Oh Deer!

By Audrey Bieber and Ailiyah Shehzad Hussaini
Junior Category (Grades 7-8)
Experiment | Biology, Environment

BCVSF Note: The required ethics forms have been submitted for this project.

Question: Which homemade natural repellent repels black-tailed deer from eating pansies the best?

Ever since we cut down forests and built houses, the deer have been running out of food. They’ve gotten so desperate that they’ll eat just about anything out of our gardens. They’ll even eat plants that are so-called “deer-resistant” like alliums, heather, and rhododendrons.

We think that when we put different natural ‘repellents’ that are supposed to deter deer on the same type of pansies, the deer will only eat the pansies with the repellents that don’t work as well (the ones which are less putrid or fragrant) which will lead us to the best natural repellent. Our educated guess is Recipe 1: Garlic and Coffee Grounds. Also, deer are quite skittish even in urban environments; a sudden sound, a flashing light or a sudden spray of water is enough to scare them off.

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