Having a garden can be risky if deer populations surround you. Walking outside and seeing your flowers or vegetables being eaten can be disheartening, which is why we are here to help you!
These animals have extremely sensitive noses and have a stronger sense of smell than bloodhounds, which is why using smells is a common way to keep these animals out of your garden.
There are many methods including homemade deer repellent to keep animals away, and one of the most common questions is if deer like peppermint. In short, they will stay away from any area that contains this plant.
Why is it Important to Control These Creatures?
The main reason to control them is that they eat your plants.
Not only will they ruin your plants, but the presence of large populations will attract larger predators and drive away small ones.
These creatures can cause physical accidents and injure small children or wildlife in the area. Deer ticks are also a monumental issue in terms of populations coming into contact with humans.
These mammals are gentle, adorable creatures, but they are also one of the most common pests that gardeners deal with. They can be intrusive and eat all of your plants if not controlled.
How to Use Peppermint to Deter Animals
This herb is an effective repellent and there are multiple ways to use it. Mint plants are successful at deterring animals because they have such an overwhelming smell.
- Put a diffuser with peppermint oil in it outside of your garden
- Plant mint in your gardens (can be invasive)
- Spread mint leaves throughout your garden
- Buy a commercial spray that contains peppermint oil and spray it on your plants
Characteristics of Animal-Resistant Plants
- Contains prickles, thorns, or spines
- Pubescent (hairy)
- Leathery leaves
A List of Additional Herbs that Repel Animals
Overall, deer will keep away from any area with any plant that belongs to the mint family. This is due to the intense smells that plants in this family give off.
Animals don’t like the smell of mint because it overpowers any other smell; when an animal cannot smell predators, it will not stick around.
Aside from mint, numerous other plants deter deer. You can combine mint with other plants to increase success.
Animals will get used to the smell of mint and other herbs over time (this is called habituation), so be sure to utilize a variety of plants.
Moreover, periodically trimming the herbs can help to release their strong smells.
Any plant in the mint family will help to deter animals that eat plants in your gardens such as deer.
Basil is a common culinary herb that has a strong smell that animals dislike. There are numerous types of basil, and this plant is an annual that thrives best in full sun.
Known for its lovely purple flowers and medicinal properties, lavender is one of many plants that repel animals. It is an exceedingly fragrant plant and prefers full sun and drier conditions.
If you have a cat, they might love you even more if you plant some catnip! The strong smell of this plant is what keeps the pests away.
Catnip is in the mint family, prefers full sun, and spreads quickly.
Thyme is often used in the kitchen, but you could plant it in your garden to keep animals away. The plant likes full sun and spreads like a ground cover.
Also used for cooking, oregano is a common Italian spice that has a powerful smell. Due to its pungent smell, the animals won’t dare to eat it or any plants near it.
Bee balm is a common ornamental perennial that comes in a variety of colors. This plant is in the mint family, attracts pollinators, and has invasive tendencies.
Bee Balm is commonly used to deter animals, and it also has a lovely flower that many gardeners enjoy.
Chives are used in the kitchen, have bulbous purple flowers, and are perennial. They enjoy full sun, and the strong onion smell keeps the animals at bay.
Used for culinary and medicinal purposes, many types of sage can be utilized to keep unwanted animals out of your garden.
Sage has beautiful purple, pink, and white flowers and prefers full sun.
Rosemary is known for its signature scent, so it is almost no surprise that animals cannot tolerate this smell!
Using cinnamon essential oil or powder will keep animals away due to its smell.
Due to its pungent smell, having garlic plants and pruning them will result in an odor being emitted that animals can’t stand!
Dealing with These Animals Long-Term
If planting resistant plants doesn’t keep them away, you may have to take more drastic measures.
Deer-proofing your property may be a solution, and you can call professionals to perform services such as this.
Proofing your property may include storing food properly, securing trash cans, and building a fence. Having a clean yard can also keep animals at bay.
Having a fence around your garden like the one pictured above can be a great long-term solution for keeping animals away from your plants.
Will Mint Keep Deer Away?
Yes. Some populations are more severe than others, but planting this plant is a good step forward.
This herb, along with other plants in the mint family (Lamiaceae), helps keep animals away due to their overwhelming smells.
Mint is overpowering so most animals cannot handle the smell. The only time this plant wouldn’t work is if the surrounding population is large.
What Smelly Plants Deter Animals?
Any type of herb with a smell will keep animals away. It could be anything from lavender to garlic, and you can even mix aromatic plants for a stronger impact.
Which Animals Don’t Like Peppermint?
Multiple animals don’t like it including deer, rabbits, mice, birds, and raccoons.
Which Smells do Animals Dislike Most?
They dislike mint, aromatic herbs, blood meal, and hair from other mammals.
There are numerous types of plants that deter animals from eating your garden, and members of the mint family are some of the most successful.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.