Repellents and White Tailed Deer

Facts about Deer Repellents

Odocoileus virginianus

Read this information before buying Deer Repellents

 

Animal Warning Devices (We welcome any other information)

There are various products such as "deer whistles" that allege to send out a sonic signal to prevent deer/vehicle collisions. Studies have shown these products don't work. Visit Deer Sonic Devices for more information. See http://www.usroads.com/journals/rmj/9705/rm970503.php for similar information.

L.A. Romin and L.B. Dalton, "Lack of response by mule deer to wildlife warning whistles." Wildlife Society Bulletin 20:382, 1992.
J.R. Stout, et al "Perceptions of Risk from deer-related vehicle accidents: Implications" Wildlife Society Bulletin 21:237, 1993.
M. Bomford and P.H. O'Brien's "Sonic Deterrents in Animal Damage Control: A review.." Wildlife Society Bulletin 18:411 1990.

Deer Taste Repellents

Many people think that various odors will repel deer and/or stop them from eating plants. The difficulty in evaluating repellents stems from a number of factors. First, if deer have the opportunity to eat untreated food they will do so. However, if food supplies become too low, they will hold their nose so to speak and eat the treated food. Studies have found that the larger the plot you intend to protect the less effective the repellent becomes. 
    Second, the palatability of the food to begin with also impacts the effectiveness of the repellent. For example if the deer doesn't particularly like the plant to begin with, adding the repellent will only increase the deer's dislike and ultimately avoid eating the plant. Third, sometimes the cost of the repellent in material and labor is more expensive than the product you are trying to protect. Finally, hunting and environmental pressures impact the efficacy of repellents. Heavy rains or heavy hunting will certainly diminish or enhance repellent efficacy for obvious reasons.

For the philosophy behind repellent effectiveness read Abderrahim El Hani, etc. "Comparative Analysis of Deer Repellents" (Mammal's Chapter 14)Berryman Institute and Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, Utah State Univ. Logan, UT 84322-5210

 

Stats on Deer Repellents

Human Sweat has been found ineffective (3-methyl-2-henanoic acid) when presented at concentrations found in human sweat and at concentrations 10 times that amount. Michele C. Milunas, et al. "Effectiveness of Odour repellents for protecting ornamental shrubs from browsing by white-tailed deer" Crop Protection 1994 Vol. 13 no. 5 pp. 393-397. 

Big Game Repellent has been found to reduce deer browsing damage to Japanese Yews about 50% in comparison to untreated bushes. Roger Conover. "Comparison of Two Repellents for Reducing Deer Damage to Japanese Yews During Winter" Wildlife Society Bulletin. 15:265-2658, 1987. 

HinderŽ has been found to reduce deer browsing damage to Japanese Yews almost as well as Big Game Repellent. Roger Conover. "Comparison of Two Repellents for Reducing Deer Damage to Japanese Yews During Winter" Wildlife Society Bulletin. 15:265-2658, 1987. 

Human Hair is used by placing two-four handfuls of hair into a nylon bag and suspending it around the tree you wish to protect. One study found that it reduced damage 35%. Michael Conover. "Effectiveness of Repellents in Reducing Deer Damage in Nurseries." Wildlife Society Bulletin. 12:399-404, 1984.

Miller's Hot SauceŽ reduced browsing damage by 15%. Michael Conover. "Effectiveness of Repellents in Reducing Deer Damage in Nurseries." Wildlife Society Bulletin. 12:399-404, 1984.

Magic Circle reduced browsing damage by 18%. Michael Conover. "Effectiveness of Repellents in Reducing Deer Damage in Nurseries." Wildlife Society Bulletin. 12:399-404, 1984.

11/29/02

 

 

Disclaimer: WDC seeks to provide accurate, effective and responsible information on resolving human/wildlife conflicts. We welcome suggestions, criticisms to help us achieve this goal. The information provided is for informational purposes only and users of the information use it at their own risk. The reader must consult state/federal officials to determine the legality of any technique in the reader's locale. Some techniques are dangerous to the user and to others. WDC encourages readers to obtain appropriate training (see our informational literature at our Store ), and understand that proper animal damage control involves patience, understanding that not every technique/method works for every situation or even 100% of the time. Your use of this information is governed by this understanding. We welcome potential users of the information and photos to simply ask for permission via e-mail. Finally, WDC welcomes e-mail but understand that all e-mails become property of Wildlife Damage Control.

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