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What Smells Do Deer Dislike? (Read This First!)

The olfactory receptors of deer are more developed than humans. They can get any smell from a long distance and get the idea of it. Since deer have a different sense of smell than humans have, certain scents may annoy and scare away deer, even though they are pleasant to us.

Smells that deer dislike and how to use them:

The strong-smelling, natural repellent elements like various essential oils, spices, garlic or the smell of scrambled eggs are highly disliked by deer. As they have prickly noses, they are unable to bear strong fragrance so, any smell that is too strong for deer to tolerate will drive them away.

Due to having more sensitive noses than humans, deer are easily startled by strong odors, which can hinder their search for food or mates. When they encounter these smells, they appear to become distracted and leave. 

The lemony scent of eucalyptus leaves or oils might deter deer from their path or when they approach in quest of food. Then there is the use of cinnamon oil, which has a spicy scent and is an efficient and all-natural deer repellent.

The use of eucalyptus oil, clove oil, rosemary oil, and other strong-smelling elements can irritate them in particular. Strong-smelling foods like garlic or the smell of scrambled eggs can also be used to keep deer away from areas where they frequently congregate. 

Deer can also be distracted by certain flowers, such as peonies,  lavender, or marigolds, despite the fact that they have pleasant scents. 

Additionally, the smell of spices like cayenne pepper can turn deer away. The peppermint’s minty aroma works well as a deer deterrent. Citronella is also a deer repellent since deer dislike the scent of citrus. 

Therefore, they are put off by its lemony smell, which has an effect on deer. The following are some odors that deer dislike or find repulsive:

Camphoric smell of eucalyptus:

Eucalyptus has a variety of scents, some of which are similar to camphor and others that are too citrus or minty, and these are the scents that deer do not like because they are irritating to the deer. 

Thus, it can be used by spraying the solution in the air to deter deer. The lemony scent of eucalyptus leaves or oils might deter deer from their path or when they approach in quest of food.

The spicy aroma of cinnamon:

Deer do not appreciate the spicy scent of cinnamon. Deer are excessively irritable creatures, and they will flee from any area where cinnamon has been placed or sprayed.

Clove’s spicy scent:

Cloves have a spicy scent that is also not liked by deer. The aroma irritates deer’s noses, and deer are drawn away from areas where it is present. Its principal deer-repelling component is eugenol. 

The presence of eugenol in clove oil causes deer to flee when it is stored close to them or sprayed over. Make any spray solution using cloves and place it before the deer come. The deer will get irritated and run away.

Peppermint’s minty smell:

Deer frequently flee when they smell peppermint leaves, oil, or candles with the peppermint scent. This works well as a repellent. Crushed peppermint or its solution is sprayed all over to deter deer. 

Actually, deer avoid areas where peppermint is present because of its fresh minty flavor, which repels them.

Citronella oil’s lemony smell:

Because these trees belong to the lemongrass family, they produce a lemony or citrusy smell. This citrus smell is deer resistant; deer are scared off by it. 

When citronella oil is kept in a pot when deer come, they get senile and move to a faraway location due to the citronella’s potently repulsive lemony aroma.

The sweet scent of the peony tree:

not only do peony trees have a strong scent, but they are toxic to some animals, including deer, so eating any part of the tree can make deer retreat. 

A solution with water and its powdered leaves is added and this is kept outside of the house as the majority of deer don’t enjoy peonies’ pleasant floral scent, which makes them flee when the trees’ delicious flavor of jasmine is present.

Garlic’s pungent smell:

Deer stay away from areas where garlic is prevalent because of the distinctive smell that garlic is noted for having. Garlic has a strong aroma. 

When this solution is sprayed or kept in certain places, it releases chemical elements known as alliances, which is why deer are quickly repelled by it.

The cayenne’s spicy flavor:

The deer’s sensitive noses are drawn to the cayenne’s spicy, chilly-like aroma. 

Making a cayenne spray, adding water is sprayed outside and deer are repelled by cayenne trees and leaves because they react with their olfactory sense when they are close to them and cause them to depart the area.

The sulfur smell of eggs:

Due to their sulfur-producing smell, eggs are particularly unpleasant to deer. Especially the bad or crammed ones. 

Deer find the scent of eggs, which is so offensive that even people can’t stand it, and the gas that results from the bursting of eggs is aggravating. 

It should be kept at the places where deer frequently come and the gaseous hydrogen sulfur compound is released and is applied as a home treatment for deer repulsion. 

Along with its gaseous nature, hydrogen sulfide is believed to interfere with deer nerves, which is why it repels deer.

What attracts deer in your lawn, yard, or garden?

Initially it’s the food that attracts deer most in your garden area. They normally visit the places that are close to the wild area, a little far from the busy street. They walk, run, scatter the area in search of food and may enter in your place if it’s filled with lots of trees and green grasses. 

When they find some attractive trees near your garden, they’ll be highly pleased and feel welcoming towards your garden. If they find a way to enter, they will make a great mess of your beautiful garden.

Deer have a very acute sense of smell, in which  they rely for choosing their food mostly besides their sight. Deer are usually tempted by vibrant color flowers, bushes, seeds, twigs and berries that are smooth, tender, flavorful, rich in moisture and also contain high protein. 

Sweet-flavored and tasty fruits like apples, strawberries, and peaches are their prime target and if they find these trees in the garden, they will definitely visit your garden and cause damage. 

But deer find danger on the prickly flowers and berries and tend to maintain distance from those plants.

Long-term solutions to keep deer away from plants and garden:

Deer can do great harm if they once find the way to your garden. Natural repellents work as a temporary solution but for long term and most effective solution, follow the ideas: 

Secure the area with a fence or create a border:

It’s the most effective and long term solution to get rid of deer. You can rely on the fence that’ll not let deer enter your garden area. 

For the barrier, you need to fence minimum 8 feet to maximum 12 feet to the whole area as deer can jump much higher. 

Or, build a short but double fence keeping distance from one another which will terrify the deer as they don’t tend to jump if the distance is wider. 

Another trick you can apply is, use thick hedges of boxwoods or just the place where hollies have grown which will work as a defense system. 

Plant pungent, thorny and prickly perennials in the sides:

Deer are very sensitive to smell. They can’t bear any acute pungent smell because of their prickly nose that gets irritated. 

If you plant pungent smelling plants like garlic, onion, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella trees at the corners of the garden, it will work as a natural barrier between the garden and deer. 

Keep deer attracted plants in the middle:

Sweet smelling, colorful flowers or tasty berry trees are their most favorite. These deer attractant plants should be kept in the middle of the area or near the house area, so they don’t get the smell and enter the area. 

Make the garden area rocky or add levels:

Deer are normally afraid of walking in the not plain and rough areas. 

Therefore, you can scatter the land using stones, various sizes of curved and various shaped rocks or create levels by adding stacked chopped wood, sunken beds, terraces which will send then a danger signal not to enter the area. 

Final thoughts

Deer find any strong smell like eucalyptus oil, clove oil, rosemary oil, pepper, cinnamon, clove, garlic hard to tolerate and hold, so they highly dislike them. They find the smell dangerous and leave the place. Therefore, the strong smelling elements are used as a natural repellent to deter deer.