Animal repellents

Animal repellents

Nothing is more frustrating than putting all that time and effort into planting only to find something had a feast at your expense. Sources tell me that repellents containing pure capsaicin derived from hot peppers will repel squirrels, rabbits & deer.

Homemade repellent
You can make your own hot spray version in your kitchen:

Mix 1/2 cup finely chopped Jalepenos or Habanero peppers with 1/2 gal of water. Wear gloves when chopping the peppers. Boil 20 min. Do not inhale vapors as they can burn. Strain the mixture and use as spray. Re-apply once a week or after heavy rain.

Hot spray to keep dogs and cats away.
2-3 cloves garlic, 3-4 hot red peppers (habaneros, serrano)
Grind up in blender-add mix to 1 gal of water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Mix well. Wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers. Spray around edges of garden. Repeat after a rain.

Cats do not like the smell of citrus and rosemary. Here’s another recipe:

  • 20 drops -lemon oil
  • 10 drops -capsicum (Liquid) which is cayenne pepper
  • 20 drops -eucalyptus oil
  • 1 quart -water

You can also try sprinkling ground cayenne pepper on the soil surface. Baby powder, blood meal and lion feces have been tried with mixed results. They do not weather well and need to be re-applied every 5 days or after any rain or dew.  Another interesting repellent is used coffee grounds mixed into the soil, apparently rabbits and deer do not like the smell. If that doesn’t work at least used coffee adds nitrogen to the soil. If all else fails a dog.
To keep deer away, fencing seems to be the most effective-bury 6 inches of a  7  1/2 ‘ chicken wire fence underground.

Commercial repellents

For a nice piece of change, there are some commercial products out there that specifically claim to be rabbit and squirrel deterrents. Repellants  should be used before damage occurs or the animal has tasted the plant. Thiram, a fungicide is recommended as a rabbit repellant. Deer Away and Liquid Fence (spray and run, its smelly)  seem to get good results for both deer and rabbits.

Homemade deer repellent recipe:
Beat 1 egg with 1/2 cup of milk, add 1 TB of cooking oil and 1TB of dish detergent along with a few dashes of hot sauce and garlic juice.  Mix in a gallon of water.  Spray plants every 2 weeks and after a heavy rain.