Deer Repellent?

Anyone know of any tricks to keep deer out of our back yard, and from eating all our hostas? We have a 4' fence, but apparently thet're jumping over it.
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http://www.tangledvinegarden.com/blank.html
Bobby Baxter Happy Moose Gardens http://happymoosegardens.com
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wrote:

John
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On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 08:28:51 -0400, John Bachman

Pretty sketchy,,,,
http://www.deerscram.com/what_is_deerscram.asp
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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" Watch deer flee from the area or avoid it completely! " Flee????? Does that mean they smell the stuff, and then run like the devil's chasing them? I wonder if that's guaranteed. It would be worth it just for the entertainment. :)
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The ad-text version that they will guarantee is this one: "douse yourself in deer urine after you build a blind & hide in it day & night & when you catch a family of deer foraging on the shrubs you foolishly thought were protected by Deer Scam, leap up & scream 'god damn it!' and watch the deer flee from the area!"
-paghat the ratgirl
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Dear SCAM illegally refuses to disclose the product content claiming it has proprietary "secret" ingredients. They claim "animal by-products" which probably means rendering plant sludge the blood content of which would have repellant value though it wouldn't be as good as purer bloodmeal, but it COULD mean something as useless as feathermeal (literally made from feathers). The only reason not to reveal the "secret" is either (a) it would be too obvious that you could buy that product more cheaply without a trademark label or with a different trademark label, or (b) it's an inferior ingredient like rendering plant sludge (tankage) or feathermeal that cannot legally be labeled "bloodmeal" but only "animal byproduct," instantly recognizable as either less effective or worthless.
If a product does not state clearly that it has either bloodmeal (as does Plantskydd) or egg solids (as does Deer Away) as active ingredient, it will not have a maximumly useful effect. There is no "secret" ingredient that works better than the only ingredients that have been independly tested & proven effective, so Deer Scram is definitely pulling a Scam since it doesn't want the user to know if the most effective ingredients are in it.
The Conference Proceedings for Advances & Challenges in Forest Regeneration issued an overview that stated the only commercial preparations that significantly cut down on deer foraging contained rotten eggs or bloodmeal. A Rutgers study found capsican pepper effective as well, but the Conference stated that products with ingredients that can cause pain or illness to animals (including capsiacan pepper powder) did not work as well as well as products with egg solids or bloodmeal, while products reliant on ingredients with bitter taste had no effect at all. Predator urine especially from wolfs has some effect but not the equal of egg or bloodmeal, & predator urine can actually attract foxes or coyotes.
The INFERIOR but slightly effective ingredients in commercial concoctions include meat meal or animal byproducts (instead of bloodmeal), predator urines, or capsican hot pepper. The completely or nearly completely ineffective ingredient ingredients found in deer repellants include garlic, ammonium fatty acids (such as the useless product "Hinder & Repel" but also in bars or soap or in Bounce fabric softener towlets which urban folklore but no test study has claims to be effective), garlic, fishmeal or fish emulsion, the bittering agents like thiram or denatonium benzoate, paradichlorobenzens or naphthalene (mothballs).
So you MUST know the ingredients to know if you're getting a product with even a chance of working. When Deer Scram claims their active ingredient is "secret" but that it is entirely "animal by-product" sounds like they actually did reveal that they buy the cheapest possible ingredient that by law can only be labeled as "animal byproducts" because it is rendering plant sludge, not a purer bloodmeal product (such as Plantskyd which is mostly pig blood).
Products & home remedies that claim to work if hung from branches in small bags or punctured cartons are either completely fake or work for five minutes on the "one deer momentarily puzzled" factor. It is not true that perfumes repell deer that are already used to foraging in the vicinity of human habitation, though human smells such as provided by the "hang a bar of soap" folkore remedy probably would repell deer who mistake the odor for the presence of Man in wilderness areas. Useless in gardens.
Repellant choice should be sprayable because most effective when sprayed directly on plants. For ground applications the egg-based repellants like Deer Away are possibly better than bloodmeal-based, while for foliar application a bloodmeal product like Plantskydd is probably best. A two-product approach such as egg-based for ground-application & sprayable bloodbased Plantskydd for foliar application would provide the maximum protection ever achievable. Both function as plant fertilizers & are harmless to plants & actually good for the environment. I've not used the egg-based yet but supposedly it isn't foul to humans.
This is the first year I've personally had to deal with elk & deer. I'm using Plantskydd because it was recommended by local wholesale ornamental plant growers with unfenced properties, & the growers swear by it (though this week I visited one of the growers whose field of serviceberries was heavily browsed making all the plants ugly -- nothing else was touched -- mock orange, currants, twinberries, all sorts of shrubs -- the deer went straight for the serviceberries). We're still visited by these critters at SinLur (I see their fresh footprints everytime I'm at SinLur Gardens) but for the last two months they have not foraged in the main gardens, & even the roses which they have liked best in the past have not been touched. I don't know if that's entirely Plantskydd's doing since seasonal browsing patterns naturally change, & some construction on a nearby property probably disrupts their activity.
In my own home garden I don't use any gardening products that include animal byproducts (I would always select kelp over fish fertilizer for instance) but at SinLur because of the deer we will be using bonemeal & bloodmeal in the fertilizing regimens, even though these can attract racoons & other beasties which love meat smells, but may have a slight added benefit in making the deer think animals keep getting killed in those otherwise tasty gardens.
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I just reached the point this past week where I'm prepared to bribe the town's building permit guy to give me permission to put up an 8 foot chain link fence. It may be ugly, but not as ugly as my mood when I see ALL my bean plants hacked down. Some of the repellents sound interesting, but they need to be applied either to the plants, or to the perimeter. What happens when you come into contact with this stuff? Do you carry the smell into the house on shoes & clothing? No thanks.
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) wrote in

In truth I can tell you, as I have been formerly been employed as an agent in the art of industrial espionage, that yes in fact some of these operations do use ingredients worthy of being secreted. In many secluded places all across America, there are factory workers, some legal, some illegal, sweating over treadmills to produce these secret ingredients. I won't reveal the exact process, except for a price, but I will tell you that it involves attaching one end of the worker to a taco bell and the other end to a hose that is shoved up ... whoa would you look at the time. Sorry got to go ...
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does it really work? anyone?
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"Happy Moose" < snipped-for-privacy@daylily.net> wrote in message
news:ocSGe.80121$ snipped-for-privacy@twister.southeast.rr.com...
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For years I suffered the loss of tulips, hosta and euonymous to deer. Last year I followed a friends advise and put bamboo stakes in the garden near thier favourite snacks, tied pieces of rags to them and every other night I sprayed the rags with Downy fabric softener. I also tied a few rags here and there along the perimeter of our property and did the same thing. I had tulips and hostas galore this year. Good Luck
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Buck Turgidson wrote:

I have been using "Deer Solution" made by Natural Pest Solutions for the past year and it has made a HUGE difference in my yard. Last year (my first year with a garden!), they ate all of my tulips, liles, hostas and other tasty/expensive plants constantly. Now, they will nibble when I don't keep up with it, but mostly leave my yard alone now. It is systemic and should last 100 days, unless there is new growth. They instructions say to re-spray for every 2" of new growth and that seems about right. I did that throughout the Springtime on the plants that needed it. Right now, everything is pretty mature and I haven't sprayed in over a month. They nibbled one plant last week and that has been it. I don't know if they were just tasing it and found it to still taste bad or it is time for a touch-up of a few plants. The deer do pass through my yard daily (ok, nightly) and leave it pretty much alone right now.
It seemed expensive when I got it from my local garden center ($30/gallon), but is a lot cheaper than having to replace all of my plants and goes a long way. Recently, I found a concentrate at an online store (countrygardentsinc.com) that is more economical and will last me for several years at the current rate I use it. One gallon of concentrate makes 10 ready-to-use gallons.
Somewhere online, I have seen the list of ingredients, but I can't seem to find it now. I think the primary active ingredients are clove and cinnamon oil (and my yard smells yummy when it is freshly sprayed!) and the base is vinegar. If you'd like, I can check the ingredients when I get home and post/E-mail that. It is considered to be a category 25B food product by the EPA and can be used on vegetable gardens safely. I haven't tried that though. I'm still working on decorative flowers/plants. Maybe somebody more ambitious than me can try to make a home version?
Good luck!
Lisa (who is a relatively new gardener who is lurking to learn more about gardening and has NO affiliation with the product or any nursery/supplier)
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Some folks I know swear by "Liquid Fence" for deer. The active ingredient listed is garlic, but I see it also contains whole egg. My hunch is that is isn't so much a repellant but a smell inhibitor, that is, it keeps the deer from finding the plants by smell. Here's a link to the label: http://www.hirts.com/cgi-local/catalog.cgi?cat=9,&item247
Another product some folks tell me works for deer and rabbits is our locally-produced fertilizer, Milorganite -- short for Milwakee organic nitrogen. It's produced as a byproduct of sewerage sludge, but is purportedly nontoxic, even in the veggie garden. BTW -- please spare me the poo jokes, I've heard them all! Anyway, the method of application is to surround plants or plantings with the product. http://www.adamsfarms.com/pest_disease_control_6.htm I 'm not sure, tho, how available the product is outside the metro area.
Suzy O

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Deer Scram has all ingredients listed on the container, It is made up of Dried Blood,Cloves,Garlic,White Pepper. An old Farmers trick was to spread dead deer parts around crops to deter deer from entering. Through good science and not foul odors... Deer Scram has accomplished this.
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