where it could use a little more buffing.

Our expertise

Allen Foster has researched, tested and evaluated products for BestReviews since 2018. Before that, he sold outdoor equipment at one of the largest home improvement chains in the country. Consequently, he has in-depth knowledge of outdoor appliances and products, such as grills and deer repellents. As part of his training, Allen has attended seminars and workshops on a wide range of outdoor products so he can help customers find exactly what they need.