USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


Date of this Version



We tested selected, potential repellents in pen and field trials to determine their ability to reduce consumption of palatable foods by pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides), deer (Odocoileus spp.), and elk (Cervus elaphus). Only sulfur-based compounds (predator urines and Deer Away®) deterred feeding by captive gophers. Chemically hot, bitter, and noxious compounds and plants did not deter gopher feeding. Rapid reinvasion of available habitat by pocket gophers in a field trial occurred despite the presence of encapsulated, sulfur-based semiochemicals of stoat (Mustela erminea) on trial plots. Coyote urine and Deer Away deterred browsing by captive deer for the 3-day period of pen trials. A bitter compound, garlic oil, and encapsulated, sulfur-based semiochemicals of stoat did not deter feeding by captive deer. In a winter field trial with these test materials and Deer Away, hungry deer and elk were deterred only by Deer Away. We recommend further trials with encapsulated volatile compounds of predator urines.