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Natural and Un-Natural Deer Deterrents

This year my husband and I have been proactive in keeping the deer away from our plants.  Yes sir! Three weeks after putting out the impatiens, the deer have not taken one nibble.

So — what have we been doing you ask?

First, I did a lot of reading on the internet to see what has worked for other people. So — the first thing I’m trying this year that I didn’t try last year are coffee grounds.

The local coffee house, Caribou Coffee, has free bags of coffee grounds just for the pickin’. The first time I used it, I mixed the coffee in with the soil which makes a good compost. Then, once a week, I sprinkle coffee grounds around the plants — just a toss in the air. Deer, supposedly, don’t like the smell of coffee grounds.

Caribou Coffee Grounds

Caribou Coffee Grounds

The second thing I’m trying is Irish Spring Soap. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But deer don’t like strong smells. So, I bought a pack of 20 bars at Costco recently.

Irish Spring Soap

Irish Spring Soap

I don’t “hang” the bars on trees like some people do. Instead, I shred the bars using a cheese grater.

Cheese Grater

Cheese Grater


I usually just throw the shaved bar of Irish Spring around the plants so the deer don’t come near it. Pretty clever, eh? One time I shaved the soap on top of the cutting board and at dinner my husband said “This salad tastes like soap.”  Oops!  (Laughing) It’s a pretty potent smell so don’t do what I did.

I’ve been throwing the Irish Spring around the plants once a week. So far — so good. Yes!

But, as minds mature in their thoughts, it dawned on me that the Irish Spring might be a two-edged sword in terms of results. For deer it makes sense as they don’t like strong smells but I may just be attracting mosquitoes who love strong fragrances.

What a bother! Someone told me that perhaps I should just leave everything as it is and not worry about it. Well, I could let the property “go” but if something should happen and we had to sell then we’d have to pay to have someone clear everything up. Plus — I want to enjoy my property in all of its beauty and that includes having some pretty plants to look at.  Yes?

There is one un-natural deer deterrent that I’ve used in the past that my husband uses after it rains — it’s called Deer Stopper and works quite well also.

Deer Stopper

Deer Stopper

So — there you have it. Three suggestions to deter deer that have worked for us thus far. Is there something you’re using that we can add to our repertoire?

Below an article I read re: repelling deer with coffee …

Lastly — here’s an article from This Old House that gives ideas 20 ideas to keep deer out of your yard.

Now — go repel them deer!

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