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


Date of this Version



Published by United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.


Foraging deer can severely hinder regeneration of newly stocked stands. Chemical repellents (along with fencing and individual tree shelters) are socially acceptable nonlethal tools to reduce deer damage. New products are continually entering the market, but their efficacy varies greatly. Availability or even registration of these products does not equate with effectiveness. Some repellents may contain active ingredients at concentrations below avoidance thresholds. Others may contain ingredients that don’t repel the target species. The Olympia Field Station of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center has conducted numerous studies to identify trends that could help predict the efficacy of repellents. A recent test evaluated 20 commercially available repellents representing a variety of active ingredients (Wagner and Nolte 2001).