A silly idea, no?

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mzimm

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You know you are obsessed with soap when you think of soap first when presented with a new problem....
So I have these peach trees that I'm determined to get fruit from this year, and one of the biggies in the way of pests is deer. Years ago, my family ran a large peach orchard operation, and while it wasn't practical to do it for every one of our 1200 trees, we did have some success deterring the deer by hanging Irish Spring soap from the trees at random spots throughout the orchard.
OK, I know I could run to the store and buy some of that soap, but I'm thinking along different lines. I've heard that deer don't like the scent of lavender, mint or sage, so I was thinking of making my own little soaps-on-ropes with these EO's to hang from the branches of my 6 trees.
I want a soap that will break down rather quickly in the rain, giving off a continual scent as it runs off. I don't see a problem environmentally with this, but please chime in if you do. I'm usually looking for a recipe that yields a hard long-lasting bar, but now I want nearly the opposite, but of course, not so soft that it turns to mush at the first downpour. Any suggestions?
 

penelopejane

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How does this work to deter the deer?

The reason I ask is my dad was telling my MIL the other day that sprinkling OO around fox baits removes the human smell from it and encourages the foxes to the baits.
I just meant that "young" castile made of pure olive oil is quite soft. So if you are looking for a soap that dissolves in the rain this might be suitable.
 

mzimm

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I thank you for your input. I decided against an cured OO, because I know how quickly it goes to mush if not cured. I actually don't have much time for curing, since the peach trees have their young succulent shoots already growing, and the deer are already venturing forth (my SIL has a webcam set up to catch nighttime prowlers of the critter variety).
So this is what I made this morning: 100% lard soap, since I have an abundance of last year's rendering, and much of it sadly retains its piggy smell when soaped. Figured the deer might like that smell worse than me! I also heavily scented it with sage, peppermint and lavender, colored it dark green and used some green acrylic waste yarn for the ropes so it would hopefully blend in to the foliage....mostly for human aesthetics, not that I think it would fool a determined deer. Here's a pic before I popped the tray into the oven for a CPOP.
Will let you know how, or if, it's successful.

image.jpeg
 

lenarenee

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Have you looked into other non-soap methods?

The problem with any method - soap or others- is while deer don't like new things, they learn and adjust. A method works one month, but not the next. Strong smells like herbs, soaps etc don't keep them away for long if they can still smell the peaches, or just get hungry enough.

We had entire rows of repellant herbs planted around our fruit trees and the deer didn't care.

We had luck with coyote urine, scarecrows with a bag of human hair hung with them, and long flowing fabric (need a breezy day). Intermitant sprinklers. But they don't work for long.

We did have wooden pallets surrounding the sour cherry tree, (deer aren't climbers) and that worked really well - but there was also other treats to nearby.

Staggering your techniques so they don't adapt, is your best bet. Unless you can afford a fence. And see what your local extension office has to say.
 

KristaY

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My mom uses a product called Liquid Fence. Smells HORRIBLE (mostly rotten eggs which is the primary ingredient) but it works well for her. Deer are a problem but the bigger issue for her is elk. They walk through and flatten everything in their path. When she uses Liquid Fence they walk a bit away so don't damage as many plants and trees.
 

mzimm

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Thanks lenarenee, I'll remember that. I do have a multi-pronged plan of defense in mind. Fencing is probably next, but this was the easiest way to get started while we look for others.
 

snappyllama

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My mom uses a product called Liquid Fence. Smells HORRIBLE (mostly rotten eggs which is the primary ingredient) but it works well for her. Deer are a problem but the bigger issue for her is elk. They walk through and flatten everything in their path. When she uses Liquid Fence they walk a bit away so don't damage as many plants and trees.
I'll have to look into that! I love our deer and elk, but they eat *everything*. Even the plants that taste terrible... each one has to sample/spit out. When you've got multiple herds going through a yard... those sample bites really add up.
 

TeresaT

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If you check with your local sporting (i.e. hunting) store, you may be able to get predator urine (wolf, bear, bobcat). You can put it on some of the trees (kind of knee or waist high) to help deter the deer. Alternate which predator is "roaming" in the orchard to prevent them from getting used to the smell.

ETA go to predatorpee.com. They have Mt Lion pee. I kid you not!

image.jpg
 
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lenarenee

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He's beautiful Snappyllama! I think I'd pick the peaches and hand feed him if he was in my yard!
 

Steve85569

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We have resorted to 7 foot tall fences around trees and gardens.
8 does and yearlings in the back yard this evening.

Deer netting works for a while but last fall we had a basket head walk through one end and out the other of a garden. I know it was him because of the tracks and the netting on his head for the next week.:mrgreen:
 

KristaY

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ETA go to predatorpee.com. They have Mt Lion pee. I kid you not!
I was ROTFLMAO at the website name so had to tell my DH about it. He said "Oh ya, I've got some of their stuff. I have wolf, mt lion, bear, doe-in-esteres and bull-elk-in-rut urine in my garage." I didn't know (or more likely didn't listen) that he had a pee collection! The things you learn about your spouse but NEVER needed to know....

PS - In re-reading that post I realized it made him sound very, ummm, odd, which he isn't. He's a professional hunter so apparently urine from various animals is useful to him. I'm just glad it's not stored in the house! And NO, I'm NEVER going to make him hunting soap that smells like pee. Dirt scent is as far as I'll go.:crazy:
 

TeresaT

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I was ROTFLMAO at the website name so had to tell my DH about it. He said "Oh ya, I've got some of their stuff. I have wolf, mt lion, bear, doe-in-esteres and bull-elk-in-rut urine in my garage." I didn't know (or more likely didn't listen) that he had a pee collection! The things you learn about your spouse but NEVER needed to know....

PS - In re-reading that post I realized it made him sound very, ummm, odd, which he isn't. He's a professional hunter so apparently urine from various animals is useful to him. I'm just glad it's not stored in the house! And NO, I'm NEVER going to make him hunting soap that smells like pee. Dirt scent is as far as I'll go.:crazy:

I LOVE YOUR HUSBAND!!! If you ever get rid of him, send him my way. That is hilarious!!!
 

ReddWing

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So did you put out pee around the peach trees ? If it worked umm what kind ?
Did you find the soap recipe you were looking for ? Did it work ?
I'm curious about the pee...Supposedly you can get rid of rodents by using big cat pee or snake pooh...and mom's house needs something before they
chew down around her & she'll only let organic-no kill methods be used...sorry I have no Problems with rodents & What ever will kill them dead
hopefully all on the same day !
 

Susie

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So did you put out pee around the peach trees ? If it worked umm what kind ?
Did you find the soap recipe you were looking for ? Did it work ?
I'm curious about the pee...Supposedly you can get rid of rodents by using big cat pee or snake pooh...and mom's house needs something before they
chew down around her & she'll only let organic-no kill methods be used...sorry I have no Problems with rodents & What ever will kill them dead
hopefully all on the same day !
Hi, ReddWing! Welcome to the forum! Perhaps you would like to introduce yourself in the Introduction thread? We would like to know a bit more about you.
 
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