Increasingly, gardeners have to deal with the destructive habits of unwanted wildlife. The usual deer, rabbits, tree squirrels, and moles are being joined by skunks, raccoons, woodchucks, chipmunks, geese, voles and wild turkeys! Although physical barriers (fences, netting, etc.) are the most effective way to stop them, repellents can also be successful. Here's the quick rundown on some of the better products McArdle's recommends.
Bobbex and Deer Off: still the preferred sprays and the best sellers.
Deer Scram - Deer and Rabbit Repellent: granular product that emits an odor only deer and rabbits smell, but not humans.
Deer Out: a newer product with a more pleasant scent.
DeFence: fast acting putrescent whole egg solids in a liquid ready-to-use spray bottle.
Milorganite: organic fertilizer spread around plants that gives off an odor deer don't like.
Plantskydd Repellent: a liquefied dried blood based repellent
Bobbex R: can be used against other small wildlife.
Deer Scram - Deer and Rabbit Repellent: granular product that omits an odor only deer and rabbits smell, but not humans.
Deer-Off: also labeled for rabbits.
DeFence: works on rabbits as well.
Espoma's Dried Blood: organic fertilizer that sometimes works by itself.
Plantskydd Repellent: can be used in either its’ liquid or granular form.
Rabbit & Groundhog Out: another new product with a more pleasant scent.
Deer-Off and Bobbex R: all contain pepper which squirrels will avoid.
Critter Ridder: in liquid or granular form, it repels by touch or taste.
Mole Max: a granular castor bean oil product; spread throughout lawn and garden. Now available in a concentrated liquid form.
Critter Ridder: use the granular version.
Espoma's Dried Blood: spread on soil around and in the garden.
Critter Ridder: spray the area to be protected.
Bobbex R: pour concentrate down their burrow to get them to relocate, or spray mixed solution around garden as a perimeter barrier.
The Giant Destroyer Super Gasser: light and put into burrow to smoke'em out.
Critter Ridder: apply around and in their burrow using either formulation, or spray plants to be protected.
Rabbit & Groundhog (Woodchuck) Out: Spray entire plant, both the top and bottom, and the perimeter.
Bobbex R: again spray the whole plant.
Bobbex-R: spray lower portion of the plant and the soil around it.
Mole Max: also labeled for voles; spread granules into garden. Now available in a concentrated liquid form.
Plantskydd Repellent – Voles & Small Critters: Same granular dried blood based product as above.
Wild Turkeys: You're on your own with this bird!
This listing covers just a few of the many animal repellents on the market. None of these work all the time. One that works for one gardener may not work for the next. Many conditions come into play such as the time of the year they're used, the weather, how often they're applied, how determined the target animal is, and differences in the eating habits of certain herds. Remember a good strategy is to rotate between repellents so your unwanted wildlife doesn't get used to one type.