Everyone knows someone who claims to have the 411 on garden pests. These people are, largely, dipshits trying to face.
Number one in our hit parade is the 'Cat Deterrent' folks.
People will tell you this total bullshit stuff about sprinkling chili pepper all around on your garden supposedly because cats won't dig in it. This is utter horsehockey. Cats don't care! You ever seen a cat lick it's own ass?
They don't care!
It doesn't burn them or make them sneeze or chase them away! In fact, capsaicin oil and chili powder does not do a damn thing in the temperate zone garden (LOOK IT UP LUIGI.) It doesn't repel pests and it doesn't kill anything. It just costs you money.
(Caveat: Now if you live in Chili territory, USDA zones 8, 9 and 10, ground chili and capscasin could wipe out every pest it touches. In that climate, given the pests adapted in your USDA Zones 8, 9 and 10, those little fuckers that have evolved to live in those zones will fall back in horror yet all too late, too late, and die a slow and lingering death MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAA.)
Nope, here in the PNW, it just doesn't work.
Similarly garlic, onions, eggshells, Irish Spring soap and things like 'Deer B Gone'.
They don't work in zone 6. Or anywhere.
Deer proof plants: AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! There is no such thing!
Like Purgatory and the Cottingly Fairies, kids, it's all crap. There is no deer-proof plant. Or scent. Anywhere in the world. Fawns and milking does do the majority of the damage in the springtime - does, because they are desperate to bag up, and fawns, because they have to learn this shit for themselves. They'll chew a plant down to the ground before they realize they hate the way it tastes.
Now, deer wandering around at large among human habitations at night? Those adorable Bambi critters that look so pretty and graceful? And chew up your garden (how to tell? the leaves will look like they've been cut with pinking shears.) Your visiting deer are smelling Buck B Here and Doe B Ready. They have other things on their minds! They want a snack, they'll bite what comes to hoof! They don't care! Any ruminant - forget it. Cows Goat, elk, sheep, all the rest. No. Hope.
THE ONLY SURE METHOD OF KEEPING DEER AND OTHER ANIMALS OUT OF YOUR GARDEN - A FENCE, AND A LOUD, EXCITABLE AND BELLIGERENT DOG THAT LIVES OUTSIDE.
I am not here to lie to you. I am here to dispel the bullshit. If you have a belligerent Basset Hound, excellent. If you have a Bernese Mountain Dog or an Irish Wolf Hound? Vennison for dinner! Any dog that is super territorial and macho/alpha bitch to the extreme will keep ruminants out of your garden. Even a chihuahua - those little shits will flat whip up on anything. They don't care. They're the hummingbirds of the dog world. Too quick to catch, too mean to avoid!
Now that having been said, I have heard reliable reports that Cougar, Coyote, Wolf or Bear scent will chase cats and deer. You can buy it in any sporting good store. Now brace yourself with a stiff drink. Some of the urines on offer will freak you out. Turkey Scent? Raptor? How in the name of shit do they collect that?
I don't want to know.
You're going to go through a few bottles of the stuff. You put it on little pieces of fabric that you tie to a good 2 ft stick and let flutter so that the wind blows it around, and you have to keep renewing it from it's little squeeze bottle. This does work, but be more aggressive with it than other sources might suggest.
If you live in an area with these animals, however, it will ATTRACT them. Nobody wants a goddamn bear in their back yard (Ursid, not hominid. Geeze.) OK. Bear whiz will chase lesser predators. But it will attract OTHER BEARS. You see where I'm getting with this? In my rural area, I would NOT use bear whiz because black bear visit frequently and I don't want them at the door pretending to sell Girl Scout Cookies. I would choose something exotic, and evil, and unknown. If I could get Tyrannosaurus Piss, I'd
go with that. But sadly, I cannot obtain such an elixir. Harry Potter could, but me, no. I use Butch Husband Piss. Man, this stuff is so good it chases the JW's. Dogs? Get your Butch Biker to piss waaaay up high on a nearby telephone pole, or tree? Your problems are finished. This is all due to something called pheremones. This is an ingredient in male pee that says I WILL KILL YOUR ASS AND EAT YOUR YOUNG AND CLAIM YOUR MATE AS MY OWN.
Human male pheremones are the bomb. Your petunias are safe. Flag a passing biker down and explain your issue. Buy him a six. He'll be happy to oblige all your urine needs.
If you live in suburban Los Angeles, go ahead. Use actual 'mountain-shits-in-the-woods bear whiz. Any large, non-human predator whiz. No worries.
If you live in a rural area, I'd think twice. Nothing will ruin your day like a facefull of cougar when you totter out to get your newspaper in the morning. Not to mention a wolf. Wolves bring their friends to share in the fun. That scenario will not end up pretty. Coyote ditto.
I have heard that Zoo Doo, in particular Lion shit, will chase anything out there. I tend to believe this. You'll pay a premium for this if your local zoo even sells it., and you'll have to turn it into a slurry to activate it's stinky spell, but when your neighborhood tom cat catches scent of that action it will leave town. I've seen dogs react to it like they were having a sudden seizure - leap twisting into the air and hit the ground running, straight out away. It's kind of impressive. Portland, Oregon rose gardeners swear by it.
You have to remember, though, that animals have memories. Eventually they'll realize that what they're smelling isn't living in the neighborhood, because they haven't smelled any kill sites. Your pesty little neighbors will eventually come back. If your problem with dogs and cats is that bad, it's time to start live-trapping Fluffy or Fido and delivering them to their homes (or to the shelter.) Drive them home, and knock on the door and hand the owner their animal and explain kindly and gently that their beloved pet is ruining your garden. I have actually done this. It works really well. I only had one problem with a return dog, so I washed him really thoroughly and gave him a flea bath and brushed him out and got him all nice and clean and lovely, and then returned him home, which creeped out his owner so bad that they kept him in their yard from that moment on.
Ya do what you gotta do.