Pet and pest deterrents

Every year animals invade our yards, eat our veggies, fruits or plants, use the garden for a cat box, dig tunnels or create mounds in our lawns. There are different commercial repellents available to help you solve your animal challenges.

If deer are the issue, try Plantskydd, Hinder, Hot Pepper Wax, Deer Off or Liquid Fence among others. These are just a few listed in a deer repellent study done in Illinois in 1994. They illustrate the variety of repellent products available. I do not recommend one product over another.

Plantskydd animal repellent contains specially processed dried edible animal protein, blood meal and vegetable fat in water. A winter application lasts six months, while a spring or summer application lasts four months. It works by emitting an odor. Hinder Deer and Rabbit Repellant contains ammonium soaps of higher fatty acids and repels with an ammonia odor. Hot Pepper Wax animal repellent has capsaicin and cayenne peppers in it. It repels by taste and odor. Deer Off is made from putrescent eggs, capsaicin and garlic. Liquid Fence is another formulation of eggs and garlic. The smell repels the critters.

In the study, only the Plantskydd had a residual effect. The Liquid Fence label says that after the initial application, apply one week later and then approximately once per month thereafter. In areas where feeding pressure from deer and rabbits is intense, spray Liquid Fence once a week for three weeks and then approximately once per month thereafter. Please note: when using Liquid Fence you may notice an odor, however once it dries, the odor will not be noticeable to humans, but still very noticeable to animals.

On the other hand, you can purchase coyote or mountain lion urine to spray around your yard. Someone who had sprayed purchased animal urine said the smell was so awful, they had to keep their windows shut. You can buy zoo-do from zoos. It is feces of lions, and other predators.

Sprinkling cayenne pepper in plant beds is said to deter cats. This feline deterrent recipe is from a colleague at North Dakota State University: Take four tablespoons dry mustard, five tablespoons cayenne pepper, two tablespoons of chili powder, two tablespoons of cloves, one tablespoon of Tabasco and mix with two quarts of warm water. Sprinkle it wherever there are cats.

For great information on critter control go to the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management,

For information, contact me, 775-887-2252 or, your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office or at "Ask a Master Gardener" at

- JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment