View Full Version : Ammonia as a deer repellent?

03-07-2007, 08:24 PM
Has anyone heard of using ammonia mixed with water as a deer repellent? Someone told me that it is effective, but I wanted to see if anyone else knew anything about it. And if it is effective, is it safe to use? I've tried plotsaver and it works well if applied once a week, but it is expensive, especially when it's used every week.

03-07-2007, 08:32 PM
often.You must be doing something wrong.It lasts a long time for me .Usually 5-6 weeks.

03-07-2007, 08:57 PM
If there are lots of hungry deer, nothing short of a high fence will keep them out. But some measures can certainly reduce the browsing pressure in some situations. What works for one person may fail ten miles down the road.

I have not used ammonia, and don't know if it would work or not. But, ammonia is very soluble in water and easily goes to a gas form, and I think you would have a lot of evaporation loss. Hopefully someone here has more hands-on experience.

When I was a county extension person in my previous life, we heard all sorts of ideas from folks about ammonia and/or moth balls as universal repellents to chase away everything from snakes to groundhogs to deer, but I never jumped on the bandwagon.

03-08-2007, 08:02 AM
I'm about to make a plot saver batch last about 6 weeks spraying once a week. The trick I found was not wasting any. Others have tricks as well, but cup my hand with the ribbon inside with the point of the sprayer held just above the ribbon pinched in my hand so it stays just where it needs to be as walk QUICKLY around the outside with the ribbon sliding inside my hand as I go and the pump spraying on the ribbon. Your hand will stink for days, but for me it works. Good coverage where the ribbon it totally covered but no wasting the mix trying to walk along and spray free hand.

03-08-2007, 09:59 AM
Sorry to take this thread a different direction but has anyone used the electric tape around their plots. In high deer populations Plotsaver doesn't seem to work so does a electric fence ??

03-08-2007, 10:27 AM
You may have heard of this, but I have actually used it in a neighborhood and drove every deer out of the area. Ask your local hair salon to bag up their hair and sprinkle it where you don't want the deer. It stays where you spread it and doesn't blow all over the place. Sounds goofy, but it works.

03-08-2007, 10:31 AM
I have tried that and hanging Irish Showers soap on the branches and neither worked

03-08-2007, 10:34 AM
Go with the human hair,, works like a charm.

03-09-2007, 08:56 AM
I make my own scrape juice and it is a mix of 80% urine (mine) and 20% ammonia. I have 1000's of pics of deer at my scrape setups both mock and real and none seem to mine this concoction although if you used full strentgh ammonia perhaps they would stay out of your plots.

On the hair topic,I know a few who tried it and no success at all but they have alot of human activity daily around there place so deer are used to smelling humans but if you live deep in the woods and deer dont smell humans that much perhaps it would work better.

Killed alot of deer out of soybean fields here on the shore and the soybean fields had soap hanging out of trees every 40' or so and the deer always walked right by this soap with no fear or worries at all..

Eventually the farmers here figured out it does not work.

03-09-2007, 09:23 AM
I have used half inch tape-type electric fence over the years to keep deer out of certain areas. It can work. If they want in badly enough, you know they will get through anything short of a high fence.

In my view, the best way to do the tape is in a three-dimensional layout. I think it confuses them a little bit. I use the half inch wide white tape for better visibility. This can be temporary fencing, not necessarily permanent posts, etc. Put one row of posts around the plot. Put one wire about 12" high and a second about 48" high on those posts. Put a second row of posts about 4 feet outside of this first round. Then put a wire on this row that is about 30" high...nose height. So you wind up with a double fence with two strands on the inside and a singe strand on the outside. The key: put bait on that single outside wire to encourage the deer to get zapped by the fencer. This may sound backwards, but to be afraid of the fence, they need to get shocked on the nose. If they are not afraid of it, they will simply hop over. I apply peanut butter with a rubber glove...kids love this job. (I have also baited the lower wire to nail raccoons who were sneaking into the garden to steal corn) Then never ever let the fencer off during overnight hours.

Example: I had a set-up like this around my garden last summer. Worked great. I had a nice little 'plot' of rye and turnips at one end that I was using to mellow the soil for next year's planting. When I took the charger off in the fall, the deer were in there in days and very quickly mowed off my beautiful rye/turnip patch down to the dirt.

Whether it works better than plotsaver or not, I can not say. It is a little work, but it probably sounds like more work than it really is. I use a 12v marine battery on my fencer and it will last for weeks between charges.

03-09-2007, 09:43 AM
The hair and Irish Spring don't do ANYTHING around here. I've actually seen deer lick the bars of soap as they hung in trees around a garden area.

Land Owner
03-09-2007, 10:55 PM
Dang, I thought I was the only one with problems. If I disc, they're outta there for weeks. If I bush hog, they're outta there for weeks. If I herbicide, they're outta there for weeks. If I hunt a hog, they're outta there for weeks. If I feed the feeders, they're outta there for weeks. If I want to hunt 'em, they're outta there all season. Go figure. They don't eat the clover, the sorghum, the wheat, the oats, or the brassica. I put all the BAD on the shoulders of Poachers...mostly.

If I plant iron and clay peas, they're all over them at germination from 30 minutes after dark to 30 minutes before twilight until the peas are gone - acres and acres and always prior to the season. When peas are "in" and while headed for the gate I have to drive slowly to move their foraging butts outta the headlights. I believe I could "walk among them" when they are eating pea plants and imagine they would say "Thrangks".

Human hair; sweaty tee-shirts; ammonia soaked, human urine laced, and 'lectric fence, forget it. When they want peas, they get peas. When they want to lay low, they lay low. They have my "number" and they know it.

I like this game...