There are a lot of repellants out there, but most of them don’t work. This page is where I outline the repellants that work the best for me or the ones I’ve done a lot of study on and am planning to use.
Mosquito and Tick Repellent
Natural repellents often work better than commercial ones. After all, many commercial repellents are simply chemical copy-cats of the natural stuff. They don’t stink and they are much better for people and pets. The Repel plant-based repellent works effectively in preventing ticks because it uses natural tick repellents.
If you are looking for an effective chemical repellent, try the Sawyer Permethrin Clothing repellent. You spray it on your clothing and it is effective in keeping ticks, chiggers, mites, and mosquitoes away.
Coyote Urine helps to scare away a number of animals including squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and even chickens. It works because the coyote is a natural predator of these little animals. Put the coyote urine where you don’t want them digging or mauling.
Animal / Critter Repellent
Animal repellent is a 50/50 chance of effectiveness at best. I wish I could tell you that I found something super effective, but every animal repellent I have tried sometimes works. If you are looking for something and desperate, you may luck out. It will depend on a couple of factors:
- Whether or not the specific animals in your neighborhood are sensitive to the smells of the repellent
- How much exposure they have already gotten. (Nearly all animals will acclimate to smells over time)
- How attractive the “attractants” in your yard are to the animals. If the neighborhood cats, dogs, raccoons, mice, squirrels, etc are desperate enough and your yard has the best food, plants, fun, or shelter, they will overcome their hesitancy and still come in.
- How long-term you are hoping the repellent to work. Nearly all repellents are more effective on a long-term basis.
- Don’t forget that rain washes it away
- Snow, excessive humidity, and other weather conditions can also change the effectiveness of the repellent
- Be aware of the possible dangers to kids and keep the container out of the reach of children.
With those cautions, the best smell repellents that I have found are the following. (Even the very best repellents have a mix of love-hate reviews because they are only effective in some situations, not all).
Safer Brand 5925 Critter Ridder Animal Repellent Ready to use Spray can be found on Amazon. It’s supposed to repel skunks, groundhogs, dogs, cats, squirrels, and raccoons. It is far too small of a bottle to be useful on my 5 acres, but it would be more useful for a patio, small yard, or to protect specific plants.
Eco Defense Pest Control Pouches use essential oils to repel spiders, mice, rats, silverfish, roaches, ants, moths, snakes, and other pests. The pouches carry a strong scent and work best in small areas (up to 10 cubic feet) It has a 3.7 star review, which is higher than many other products. I haven’t tried this product, but this is the one I’m most likely to try next.
Repellex 20001, on Amazon, repels deer, rabbits, moles, voles, gophers, groundhogs, feral hogs, dogs and cats. It uses hot peppers. The pepper is absorbed into the plants near the capsules and with some time, the plant becomes distasteful to the animals that are eating it. These granules take time to be absorbed by the plant, a few weeks to a few months. It is supposed to make the plant taste “hot” to the animals munching on it up to a year. The actual effectiveness of the product will depend on the growth rate of the plant (the faster the growth rate, the faster the product is absorbed and the faster it is diluted and ineffective again). It will also depend on the desperateness of the animals in the area for food.
Repellex is usually best used for a few specific plants you need to protect. It would be ineffective and costly to try and protect acres of plants.