What Smell Do Deer Not Like? (Natural Repellents to Keep Them Away)



Deer dislike scents that are strong, unnatural, or pungent. Some of the smells that deer dislike include human perfume, smoke, and rotten eggs.

Deer have a highly sensitive sense of smell, and they rely on it for survival. Therefore, they tend to avoid scents that are unfamiliar or unpleasant. If you are a deer hunter or a gardener looking for ways to keep deer away from your plants, understanding what smells deer dislike can be helpful.

Unlike humans, deer have a vomeronasal organ that makes them more sensitive to the presence of certain chemicals. In this article, we will discuss some of the smells that deer tend to avoid, why they dislike them, and how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

An Introduction To Deer

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Deer are fascinating creatures that have captured the attention of many people around the world. These animals are known for their herbivorous diet, stunning antlers, and graceful movements. Deer are also popular game animals and are hunted for sport and food.

However, they can be quite damaging to crops and gardens, so people are always on the lookout for ways to keep them away. Knowing what smells deer don’t like is an excellent way to prevent them from entering your garden or farm.

Deer tend to avoid strong-smelling plants such as lavender, garlic, and dill. They also dislike the pungent scent of pepper, cloves, and composite flowers. By using these smells to your advantage, you can keep deer away without causing any harm to them.

So, the next time you’re trying to protect your garden, using these scents can be an effective and humane solution.

The Sense Of Smell In Deer

Deer have an innate sense of smell that helps them survive in the wild. They use their sense of smell to detect predators and locate food and other resources. In fact, the sense of smell in deer is one of the strongest among all land animals.

It is estimated that deer can detect scent particles in the air from up to a half-mile away. This makes their sense of smell far superior to humans and many other animals. However, certain smells can still repel deer. Studies have shown that deer tend to avoid the smell of predator urine, rotten eggs, and certain essential oils such as peppermint and clove.

Comparatively, deer’s sense of smell makes them more vulnerable to human odors and scents from human products such as perfumes.

Smells That Deer Avoid

Deer have a remarkable sense of smell, making them easily detect various scents in their territory. However, some smells can be unpleasant to them and may drive them away. Natural odors, such as predator scents, including bobcat, coyote, or fox, are likely to make deer avoid the area.

Likewise, spoiled food smell can be a deterrent, causing them to stay away from the source. Aside from natural smells, there are human-made scents, such as colognes or perfumes, gasoline, and tobacco, that deer also tend to avoid. It’s best to avoid scented products when you’re out in the woods, whether you’re hunting or simply observing nature.

By minimizing smells that deter deer, you can maximize your chances of spotting them in their natural habitat.

The Effectiveness Of Deer Repellents

Deer can be a real headache for anyone who enjoys gardening or has a lawn. Countless gardeners and homeowners use deer repellents to keep them out of their yards. Products range from natural remedies to more commercial options, all aiming to keep deer away.

Common natural deterrents include garlic, soap, and planting certain plants. Commercial options such as electronic devices, sprays, and motion-activated systems can also be effective. However, results may vary, and some repellents may not work for everyone. The key is to find a repellent that works for you and your particular situation.

By exploring different options, you may be able to find a repellent that is effective and keeps the deer away from your garden or lawn.

Practices For Deterring Deer In Your Yard Or Garden

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Deer can cause significant damage in gardens and yards by eating plants. To deter deer, there are numerous methods gardeners can use. One option is to plant species that deer do not like, such as yarrow, lavender, and dahlia. Another popular choice is to use repellents that deter deer.

These can be sprayed on plants, and some options include using bars of soap or human hair to create a barrier. Fencing your garden is another effective option. However, it’s crucial to keep a safe distance from the deer as they can be dangerous.

It’s better to avoid feeding or approaching them as they can become aggressive. By using various methods, you can prevent deer from damaging your garden and keep them at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions On  Smell Deer Do Not Like?

What Smells Repel Deer In Gardens?

Some common deer-repelling smells are cinnamon, garlic, and human hair. These smells mask the scents of garden plants and deter deer. Additionally, using deer-resistant plants in your garden may help to minimize deer damage.

Will Mothballs Keep Deer Away?

Mothballs are not an effective deer repellent as they contain chemicals that are harmful to both deer and the environment. Instead, use deer-resistant plants or natural remedies like spraying a garlic or hot pepper solution on your plants.

What Scents Are Deer Attracted To?

Deer are attracted to certain food smells including corn, apples, and acorns. They may also be drawn to salt licks, urine from other deer, and certain plant fragrances. Avoid using these scents in your garden if you want to keep deer away.

Can Human Hair Keep Deer Away?

Human hair can be an effective deer repellent as the scent can mask the smells of garden plants and deter deer. Place bundles of human hair around the garden or attach it to stakes around the perimeter of your property.

Do Deer Dislike The Smell Of Vinegar?

Deer do not like the strong scent of vinegar and it can be an effective deer repellent. Mix one gallon of water with two tablespoons of liquid dish soap and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Spray this solution on your plants or soak cloths in it and hang them around your garden.


After taking all the factors into consideration, we can say that deer have a unique sense of smell, which they use as a survival mechanism. They have a highly developed olfactory system, which enables them to detect the slightest of scents from far away.

There are different smells that deer don’t like, such as human urine, human sweat, and synthetic odors that are not found in nature. Some natural scents also repel deer, such as garlic, cinnamon, and certain plants like sage and lavender.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that what smells may work in one area may not do so in another. Therefore, it’s best to experiment with different scents to find what works best in your area. Ultimately, it boils down to using the right scent at the right time of the year, which can significantly aid in keeping deer away from your garden or crops, giving you peace of mind, and preserving the growth of your vegetables and flowers.

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