U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Document Type


Date of this Version

July 2003


Published by the WESTERN FORESTER : JULY/AUGUST 2003.


The likelihood of a particular plant being consumed by an animal depends on its palatability, along with the availability and relative desirability of alternative foods. Repellents, therefore, can be applied to plants to render them less attractive than the alternative foods. In theory, animals then select for plants or foraging areas other than those protected with repellents. Repellents are socially acceptable nonlethal tools to reduce wildlife damage. New products are continually entering the market, but their efficacy varies greatly. Unfortunately, availability or even registration of these products does not equate to effectiveness. Some repellents contain aversive agents at concentrations below avoidance thresholds. Others may contain active ingredients to which the offending animal is indifferent.