5 Homemade Remedies to Ward Off Pesky Wildlife

Jess Lynk
Written by Jess Lynk
Updated January 27, 2016
Two deers visiting the back garden
Photo: JessieEldora / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

It’s wonderful to spot wild animals grazing in nature—just not in your prized garden

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From fluffy cottontail bunnies to graceful deer, there’s no denying that local wildlife can be adorable. But they’re often a pesky nuisance for homeowners looking to maintain a lush and bountiful garden. Try these DIY natural wildlife control methods to keep wildlife away and from nibbling up your garden or damaging your property’s structures Just keep in mind that home remedies won’t always keep wildlife at bay, and you may need to call an animal removal professional. Before you make the call, here are five homemade remedies to ward off wildlife in your yard.

1. Rotten Eggs 

Yes, you read that right. Animals dislike the smell of rotten eggs as much as humans do. According to the University of Michigan, spoiled eggs are in several commercial repellent products, especially for deer. Rotten eggs emit an odor that mimics the smell of predator urine. If you can stand the stench yourself, mix six rotten eggs with a gallon of water, then spray the area you want to protect. This smelly solution is safe for plants, but don’t use it on any vegetation you plan to eat. Reapply the concoction if rain washes it away.

2. Hot Sauce 

Who knew hot sauce could zest up your wings and deter pests as well? According to the University of Vermont, mixing at least one part hot sauce with 16 parts water then spraying it in your yard will run off unwanted wildlife. Don’t hold back—the more hot sauce, the better. This mix is safe for plants, but like the rotten egg mix, don’t spray it on your home-grown produce. 

3. Garlic

This kitchen staple is an inexpensive way to ward off wildlife from your property. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, animals with a keen sense of smell, like deer, dislike garlic’s strong scent. Grab a few cloves of garlic, crush them up and stick them in a cloth bag. Hang these bags around the area you want to protect, then replace them when they lose their smell.

4. Herbs 

A simple (and delicious) way to deter animals is to plant certain herbs throughout your yard. Aromatic herbs like rosemary, basil, sage, and mint are great to grow because the intense smell will ward off wildlife—mainly deer and bunnies. Plus, you’ll have the added perk of having herbs handy for cooking. 

5. Soap

Soap is a solid way to stop critters. Use slivers of a bar of a strong-smelling soap like Irish Spring and disperse them around the perimeter of your home, essentially creating a barrier. You don’t want to use an unscented or floral soap—pick one that packs a punch. 

Be Consistent With Your Natural Remedies

With almost all of these natural remedies (excluding the herbs), it’s important to remember that you’ll need to reapply consistently, especially if it’s snowy, windy, or rainy. But it’ll be worth the effort to keep your property free of unwanted wildlife safely and naturally.

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