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Types of Deer Deterrents Compared

The use of sight, sound and touch to deter deer

A deer deterrent can be defined as something that restrains or stops deer from following their normal course of behavior. The word deterrent is literally defined by as, "Military strength or an ability to defend a country or retaliate strongly enough to deter an enemy from attacking," these things are pretty tough! Undeniably, when one thinks of a deer deterrent they envision an unsightly eight (8) foot fence surrounding a very attractive vegetable garden. Excluding these physical fences, mechanical devices represent the bulk of the deer deterrent product market.

A mechanical deer deterrent device is one that repels the animals by causing a stimulus to their sense of sight, hearing and/or touch. There are several very popular deer deterrent products available. To assist you in your assessment of how to deal with your deer problem we've gathered a list of some of the most popular products and discussed their attributes below.

1. Sight Based Deterrents

Deer Repellent Ribbon

A sight based deterrent product is one that works to keep deer out of your gardens though trickery. Basically, you place one of these devices in your yard and if all goes well the animals will see it as a threat and head in the other direction. Popular types of sight based deer deterrent products include:

  • Dogs – Dogs could be part of all three (3) categories and are very effective at keeping deer out of your yard.
  • Flashing lights – There are more products than we could name here. The principle is simple, the animals will be startled by the onslaught of bright, flashing lights and run the other way. Some of these devices are activated through motion sensors.
  • Tangle-Foot Repeller Ribbon – Uses a holographic image to send reflections of sunlight into random patterns throughout your yard.


2. Sound/Motion Based Deterrents

Scarecrow Sprinkler Deer Repellent

A loud jarring sound coming from out of nowhere is the method used by these types of deer deterrents. They work quite well the first few times and as long as you do not have a large deer population nearby sound based deterrents may be just the trick for saving your gardens. Some examples of sound based deer deterrent products include:

  • Scarecrow Sprinkler – A water sprinkler using a motion sensor repels using noise and a spray of water.
  • Ultra Protect Ultrasonic Animal Repellent – Electronic device that uses a motion sensor and an ultrasonic sound to scare the animals away.
  • Deer Chaser – Electronic device that uses a motion sensor and an FM Radio to scare deer.


3. Touch Based Deterrents

Touch based deterrents work by causing pain or physical irritation to the deer. The cause of action of touch based deer deterrent is described by one product site as a harmless electric shock to send them running from your yard.

  • Wireless Deer Fence – Individual posts give off a sweet smell to attract deer then once the animal touches the post they are shocked.
  • Havahart Electronic Deer Repellent – Individual posts give off a sweet smell to attract deer then once the animal touches the post they are shocked, causing them to run away from your yard.


Because deer deterrents such as fences are often bulky or hard to implement, and those which are more self-contained often may cause pain to the deer, a deer repellent sometimes makes a better choice for ending a deer problem. In most cases, the combination of a deer deterrent such as the Scare Sprinkler and a repellent result in the most effective defense against deer damage in your garden or landscaping.

There are even more types of deer deterrents on the market for your to choose from, but keep in mind that your costs will increase when you need to purchase more than one deer deterrent product. To keep your yard protected from all angles you can always use our Deer Deterrent products in conjunction with our Deer Repellent Packs for added protection.

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