The 4 Best Deer Repellents: Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Alan Lemus
Updated: March 16, 2023
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Key Points:

  • The #1 Overall Best deer repellent is the Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent.
  • Deer repellents are a great way to keep your garden and home safe from hungry or curious deer. They often contain natural ingredients such as garlic, blood meal, or predator urine. These ingredients are unpleasant for deer and encourage them to find somewhere else to graze.
  • These products can deliver long-lasting effects when used over an extended period of time. They are generally safe and won’t harm other plants in your yard.
  • It is important to choose the right type of repellent for your specific needs, as some work better than others depending on the size and type of deer in your area. Important factors to consider when you are choosing the best deer repellent for your yard are feedback from other users, product safety, ingredients, and whether the product has a money-back guarantee.

Deer can be a nuisance in the garden. They eat your plants, leave droppings and tracks, and chew on your garden structures. However, deer are wild animals and they are just doing what they were born to do! The best way to protect your plants from deer is to keep them out of your yard before they have a chance to get into your garden beds. There are many natural and humane methods that you can use to accomplish this.

Natural deer repellents are a great way to keep the deer out of your garden or yard. One of the most popular options is using deer repellents like sprays and granules. These repellents are made from scent-based ingredients and are designed to create an unpleasant environment that deer find difficult to enter. Deer tend to shy away from strong smells like garlic, onion, peppermint, and cinnamon.

Here are some of the best deer repellents to try in your garden. Some of these are both deer and rabbit repellants, so if you have nuisance rabbits these products will help you as well.

  1. Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent
    • Natural repellent
    • Available as ready-to-spray or concentrate
    • Apply directly to plants
    • Long-lasting
    Check Amazon
  2. Nature's Mace Deer & Rabbit Repellent
    • Natural, non-toxic formula
    • Contains hot peppers and garlic
    • No harsh chemicals or pesticides
    • Last up to three months
    Check Amazon
  3. Ortho Deer B Gon Deer and Rabbit Repellent
    • Use on any nonporous surface
    • Oil-based scent that mimics human sweat
    • Contains capsicum, and irritates eyes
    • Safe for pets
    Check Amazon
  4. Safer Brand Critter Ridder Deer & Rabbit Repellent
    • Effectively repels rabbits, deer, and squirrels
    • Protection lasts up to 90 days
    • Repels animals with scent and taste
    • Garden-safe
    • Protects areas up to 500 square feet
    Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Deer Repellents Today

#1 Best Overall: Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent

Our best overall repellent is Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate, a natural repellent with no harmful chemicals. Instead, it uses a potent combination of natural extracts to keep deer and rabbits away from your yard and garden. Compounds that contain sulfur trigger avoidance behavior in animals, which is why this repellent uses common ingredients like garlic and putrescent egg solids to create a scented invisible fence around your garden.

Liquid Fence is available both as a ready-to-spray bottle and a concentrate. The latter comes as a concentrated liquid that you mix with water before applying to the affected area. The ready-to-use spray bottle contains the same ingredients as the concentrate but has been diluted for a more straightforward application.

This repellent works best when applied directly to plants or around the perimeter of your property where deer or rabbits are likely to roam. It is a great, humane way to keep deer from eating your plants, as it is harmless to other plants and animals, but will deter them from encroaching on your garden. For this repellent to work best, you’ll want to apply it when your plants are dry and it is not likely to rain for several hours. Treating wet plants or using it a few hours before it rains can dilute the repellent and then it won’t work as effectively.

When you first use the repellent, you may notice an odor, but this quickly fades after a day or two — but don’t worry, the deer can still smell it just fine! However, we do advise that you set aside one particular pair of shoes to wear when you spray the repellent, as customers have reported that the odor seems to stick to the shoes a little too well. Overall though, customers love the Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent and say it’s the only thing that works on protecting their plants.

Pros and Cons of the Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent

ProsCons
This product uses all-natural extracts without any harmful chemicals.If you use this repellent on wet plants or the plants get wet within a few hours of use (rain, sprinklers, etc.), it can dilute the product and it won’t work as well.
It uses common ingredients like garlic and putrescent egg solids, which are scents that animals avoid. This creates a scented invisible fence around your garden.There is an odor that fades quickly, but customers reported that it can stay on your shoes.
Liquid Fence is available both as a ready-to-spray bottle and a concentrate.
You can apply it directly to your plants and around the perimeter of your garden.
It is a humane deterrent that is harmless to plants and animals.
Many customers report that this is the only product they’ve found that kept deer away.
Best Overall
Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent
  • Natural repellent
  • Available as ready-to-spray or concentrate
  • Apply directly to plants
  • Long-lasting
Check Amazon

2. Best Taste-Based: Nature’s Mace Granular Deer & Rabbit Repellent

Nature’s Mace Granular Deer & Rabbit Repellent is a natural, non-toxic formula that repels deer, rabbits, and other small animals from your lawn and garden. It is made with natural ingredients like egg, white pepper, garlic, peppermint, and other herbs.

The repellent works by irritating the animal’s senses, causing them to leave the area. Some animals will avoid areas where they’ve previously been sprayed with the deterrent. The formula utilizes scent, taste, and fear-based technology, encouraging animals to move on to more comfortable surroundings (when used correctly). It can be used in all seasons, even in wet weather.

This product contains no harsh chemicals or pesticides, so it is safe for the environment, pets, and children. The formula uses ingredients like garlic and egg, but it is masked with fragrances of mint. It works best for deer, elk, and moose, but also contains ingredients that can help repel rabbits as well.

Nature’s Mace Granular Deer & Rabbit Repellent comes in two forms: spray or concentrate. The spray comes ready to use right away, while the concentrate needs to be mixed with water in an application sprayer, motorized pump, or sprinkler system. Just don’t forget to clean the sprayer after each use so that it doesn’t get clogged up.

To get the best results, make sure that you spritz this repellent from multiple angles on branches, stems, leaves, and flowers, and along the perimeter of the plant. Give the plants a generous coating until they start to drip. You’ll want to repeat this process again in 7 days, then once each month afterward. Let your plants have a bit of alone time for 20-30 minutes after spritzing before watering them again. In addition, try to avoid spraying when the plants have dew on them and add a touch-up spray if there’s been after it rains.

Pros and Cons of the Nature’s Mace Granular Deer & Rabbit Repellent

ProsCons
This product is made with natural ingredients like egg, white pepper, garlic, peppermint, and other herbs.You’ll need to clean the sprayer after each use or it will get clogged.
It irritates animals’ senses (specifically scent and taste) and encourages them to leave the area.Although you can use it in all weather, the manufacturer suggests avoiding doing it when it is wet or raining for the best results.
The formula utilizes scent, taste, and fear-based technology.
It can be used in all seasons, even in wet weather.
This repellent is non-toxic without any harsh chemicals or pesticides, so it is safe for the environment, pets, and children.
Although it uses ingredients with foul odors, the formula also has mint to mask them.
It is made to repel deer, moose, and elk, but can be effective for rabbits as well.
You can choose between a spray or a concentrate.
Best Taste-Based
Nature's Mace Deer & Rabbit Repellent
  • Natural, non-toxic formula
  • Contains hot peppers and garlic
  • No harsh chemicals or pesticides
  • Last up to three months
Check Amazon

3. Best Scent-Based: Ortho Deer B Gon Deer and Rabbit Repellent

The best scent-based deer repellent is Ortho Deer B Go Deer and Rabbit Repellent. This product uses ingredients to discourage deer from coming near your garden. It’s an effective way to protect your garden and landscaping from the damage caused by deer.

The repellent uses ingredients that deer avoid like clove oil, cinnamon oil, and putrescent whole egg solids. However, it does not stink and just needs 20 minutes to dry before you water your garden. The repellent has a nozzle that attaches directly to a garden hose to spray it lightly on plant leaves, branches, stems, and flowers. You can reapply it every 30 days, or as needed.

Ortho Deer B Gon can be applied directly to plants or sprayed around the perimeter of your yard using the hose attachment. However, some customers reported that the nozzle can get clogged on occasion.

However, it is important to note that this repellent is not safe for use on edible plants or vegetables. If you are wanting to keep deer from human foods in your yard or garden, you can try spraying around the perimeter — just be sure NOT to spray it on any plants in your garden that humans or pets eat.

Pros and Cons of the Ortho Deer B Gon Deer and Rabbit Repellent

ProsCons
This repellent uses scents that deer and other animals avoid.Customers reported that the nozzle can get clogged on occasion.
The formula uses ingredients like cinnamon oil, clove oil, and putrescent whole egg solids.You cannot use this repellent on edible plants or vegetables.
It does not have a stinky odor.
The repellent just needs 20 minutes to dry before you can water your garden.
The bottle comes with a nozzle on top that attaches directly to your garden hose to spray lightly on plants.
You can reapply it every 30 days, or as needed.
It can be applied directly to plants or sprayed around the perimeter of your yard.
Best Scent-Based
Ortho Deer B Gon Deer and Rabbit Repellent
  • Use on any nonporous surface
  • Oil-based scent that mimics human sweat
  • Contains capsicum, and irritates eyes
  • Safe for pets
Check Amazon

4. Best Natural Spray Repellent: Safer Brand Critter Ridder Deer & Rabbit Repellent

Using the Safer Brand Critter Ridder, you can naturally repel rabbits and deer from your garden or lawn. This safe and effective repellent uses organic ingredients to keep deer away from areas where they are unwanted. This product is ideal for use in gardens or lawns and is easy to apply.

This repellent uses a dual-action formula that is made with powerful but humane and natural ingredients that create smells and tastes that are unpleasant for animals, like garlic and putrescent egg. The odors are foul for animals, but the repellent is odorless to humans.

The Safer Brand Critter Ridder Deer & Rabbit Repellent is fast-acting and lasts for a long time — up to 90 days! It is USDA-approved for organic gardening and OMRI-listed, so you know you’re family and pets will be safe.

This deer repellent comes in a convenient 32-ounce spray bottle that makes it easy to apply the product directly where it’s needed. The bottle can effectively protect up to 500 square feet and is weather-resistant repellent. However, if there is heavy rainfall, it is best to reapply the repellent afterward.

Pros and Cons of the Safer Brand Critter Ridder

ProsCons
This repellent is designed for rabbits and deer.Although it is weather-resistant, heavy rainfall can dilute the repellent and make it less effective.
It uses organic ingredients without any harsh chemicals.
The dual-action formula is powerful but safe and humane.
The repellent creates smells and tastes that are unpleasant for animals like garlic and putrescent egg.
It is odorless to humans.
This repellent is fast-acting and lasts for up to 90 days.
It is USDA-approved for organic gardening, OMRI-listed, and safe around pets and children.
It comes in a convenient 32-ounce spray bottle. The bottle can effectively protect up to 500 square feet.
It is weather-resistant repellent.
Best Natural Spray Repellent
Safer Brand Critter Ridder Deer & Rabbit Repellent
  • Effectively repels rabbits, deer, and squirrels
  • Protection lasts up to 90 days
  • Repels animals with scent and taste
  • Garden-safe
  • Protects areas up to 500 square feet
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

There are a lot of different deer and rabbit repellents on the market. Some work better than others, but it’s hard to tell what will work best for you without trying them out. Here are some important things to look for when choosing a deer or rabbit repellent:

  • Money-back guarantee
  • Feedback from other users
  • Product Safety
  • Ingredients

Money-Back Guarantee 

If the product doesn’t work for you, you should be able to return it for a full refund. This is important because it lets you know that the company stands behind its product 100%.

Feedback from Other Users 

If people have used the product and loved it, this is a good sign that it will work for you. It also gives you an idea of what to expect from the product.

Product Safety 

If a product has safety or other warnings about its use, this is not a good sign. You want a safe product for humans and pets so that there’s no need to worry about these issues.

Ingredients

Each brand of deer repellent uses a different formula. Some focus on smells that cause fear in animals, while others use scents and tastes that are uncomfortable or unpleasant to animals. Since you will be uses this in your own yard, look for natural ingredients and repellents that do not use harsh or harmful chemicals.

The Different Types of Deer and Rabbit Repellents: Pros and Cons Compared

There are several deer and rabbit repellents, each with advantages and disadvantages. They include:

  • Odor and scented repellents
  • Motion-activated repellents
  • Ultrasonic deer repellents

Odor and Scent-Based Repellents

These repellents use chemicals that create scents animals don’t like, such as garlic, peppermint, ammonia, and rotting meat. They can be sprayed or spread on the ground to deter deer from entering your yard. However, they are most effective when used with other methods such as fencing or landscaping changes.

Motion-Activated Repellents

Motion-activated repellents are designed to sound an alarm when they detect movement. Some motion-activated repellents are designed to deter only rabbits and other small animals, while others can be used to keep away larger animals as well. 

A motion-activated repellent may be a good option if you don’t want to use chemicals and want something environmentally friendly. However, these can be noisy for your neighbors and your family, especially since deer typically forage at night.

Ultrasonic Deer Repellents

These products use high-frequency sounds that humans can’t hear, but deer dislike. They vary in price and effectiveness, but some are more reliable than others. Some models come with multiple settings, so you can adjust the frequency if needed. 

Ultrasonic deer repellents can be effective in keeping deer away from a specific area, but they’re not always effective at keeping them out of your entire yard or garden.

The followings are some pros and cons of each type:

Verified Review: User Experience

The Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate received excellent reviews. A few users didn’t like the smell, though. According to one user, “This product stinks to high heaven, but after it dries (about 20 minutes) the stink goes away.”

Most customers rate Nature’s Mace five-star. They reported that the repellent kept rabbits and deer away from their yard, and the smell was not bothersome. One user called it a “pleasant-smelling product”.

Deer and Rabbit Repellent by Ortho Deer B Gon received excellent reviews. This user reported, “I love this product and recommend it to anyone who has deer chomping on their prize plantings.” However, some users said the repellent is too thick and clogged their sprayers.

Safer Brand Critter Ridder Rabbit Repellent received five-star reviews. The majority of users praised its smell and how long it lasted. However, one user complained that it clogged his sprayer.

About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

The 4 Best Deer Repellents: Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do you use a deer repellent?

Deer repellents are usually applied as spray or granules around your garden and lawn. They are not harmful to animals or people, but they will deter critters from coming near your garden and eating your plants and vegetables.

How do I know if the repellent is working?

The best way to determine whether a repellent is working is by watching for signs of improvement in your garden. If there are no new droppings in your garden and you’re not waking up to half-eaten leaves, the chances are that the repellent is working as intended. 

However, if you notice more damage than usual or continue to see new damage in various areas of your yard despite using a repellent regularly, it’s probably time for something new.

Are repellents safe for children?

Yes, these products are safe for children because they contain no chemicals or poisons that can harm them if they come into contact with them.

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