10 Homemade Deer Repellent Recipes to Keep Deer Away

Every year, you fight a battle with the deer over your garden over who gets to reap the rewards of all of your hard work. Since you can’t be there 24/7 to defend your garden in person, homemade deer repellent can help make your garden unappetizing for the deer. You can go out and buy this repellent, but it has chemicals and is so strong that it may hurt your plants. 

We’ve found that the best deer repellent is the one you make at home. We’ve put together several homemade deer repellent recipes that you can try for yourself. They’re safe for your plants, and you can reapply them as often as you like. 

Types of Deer Repellent

It wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t fill you in on all of the options you have available for the best deer repellent. There are five main categories available, and they include: 

  • Natural – We’re a big believer in natural deer repellent. You can make it from things you most likely have around the house, and you can apply it to your plants with no fear of them causing burns while keeping deer away. Essential-oil based repellents fall into this category. 
  • Chemical – Most deer repellents you buy in the store have a chemical makeup. These chemicals make them very potent and effective at keeping the deer away, but it also makes them more prone to damaging your garden. 
  • Spray – You can buy or make the deer repellent in spray form. This form makes it very easy to apply and keep reapplying to protect your garden. However, it means that you’ll have to reapply it diligently because it can wash away. 
  • Granular – Granular deer repellent goes on the ground around your garden and among your plants. It lasts longer than the spray repellent, but it usually contains chemicals. 
  • Electronic/Ultrasonic – Many electronic deer repellents use flashing lights with motion sensors to scare the deer away. Ultrasonic devices emit high-pitched sounds and may flash when the deer trips the sensor. 

As you can see in the background of this picture, the homemade deer repellent method they chose to use was a fence. 

For the sake of the length of this article, we’re going to go over the homemade deer repellent you can make at home. Some will use essential oils, some won’t, and they’ll all be in spray form. 

The Best Deer Repellent You Can Make at Home – DIY Deer Repellent Recipes

You should have most of what you need to make these deer repellent recipes around the house. If not, you can always shop at your local specialty store or on Amazon for deer deterrent products or commercial deer repellents. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 1 – Spicy Spray 

First up is a deer repellent spray that uses spices to deter deer from coming close to your garden or plants. The nice thing is, you can spray the repellent around whichever plants the deer prefer while leaving other plants unsprayed. For this recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Gallon Jug for storage
  • Spray bottle
  • Blender
  • 3 tablespoons of hot sauce
  • 3 raw eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic 

Add your hot sauce, raw eggs, and minced garlic to your blender and blend them until they’re finely ground and well mixed. Get your gallon jug and pour your mixed ingredients into it. Add water to fill up the jug, put the cap on, and give it a good shake to mix it. Pour your repellent into your spray bottle. Spray around your plants as needed, and reapply once a week. 

You can use whatever type of hot sauce you like in this best deer repellent recipe. Obviously, the hotter it is, the better.

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 2 – Strong Spray 

This deer repellent spray has a very strong scent attached to it. The scent tends to linger around after you spray it as well, and this is why you should spray it in places away from your home if it’s possible. For this spray, you’ll need: 

  • 4 tablespoons of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of ammonia
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of oil soap
  • 3 heads of garlic (peeled and diced)
  • 2 coffee filters
  • Medium saucepan 
  • 2 ½ gallons of water
  • Spray bottle and storage jug

In the medium saucepan, mix together the white vinegar and cayenne pepper. Bring this to a boil, and boil it for one minute. Strain this mixture through your first coffee filter. Blend your water and garlic together and strain it through a second coffee filter. Combine the white vinegar and cayenne pepper with the water and garlic. Combine this mixture with oil soap and ammonia. Add everything to the 2 ½ gallons of water and mix. Pour it into your spray bottle and spray it around your plants. 

The garlic in this spray gives it a very potent and lingering odor. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 3 – Clove Spray 

Essential oils are very powerful, and they blend well with other ingredients to make potent sprays that have a lingering odor. This is a thicker mixture until you add the water, so you’ll have to shake it a lot before it’s ready to spray. You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ teaspoon of liquid dish soap
  • 20 drops of clove oil
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 gallon jug
  • Spray bottle 

Add the sour cream, eggs, liquid dish soap, and clove oil to the gallon jug. Slowly pour in the water until you fill the jug. Put the top on and give in a good shake to mix all of your ingredients. Once you mix it, you can pour it into your smaller spray bottle. Give it another shake in the smaller bottle before you spray it around your plants. This mixture will last for several weeks, and it’ll get stronger the longer it sits. 

Cloves are extremely hard and difficult to break down, so clove oil is a nice substitute in this recipe. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 4 – Egg Spray

This is a very simple deer repellent spray that uses only a few ingredients, and it’s very fast to mix together. Once you make it, this spray lasts for a few weeks at a time, but the milk and eggs will eventually go bad and you’ll have to replace it. You’ll need: 

  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dish soap
  • 1 gallon jug
  • Spray bottle 

Put the egg in a bowl and beat it. Once you beat it, add in the tablespoon of cooking oil and dish soap. Pour this mixture into a gallon jug and fill the jug with water. Put the cover on your jug and give it a good shake. Put this mixture into your smaller spray bottle and put it around your plants. You’ll have to reapply this mixture once a week or every time you water because it’ll wash it away. 

This egg spray will stick to your plants once you apply it, and it gets stronger the longer it sits. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 5 – Garlic Spray

This is an inexpensive and all-natural spray that has a potent smell. The longer it sits, the stronger the repellent will be for the deer. This mixture also takes over 24 hours to be ready to use, so it could be something you make ahead of time and let sit. You’ll need: 

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic 
  • 3 tablespoons of yogurt or milk
  • 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
  • 1 strainer
  • 1 blender 
  • 1 gallon jug
  • Sprayer bottle

Add two or three cups of water, cayenne pepper, garlic, yogurt or milk, and eggs in your blender. Puree them thoroughly together before you strain the mixture into your gallon jug. Add water to the top of the jug and seal it. You can use it right away, but it’s best if you leave it sit at room temperature for 24 hours to ripen. You want to take it outside or in a room with a lot of ventilation before you open it. Pour your mixture into your sprayer and take it out to spray around your garden

The milk or yogurt in this best deer repellent spray helps it stick to the plants and ward off the deer. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 6 – Red Hot Chili Pepper Spray 

If potent sprays don’t work well for you, you can try a hot spray using peppers. You do want to be very careful when you make this spray and wear gloves. If you accidentally get it on your hands, you can get it in your eyes and cause them to burn. You’ll also have to clean out your blender very well when you finish. You’ll need: 

  • 4 habanero peppers
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of milk or yogurt (casein is a protein in dairy products that helps it stick to your plants)
  • 1 blender
  • 1 coffee filter, cheesecloth, or strainer
  • 1 jar with a lid
  • Spray bottle 

Add the water and your four habanero peppers to the blender. Add the cover and start the blender at a low speed.  Blend everything together until it’s liquid. Get your jar with a lid and add the coffee filter, strainer, or cheesecloth over it. Strain your blend of peppers and water through it to get rid of the larger chunks that will clog your bottle. Remove the chunks and mix in the milk or yogurt and the olive oil. Add your mixture to your spray bottle at a ratio of 1 part hot mixture to 10 parts water. Spray your plants


The habanero peppers in this best deer repellent add a spicy kick that will make your garden’s content unpalatable to the deer. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 7 – Peppermint Spray 

Deer dislike strong odors, so it makes sense that the best deer repellent sprays contain essential oils. These oils are potent and long lasting. A word of caution with this spray. You shouldn’t use it on plants that you’re going to eat like peas, beans, or other other vegetables. You can spray it around them, but it’s important to make sure it doesn’t get on the part you’re going to eat. You’ll need: 

  • 16-ounce spray bottle
  • Funnel
  • 8 ounces of white vinegar
  • 6 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops of rosemary essential oil 

Get your spray bottle and add your funnel to the top so you don’t spill anything. Add eight ounces of white vinegar to the bottle, and add in your 6 drops of peppermint and four drops of rosemary essential oils. Add the cover onto the bottle and give it a good shake. Spray around the plants you want to protect, avoiding their leaves and the vegetables themselves. The oil is strong enough to do damage. Reapply it every week or so. 

The peppermint plant is very fragrant by itself, and it’s a popular repellent for spiders and insects as well as deer. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe  8 – Rotten Eggs

One batch of this spray makes a gallon of deer repellent. If you want to make more, we suggest making one gallon batches at a time to ensure you get the proper balance of ingredients in each mix. This is another very pungent spray that gets worse the longer it sits. You’ll need: 

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups of water 
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of rosemary oil
  • Mixer
  • 2 bowls
  • Strainer or coffee filter
  • Gallon jug
  • Spray bottle 

In your bowl, mix your 1 ½ cups of water, egg, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil. You want to use your mixer on this step or thoroughly whisk it to blend all of your ingredients together. If your egg has membrane left, it’ll clog up your sprayer when you try to use it. Slowly pour this mixture through your strainer or coffee filter and let it go into your second, clean bowl. 

Pour this into your gallon jug. Put it in the sun with a cover and let it sit for three to four days. Add enough water to fill your gallon jug after the eggs ripen. Cap it, shake it well, and add it to your spray bottle. Spray it until you thoroughly wet the area around the plants, and give it two or three hours to dry before watering. It should last two weeks per application. 

The rotten eggs combined with the potent essential oils make this a very strong repellent recipe. 

Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 9 – Melted Soap

We mentioned that deer don’t like strong odors, and this one combines everything from eggs and garlic to soap. You can use a melted bar of soap in this recipe, or soap flakes work well too. Just make sure they’re small enough that they won’t clog your sprayer. You’ll need: 

  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 3 large eggs (include the shells)
  • 2 cups of water 
  • 2 cups of fresh green onion tops
  • 1 bar of melted soap (Dial works well. Irish Spring original scent bar soap also works well)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 1 gallon jug
  • Spray bottle
  • Blender 

To start, add your garlic clove, whole eggs, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of onion tops, chili powder, and melted soap to a blender. Blend it until you liquify everything and there are no large chunks left. Take this mixture and add it to your gallon jug. Pour in enough warm water that it fills the jug the rest of the way up. Put the cap on and give it a shake. Pour the mixture into your spray bottle and go spray your plants. If it’s possible, you want to get pieces of the egg shell on the leaves of your plants. Reapply it every two weeks. 

You can mix and match the soaps you choose for your best deer repellent recipe, but the more fragrant it is, the better it’ll work. 

Another idea some readers have suggested is putting small bags of human hair throughout your garden, which can also scare deer away as they can sense the smell of humans. May not work as well in urban environments where the deer may already be desensitized.

Deer Resistant Plants

Finally, another great option is to grow deer resistant plants such as lilac shrubs and fast growing ground cover plants to surround your garden so your deer will get at those first.

Deer Fence

A deer fence is another option – for those to be effective, the deer fence should be at least 8 feet tall.

We’ve given you several ideas for the best deer repellent you can make to try out on your garden. You may want to make more than one to see which one works best. Whatever one you end up using, it can protect your garden and leave you with a full harvest at the end of the growing season. 

The Best Deer Repellent Recipes to Protect Your Garden Cover