Deer and other pests can wreak havoc on gardens and flower beds. While scare tactics like wind chimes and motion lights can be effective for a short period of time, Neil Soderstrom, author of "Deer-Resistant Landscaping: Proven Advice and Strategies for Outwitting Deer and 20 Other Pesky Mammals," says that deer quickly become accustomed to such devices. Instead, the University of Missouri Extension, part of the national land-grant university and cooperative extension system, suggests the best way to keep deer away is to take an integrated pest management approach.

Deer become accustomed to scare tactics like wind chimes.

Scare Devices

Devices like gas exploders, motion lights, wind chimes and radios can startle deer and scare them away. These are effective tactics to use on a temporary basis and usually work for one to two weeks. This allows for time to implement a more permanent solution.

Deer Resistant Plants

Deer find many plants, vegetables and flowers unpalatable or offensive in smell. Planting these as a borders around your garden or flower bed can deter deer from entering. In flower beds, try marigolds, begonias or petunias. If you're looking for vegetables and herbs, then peppers, onion, garlic, lavender, oregano, rosemary and mint are all good choices. Contact your local nursery for deer repelling plants that will grow well in your area.

Man-Made Repellents

Man-made repellents come in many forms, from pepper sprays to fox urine. Contact repellents have a displeasing taste to deer and you place them directly on the plants or flowers you are attempting to protect. Contact repellents are not made for human consumption, therefore you should only use them on plants that will not be eaten. Use area repellents on the ground near edible vegetables and herbs. They repel deer by odor.


Deer fencing should be a minimum of 8 feet high. In cases where deer cannot see what is beyond the fence, they are not likely to jump over it, therefore it is acceptable in these situations to have a fence that is shorter than 8 feet.