Outdoor PestsWildlife

How To Scare Away Deer

How To Scare Away Deer

Deer are beautiful creatures and make for great photographic subjects. But they can quickly become a nuisance when infringing on your garden or yard.

If you often use them around your area, you should take steps to scare them away. That way, they won’t return so quickly.

This guide will provide some tips to help scare these critters away.


Deer are stubborn animals that sometimes can be difficult to deter. But with the right strategy, you can permanently shut your door against them. You will scare these critters away if you:

  • Install motion-activated devices.
  • Hang reflective tapes around your home/garden.
  • Keep a dog as a pet.
  • Hang bars of scented soaps around.
  • Scatter human hair around your garden, etc.

The next few headings will discuss eight practical ways to frighten deer away and answer other common queries about these stubborn garden pests.

8 Ways To Scare Deer Away

Ways To Scare Deer Away

You can deploy several deterrents and physical measures to scare away deer.

Some of them include the following:

1. Use Motion-Activated Devices

Use Motion-Activated Devices

Motion-activated devices could include a whistle or a sprinkler. These smart devices will set off once they sense any movement around them.

The motion-activated sprinkler will effectively scare deer away. When they sense movement, these sprinklers spray a sudden jet of water, which will startle and scare away deer.

After getting a splash of cold water on their bodies, you can bet the deer will not return to your garden again.


If you install these smart devices, you must be careful when walking through your garden. You could also get a sudden splash.

The motion-activated whistler can also startle the deer. You can set the sound to a loud and dramatic one for extra effect.

The deer will scurry off and never look back.

2. Hang Reflective Tape

Hang Reflective Tape

If you want a more low-tech solution, try using reflective tape. It is an effective scare tactic that will leave the deer running.

You can cut the tape into thin straps and hang it across your patio or in front of your home.

The combination of the wind and sunlight will cause the reflective tape to move quickly and scare away deer.

3. Keep a Dog as a Pet

Keep A Dog As A Pet

A dog is man’s best friend and sure has your interest at heart.

Deers will get a good scare with a barking dog inside your fenced garden.

Deers see dogs as predators and steer clear of them.

No matter the dog’s size, it will effectively scare away the deer as long as it can bark.


With these furry friends, you need to be careful. If your dog constitutes a nuisance with its barking, you can get a sanction for noise pollution.

4. Frighten Them Away With Bad Odor

Frighten Them Away With Bad Odor

A rotten egg, bitter leaves, or any nasty-smelling concoction can scare deer away. They use their nose to search for food and run off at the first whiff of a bad smell.

You can combine some foul-smelling substance in a bottle and turn it into a spray. Sadly, you would also have to contend with this foul odor while it is still there.

You can remove the smelly item after the deer has successfully taken to its heels.

5. Scare the Deer Yourself

Scare The Deer Yourself

Sometimes, you may take matters into your hands and scare off the deer. This method can be super tricky, though.

You have to be very discreet as a surprise will scare the deer. Also, you have to pay attention to the location of the deer.

Be sure that it will run off into the woods. Otherwise, it can run off and damage your belongings or cause harm to any human in its path.

6. Hang Bars of Scented Soap

Hang Bars Of Scented Soap

Hang bars of heavily scented soap on tree limbs around your garden. This will make an unpleasant surprise for any deer that try to enter.

Unscented soap may also work, but the smell of heavily scented soap is a better option.

There is something more you can do to take it up a notch. You can cut the soap into pieces and mix it in water to form a solution.

Spray it around your fence, garden, or any other space deer love to hang around.

7. Scatter Human Hair Around Your Garden

Scatter Human Hair Around Your Garden

Human hair is another cheap deer-repelling idea you may want to try out. This may sound awkward, but it sure works.

If you can access extra human hair (from home or barbing saloons), scatter it around your garden.

You can add some essential oils like lavender or citronella for better results.

The deer will run off once they see the hair littered around.

8. Coyote Urine

Coyote Urine

Believe it or not, coyote urine works wonders when repelling common household pests like rabbits, deer, etc.

Add the smell to your deer-deterrent arsenal if you don’t mind.

Spray around your fence or in your backyard.

Once the deer get a whiff of the coyote urine, they will take off immediately.

How To Use Noise and Light To Scare Away Deer

How To Use Noise And Light To Scare Away Deer

If you are looking for an effective and all-day strategy to scare off deer in your neighborhood, noise and light are probably your best bets.

You can try out motion-activated noise makers or light projectors and set them up around your environment. These devices use sensors that detect when a deer enters the yard or garden and then activate to produce loud noises or bright flashes of light.

Deer have excellent hearing and are very sensitive to sudden, loud noises, so they will naturally startle and flee when the device goes off.

In addition, you can take it one step further by purchasing a motion-activated sprinkler system.

As discussed earlier, this smart device detects deer movement and blasts them with water spray. This will undoubtedly get their attention away from your environment.

Just remember you must maintain any device you install for it to work correctly — check the batteries regularly (especially if it is solar-powered).

Ensure it is securely fastened so animals do not knock it over. More importantly, watch for any damage or wear that needs repairs.

How To Deter Deer From Gardens in the Long-Term

How To Deter Deer From Gardens In The Long-Term

Looking for a long-term strategy for keeping deer away from your garden?

Here are some things you can do:

1. Make Your Garden Less Attractive to Deers

Make Your Garden Less Attractive To Deers

The first thing is to make your garden less inviting to deer.

Growing plants they do not like, such as marigolds, garlic, and lavender, can help.

Also, adding taller plants, such as rose bushes or holly trees, can make it harder for deer to access the more desirable foliage.

2. Use Physical Barriers

Use Physical Barriers

Besides growing deer-deterring plants, you can use physical barriers like fencing or netting to keep the deer away.

A fence at least six feet tall is usually enough to deter most deer from entering gardens.

You can also add mesh netting over trees and shrubs to further repel them.

3. Invest in Smart Devices

Invest In Smart Devices

Erecting a fence around your garden is good. However, the cost may not fit into your budget.

In that case, you can invest in smart devices like motion sprinklers or sound devices that emit unpleasant noise when motion is detected.

Both of these methods have been successful for many homeowners in scaring away uninvited guests searching for food sources.


There are many ways to scare deer away. You can use at-home strategies like applying scented soaps, growing pest-repellant plants, reflective tapes, etc.

The most effective of these will depend on the situation. However, combining different methods is often the most effective strategy.

Following the tips in this article, you can frighten deer off your home and garden and protect your plant and building.

Got further queries? We have more insights about handling deer invasions in the FAQ section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Noise Scares Deer Away?

Loud, sudden noises will scare a deer away. Whistles, gas explosions, and ultrasonic devices produce sounds that scare a deer away.

What Do Deer Hate Walking On?

Deer generally hate walking on heavily scented plants like marigolds, mint, lavender, chives, etc. The overpowering smell from these plants often keeps them away.

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