Introduction: Not in My Garden You Don't ... Deer (and Other Safe, Frugal Forms of Pest Control)

Picture of Not in My Garden You Don't ... Deer (and Other Safe, Frugal Forms of Pest Control)

How upsetting is it to do all the back breaking labor and go to the expense of putting in a flower or vegetable garden or plant trees only to have our furry friends to come and destroy it?

Here are a few non toxic tips on how to repel and detract these critters without harming the cycle of life in the animal kingdom or putting our kids and pets at risk.

This picture was taken in my Father's front yard in South Central Kentucky.

Step 1: For a Bambi Free Zone

Picture of For a Bambi Free Zone

To repel Deer:

You will need:
An old flower pot, plastic or clay
An old sock or the foot part of a pair of hosiery
String, Twine or anything you can make a tie and hanger with

Any ONE of the following:

Strong smelling deodorant soap like Irish Spring
Baby Powder
Raw Garlic Cloves
Athletes Foot Powder
6 - 12 Cotton Balls soaked in Peppermint Oil

Step 2: Make Your Repellent

Picture of Make Your Repellent

Fill the foot part of the sock or hose with any of the mentioned items in step one and tie a knot in it. Attach the string or twine below the knot making a loop large enough for hanging and run it through the hole in the flower pot bottom. Hang from a tree branch, fence post or tie to stakes and place around the area you want to keep deer out of.

The flower pot keeps the rain from washing away your deer deterrent and can last up to a year depending on climate conditions. If you notice the deer returning it's time to refill your socks.

Step 3: Got Kids, Pets and ANTS? Try a Safe and Cheap Cure to Get Rid of Them ...

Picture of Got Kids, Pets and ANTS? Try a Safe and Cheap Cure to Get Rid of Them ...

Get rid of the ants I mean, keep the kids and pets but keep them safe while you get rid of the ants with a non poisionous extermination.

This works very well, especially on fire ants which we get here in the So Cal region with a vengence.

The best way to rid yourself of ants without putting kids and pets at risk is Grits.

Just take some plain old dry Grits and sprinkle them around your ant holes. The little biting monsters go crazy for them, carry them back to the nest where the other ants eat them and then the grits swell in thier stomachs and they pop!

The big plus is of course if your kids or pets get into it there is no worry or harm to them.

Step 4: Groundhogs, Woodchucks and Other Burrowing Animals

Picture of Groundhogs, Woodchucks and Other Burrowing Animals

The safest non toxic way to get rid of groundhogs is by sprinkling a 50/50 mixture of Red and Black Ground Pepper in your flower or vegetable gardens, the smell drives them out of your yard but won't harm your plants, kids or pets.

(I couldn't get the peppers to show up in my pictures so I had to use one of them in bowls)

Step 5: Birds

Picture of Birds

An easy way to keep birds away from your garden, out of your fruit trees and off your patio furniture is to take a disposable aluminum pie tin, punch a few holes and thread them with string or twine and hang them from the trees or fence posts, or hang one on your car antenna. The shine and movement of the tins sends them on their way.


SHOE0007 (author)2016-04-23

I wonder how to repel squirrels as they continue to destroy my garden. Black pepper and cayanne powder???

BethV (author)2014-12-21

Does it matter what type of red pepper you use or will any red pepper work?

Brainchigger1 (author)2012-04-03

I love my electric fence. Easy to configure, like 6" off the ground. Rabbits, coons, armadillos, possums, skunks, coyotes, cats, and the family dog will learn with one lesson, that they need to leave this space alone. Flower bed, chicken yard, or any thing else you want protected. Will not kill any thing, just a terrifying jolt will send anything on its way. Cheap too.

mercysmith (author)2011-09-04

We have 150+ deer on our property in Tx Hill Cntry, but I raise the most beautiful flowers anyway! From Lowe's, I took sections of deck railing (6 ft x 3 1/2 ft), placed it horizontally out from the bottom of my windows. They are suspended from the top edge of the windows to the outside edge of the railing with cable. You can outline the edges with 2 x4's and paint to match your trim before installing. I filled all kinds of pots with good soil, (&SuperThrive, HastaGro organic fertilizers) plants, & topped w/shredded hardwood mulch. The deer cannot reach up high enough to eat the plants. I can enjoy the flowers from my living area because they are window level. Even in the drought, my flowers have been spilling out all over with beautiful blooms. I just add a little water each a.m. when I fill the deer's water containers!! The water drains right through the rails of the deck railing material! The look is very DWELL magazine!

pchoksatitgul (author)2011-06-20

I'll try thanks

Lucyfurr (author)2011-03-07

Can someone please clarify why geckos are "pesky" (according to Juniverse) and warrant trapping? I live too far north to benefit from their bug-eating tendencies...but I imagine I'd prefer geckos to bugs...I'll have to do some research.

Knoodlez (author)2010-04-23

Some useful info here if you have 'infestations' of these insects and animals I suppose.  I could never figure out why people move to rural areas though and then complain when the native animals, insects and birds make use of what you put in your yard.  Perhaps it's best to research what lives in the area before moving there.  You put what they eat in your yard and expect them not to come?
Just seems a little insane to me.  I've lived rural all of my life - I don't try to deter anything and I have never had a problem with wildlife worthy of putting out deterrents to keep them at bay.   In fact quite the opposite I enjoy and benefit from their presence - yep, even the ants.  Good luck with your efforts though!

mark36091 (author)2010-03-17

I'm not trying to be ugly or start a feud, but grits aren't effective for fire ant control.  There are multiple articles on the net that expose this as a myth.  Here's one in particular:

However, the rest of the article is very helpful and I'll be using the deer repellant ideas in my garden this year.  Thanks for the tips!

fultondp (author)2009-06-11

The best deer and racoon deterent I've found is a motion activated sprinkler. I've got neighbors with a koi pond that kept getting raided by herons. I let them borrow my scarecrow sprinkler, and they never gave it back! (They did buy me a new one, so all is good)

DebH57 (author)fultondp2009-06-11

How much does a scarecrow sprinkler cost Fulton? Do you have a link where I can order one? Thanks for commenting!

fultondp (author)DebH572009-06-12

They are $40 - $70. The one I have has a 9v battery for the sensor and shoots about 40 ft. Just google "motion activated sprinkler" and youll find them. Amazon has 2 models. I've also seen them at Ace and TrueValue hardware stores and at nurseries. They also work well for keeping the neighbor dogs from pooping in the front yard.

DebH57 (author)fultondp2009-06-12

Now I find keeping neighbor dogs out of the yard useful ... I wonder how well it would work with those people who knock on your door early on Saturday mornings ... Thanks I will check them out.

curt resident (author)DebH572009-09-23

I have one aimed at my front porch for door-2-door sales people and flier posters. I watch them on my security cam as they approach the front door with scotch tape and fliers in hand. By the time they reach the front porch, it is too late and they get a burst of water. Harmless but very effective! and, great entertainment ~~! I do post a "warning" at the beginning of my walk...which of course, they always ignore. I also advised the mailman, UPS, FedEx and friends. They all think it is amusing. Best $80 I ever spent. If you buy one, use washer hose for connection, as the pressure will blow out most hoses.

kittywitty (author)2009-09-11

Any ideas for rabbit proofing the garden? tulips are extinct in my garden for the last few years, and soon others.

Bensterism (author)2009-07-27

A way to get rid of my kids???

Deewheat (author)2009-07-27

Spraying old clothes with cheap, nasty perfume (think yard sales LOL!) and laying them around the garden works well too for deer and rodents.

hsmomof2 (author)2009-07-25

I wondered if there was a safer way to get rid of ants etc.. I hate to use harmful chemicals, so this is a great alternative.

DebH57 (author)hsmomof22009-07-25

Yes it works really well.

hsmomof2 (author)DebH572009-07-25

My mom just hangs the bars of soap tied with twine from the trees. I will give her a copy of this idea for the Bambi free zone.

DebH57 (author)hsmomof22009-07-26

Good deal Hsmom

im4tooele (author)2009-07-22

Great shot, Debra.

DebH57 (author)im4tooele2009-07-25

Thanks Im4

chauntee2 (author)2009-07-20

I love that picture;)

DebH57 (author)chauntee22009-07-25

The deer come to my Dads front yard every year Chauntee

juvinurse (author)2009-07-20

Got any sure fired ways to get rid of those pesky geckos that we have in Florida?

DebH57 (author)juvinurse2009-07-20

The best way to get rid of geckos, aside from catching them and selling them to a pet store is to reduce or remove their food supply, outside you can use bug zappers and pesticides that kill the bugs which is the geckos main fare, caulk and seal up any cracks and crevices around brick walls, roofing tiles and cover downspouts with cheesecloth or any other material that will not impede water from exiting. These are places where they like to hide. Also use super sticky type traps usually designed for mice and roaches around lighted areas, windows and any other areas you see them hanging out.

treesneedtobehugged (author)2009-06-25

You can alos to scare the deer away put human and dog hair near your plants

Never thought of that, thanks Trees. Saw you in the newsletter, congrats! How you been doing?

Great now I'm the most viewed in both the pocket sized and get in the garden contest!

JohnMac (author)2009-06-24

Good tips thanks Deb

DebH57 (author)JohnMac2009-07-03

You are welcome JohnMac

iRep (author)2009-06-30

Very nice instructable, this deserves way more views!

DebH57 (author)iRep2009-07-03

Thanks iRep, I appreciate that

aunty (author)2009-06-23

Very nice picture.

DebH57 (author)aunty2009-06-24

Thank you.

Bratillia (author)2009-06-22

Intersting DebH

DebH57 (author)Bratillia2009-06-24

Thanks Bratillia

BettyBoop1 (author)2009-06-17

We did the pepper with the groundhogs, it worked like a charm.

DebH57 (author)BettyBoop12009-06-18

Good to hear Betty, thanks!

CAWildWoman (author)2009-06-14

I did the one with the ants - it works great - I had to do it 2X though. I did the Irish Spring for deer and so far so good they are staying away.

DebH57 (author)CAWildWoman2009-06-14

Great to hear!

CAWildWoman (author)DebH572009-06-18

The deer are still staying away - this works great.

DebH57 (author)CAWildWoman2009-06-18

Thanks for keeping us updated CA

AmazingGracie (author)2009-06-11

These are great ideas, I will try them.

DebH57 (author)AmazingGracie2009-06-11

Thanks Grace let me know how it turns out.

AmazingGracie (author)DebH572009-06-14

The ant one works really good and I am trying th red and black pepper one. So far my gopher has been a no show since I did it. Thanks.

DebH57 (author)AmazingGracie2009-06-14

Good to know this thanks Grace

Scubabubba (author)2009-06-10

We tried the grits thing, it just made our south Georgia fire ants fatter. 4 gallons of boiling water, on the other hand, worked GREAT! Best to do that when there aren't any kids around. I'm going to try the Irish Spring to keep the deer out of the blackberries.

DebH57 (author)Scubabubba2009-06-10

LOL you must have some tough fire ants there in South Georgia, I wiped my sissy So Cal fire ants out in 2 applications. The Irish Spring does a great job be sure to put several of them out if you have a large area to protect.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am 51 and hail from sunny Southern California but originate from back east. I am a Web Designer by trade and own a small ... More »
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