Using a good homemade repellent for deer is an economical way to scare away our exploitation of these harmful animals. In addition to affecting deer, the repellent that we will see will allow us to keep other mammals at bay( deer, ibex, sheep, wild boars, rabbits…).
The damage that deer can cause in farms is very important, since they have a tendency to feed on the leaves of seedlings and small trees in growth phase. In the specific case of deer, in addition to feeding on trees, they scratch and wound the bark, breaking branches and drying small trees.
Agricultural areas close to forests are more prone to damage by wild animals such as deer and wild boars. Unfortunately, hunters have more and more obstacles to control populations. In addition, public administrations hardly provide solutions to the damage caused and this problem does not stop growing and spreading to other growing areas.
Personally, I started the fight against deer after losing half a hectare of recently planted olive groves, the same thing happened a few years after fencing off that same farm with a plantation Weak trees are more sensitive to drought and attack by cherry pests such as headed worm Thousands of euros lost by an invading animal (there had never been any in my area, they escaped from a farm of the deputation) and that unfortunately is protected.
There are various techniques to scare away and repel wild animals:
- Use of perfumes, strange smells, danger indicators (smell of gunpowder, blood…).
- Tools to make noises.
- Placement of electric fences or fences.
- Use of commercial repellents.
- Sacks, ribbons or bottles hanging.
- Homemade repellents.
Animals usually end up getting used to noises and smells.
Recipe homemade repellent for deer and herbivores
After many tests and unsuccessful results, I managed to make a homemade deer repellent that so far has given me very good results.
The capsaicin present in chilli peppers or cayenne peppers It affects mammals, causing burning in the mouth, irritating the mucous membranes, making breathing difficult, producing itchy eyes, irritating the skin, etc.
The idea is to protect the leaves of the olive tree and cherry seedlings with spiciness, so that eating them unpleasant to herbivores and they have to look for another source of food.
Ingredients for homemade deer repellent
The following ingredients are used to make between 5 and 10 liters of liquid to cure the seedlings.
- 30 grams of cayenne peppers or chillies, in my case I use a jar of Mercadona chilli spices, but the spicier they are, the better.
- 250 ml of ethyl alcohol (ethanol) or high-grade brandy.
- A wide-mouthed bottle or airtight container.
Preparing the repellent
Ethyl alcohol allows to dissolve Capsaicin (spicy compound). If we use brandy instead of curing alcohol (toxic), we can taste (very carefully) the final mixture of spiciness. To test what I do is lightly touch the product with my little finger, then dry the finger and suck lightly. If the concentration is well done despite the small amount, we will notice a strong spicy flavor, so if you try, better have water on hand 😉
- Pour the chillies and brandy into the bottle and let them macerate for 1 week.
Crushing and boiling the chilliesallows you to increase the speed of the process. However, the risks during handling are greater, so we do not recommend doing it without mastering safety measures and wearing protective equipment appropriate.)
- Dilute the deer repellent by adding between 20 and 40 ml of water for each ml of product. The greater the dilution, the better we should wet the leaves of the crop with liquid.
Precautions when applying homemade deer repellent
Concentrated spiciness is very irritating, you must avoid that the liquid comes into contact with the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Therefore, it is important to protect yourself with a mask, gloves and glasses. In addition, as when applying other treatments (insect poisons, fungicides…) you must be very careful when applying and handling deer repellent.
Duration of repellent effectiveness
The repellent will be very effective for as long as the treated leaves remain itchy. Once the effect of the product wears off, the plantation can be kept safe for a long time (scaring off the deer for months or years) if we have managed to get the deer to move to another growing area. This will depend on the demographic pressure that this animal has on the area. In any case, we must be vigilant in case it is necessary to carry out new applications of the product.
The leaves of olive trees, cherry trees, fruit trees or other treated crops can be kept warm for several weeks, allowing deer to be driven away during that time. We can prove that the product is still effective by carefully sucking on any of the treated leaves. In case of rain it will be necessary to repeat the treatment. In summer, two treatments are usually enough to protect the seedlings.
During 2020, due to the increase in the volume of the seedlings, we have tried to apply sterilized chicken manure as a repellent in the form of a pellet diluted in water and filtered. Apparently the unpleasant odor of the chicken manure has helped to reduce the damage (deer are very picky animals) although more tests are needed to verify its effectiveness. It is likely that with other”delicate”animals such as goats, this kind of repellent will also help.
Personally, the homemade repellent has worked very well for me and I recommend its use if you are in a similar situation. If the desired effect is not achieved, it is currently possible to purchase commercial repellents for deer and deer, wild boar, rabbits, goats… The price of anti-deer products may seem expensive, although if we achieve the desired effects with their application, in the end it will be a very profitable investment. The products usually contain attractants for the animals to feed and later the bad taste makes them avoid the area. The effectiveness will depend on each specific repellent.
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We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Please note that some words may have had their meaning altered during translation.