How to keep deer from eating your landscape plants

Deer and other wildlife aren't so adorable when they are treating your landscape like it's a salad bar.


Yes, you can keep deer from eating plants in your landscape. Deer and other wildlife can be fun to watch on your property. But it’s not much fun when deer eat the prized plants in your yard and vegetable garden.

When deer treat your carefully cultivated landscape like it’s a salad bar, it’s time act. To keep deer from eating plants, you need to do something–and fast.

A new generation of deer and wildlife control products is now available that keep deer and other critters away. These products are very effective, and they don’t contain harmful chemicals. From predator scents to low-visibility deer fencing, here are some of the best ways to keep hungry deer from lunching in your garden.


Use the scent of a predator to repel deer

A great way to keep deer from eating your landscape plants is by tricking deer into thinking that a predator is nearby. Each Summit® Deer BanTM repellent capsule contains predator urine that triggers a deer’s animal flight response.

Deer Ban uses a unique gel-tablet application to provide 100% effective, year-round protection from wildlife damage. Just set out the capsules on the ground every five to ten feet around the plants you want to protect. Then water the capsules to release the active ingredient for up to 90 days of protection.

Summit Deer Ban

When activated by water, the polymer gel in the capsule releases the scent of predator urine, which keeps deer away. Deer Ban is odorless to humans, and your hands never touch the active ingredient. There’s no messy spraying, and no mixing or measuring.

Many deer repellents wash away and lose their effectiveness after a rain. Not so with Summit Deer Ban. Water actually enhances the effectiveness of Deer Ban because the polymer gel needs to absorb water to activate the odor of the active ingredient. This biodegradable product will continue to be reactivated by rain or watering for up to three months.

Summit® Deer BanTM is available in packages of 20, 50 and 150 capsules at fine hardware stores, garden centers and online at


Keep deer from eating plants with a high-strength fence 

Keep deer from eating plants with a high-strength deer fenceA trusty fence is probably the longest-lasting way to keep deer from eating valuable landscape plants. Tenax C-Flex high-strength plastic fencing offers dependable protection that keeps hungry deer from eating landscape plants. But this lightweight fencing material does no harm to the animals.

Tenax fencing features thick, rounded tensile strands that resist stretching and sagging. The material is UV treated so it keeps its color. Tenax deer fencing has a breaking load of 650 pounds and a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Perhaps best of all, this fencing is almost invisible from a distance, so it does not block views or create a visual eyesore. A 100-foot-long roll of 7.5-foot-tall plastic mesh fencing sells for about $150 in hardware stores and from online retailers. (8-foot-tall fencing is also available.) For more information about Tenax products, visit


Solar-powered, motion-activated pest control

Here’s a high-tech way to keep deer and other pest animals out of your yard without using poison or traps. The Solar Yard Gard is a solar-powered ultrasonic pest control device that uses sound waves to keep deer, squirrels, raccoons, rodents, skunks and other animals away from your valuable landscape plants. Humans can’t hear the high-frequency sound emitted by the Solar Yard Gard, but animals hear it and keep away.

solar yard gard

Just set up the device in a sunny area. The ultrasonic waves are activated when the motion detector senses an animal. When pest animals activate the Solar Yard Gard, the ultrasonic waves irritate and annoy them so they seek calmer, untreated areas. One device will protect up to 3,000 square feet of landscape. Simply use additional units for larger areas. Not only does the safe, easy-to-use Solar Yard Gard protect plants, but it helps prevent the spread of ticks that can carry Lyme disease. The Solar Yard Gard sells for about $55 online and at fine hardware stores.


Systemic repellent will keep deer from eating plants

Repellex® Systemic Granular is a patented formula that delivers a hot pepper concentrate through plant roots, making the plants unpalatable to animals. The active compound is protected inside the plant cells. So, it doesn’t wash off in the rain or degrade in sunlight. Efficacy is greatly improved because the long-lasting compound maintains its potency and is evenly distributed throughout the plant.

Repellex Systemic GranularJust rake the granular product in the soil around the plants you want to protect. The repellent compound dissolves during watering and enters through the plant’s roots, spreading gradually throughout the plant. The natural pepper extract is distributed evenly throughout the plant, so that all parts remain protected. Depending on the health and size of the plant, this can take as little as a week or as long as a month. (A foliar spray may be used during this period for plant protection.)

Repellex® Systemic Granular is not intended to be used on edible plants, and the product is not available to consumers in California. A 1.5-pound container of Repellex® Systemic Granular sells for about $18 or a bottle of 50 pre-measured Repellex® Systemic tablets sells for $20 at home centers, garden center stores and online at   

Are you growing vegetables in your garden this season? Read How to Start a Victory Garden 2.0. You may also enjoy these posts: How to Make Dandelion Pesto and Six Lessons I Learned from Garden Failure


1 Comment
  1. Dennis Oakes says

    A simpler and cheaper solution is one a friend of mine in middle Tennessee uses in his garden. Unwind the tape from old videocassetes and stake them at two levels around your garden: one at two feet and one at four feet above the ground, the lower one for fawns and the higher one for adults. The shimmering effect from the tape spooks them and they avoid it like the plague, even at night.

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