Relative effectiveness of repellents for reducing mule deer damage

  • Published source details Andelt W.F., Burnham K.P. & Manning J.A. (1991) Relative effectiveness of repellents for reducing mule deer damage. Journal of Wildlife Management, 55, 341-347.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use repellents that taste bad (‘contact repellents’) to deter crop or property damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use repellents that taste bad (‘contact repellents’) to deter crop or property damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1989 on captive animals in Colorado, USA (Andelt et al. 1991) found that chicken eggs, MGK® Big Game Repellent and coyote urine, used as repellents on foodstuffs, reduced consumption of that food by mule deer Odocoileus hemionus more than did treatment with thiram, Hinder®, soap and Ro·pel®. Deer consumed less food treated with chicken eggs (89 g/day), MGK® Big Game Repellent (94 g/day) and coyote urine (98 g/day) than food treated with thiram (212 g/day), Hinder® (223 g/day), soap (308 g/day) and Ro·pel® (399 g/day). It was not possible to assess which of these feeding rates differed significantly from consumption of food treated just with water (500 g/day). Three female and eight castrated male mule deer were held in individual pens. Repellents and a control (water) were sprayed daily on commercial deer pellets at a rate of 10 ml/500 g. Pellets were dried for 24 hours. The soap treatment involved hanging a bar of soap above the feed container. Food from each treatment was offered in different containers (500 g in each), which were randomized daily, for four days, in May and June 1989.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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