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 about sprinkling chili pepper all around on your garden. It supposedly deters cats from digging because magic, or I don't know What I do know is that this is utter horsehockey. I've tried it! Cats dug! They shit! They laid down and had a snooze all up in the chili pepper I spent 7 bucks on! Cats don't care, people! You ever seen a cat lick it's own ass? They don't care!
Number TWO: capscasin oil and chili powder does not do a damn thing but lie there and be expensive and useless 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.
HOWEVER: Now if you live in Chili territory - USDA zones 8, 9 , 10 and Hell, ground chili and capscasin could very well wipe out every pest it touches. In that climate, on the pests adapted to those conditions? Sure. I can see how that would make sense. I don't know if it does. The only thing I do know is that here in the PNW, it just doesn't work. At all.
Number THREE: Juices of garlic, onions, tomato leaves, that shit simply does nothing whatsoever. It doesn't kill pests and doesn't repel deer, dogs, cats, Batman or armadillos. Similarly eggshells (WTF?), Irish Spring soap and things like 'Deer B Gone'? They don't work.
Number FOUR: Deer proofing: 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 make milk, 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 Bad and Doe B Ready. Those deer have other things on their minds. They're going to do the deed in your back yard, at night, and if they want a snack they'll take a bite or six of whatever's on hand.
THE ONLY SURE METHOD OF KEEPING DEER AND OTHER ANIMALS OUT OF YOUR GARDEN - A FENCE, AND A LOUD, EXCITABLE AND BELLIGERENT DOG THAT HAS ACCESS TO THE OUTDOORS AT ALL HOURS.
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? You may also potentially have venison for dinner. No shit. Any dog that is super territorial and alpha will keep ruminants and other animals out of your garden, or at least take them on so they'll remember. 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! Dogs are flat out awesome that way. They work in every environment on every intruder. Unless they hate you.
Number FIVE: Now that having been said, I have heard reliable reports that concentrated scents - Cougar, Coyote, Lynx, Wolf or Bear - will chase cats, dogs, various other critters, and deer. You can buy it in any sporting good store. And Wal Mart. And grocery stores. In fact it's a little odd how easily you can come by Piss of Random Animal. Some of the urines on offer will freak you out. Turkey? Raptor? Gator? How in the name of Eleanor Roosevelt Winfrey do they collect that?
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.tall stick and let flutter so that the wind blows it around. You have to use a lot of these stick-and-fabric odor flags all over your property, 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 suburban Los Angeles, go ahead. Use actual 'Shits-in-the-woods' Bear whiz. Any large, 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. It's used with abandon in the Portland Rose Test Gardens, in fact. I've been there. You don't smell lion pee. You smell Heaven. And all the plants are pristine, even though the Rose Test Gardens are way up near Forest Park, which is 5200 acres of WILD FUCKING WOODLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN PORTLAND.
This isn't no managed bullshit like Central Park in New York. This is wild-ass forest with a full foresty compliment of forest creatures, including woods-dwelling winos. Black Bears live there, and they go down into town to raid dumpsters and eat homeless people down by the river.
Portland has a resident downtown population of deer up into the hundreds. No shit. I lived there for 20 years. I seen 'em. I seen 'em walking straight down the goddamn middle of West Burnside, sniffing around for dumpsters and bedding plants. It's a strange and beautiful sight at 3 in the morning, in the fog. People will run out of their apartments or businesses and chase the deer out of the street so they don't get run over, so instead the deer wander into the residential side streets.
Portland is basically the coolest town on the planet.
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 four-legged 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 owners so bad that they kept him in their yard from that moment on.
Ya do what you gotta do.
Number SIX: If you live in an area where four-legged predators are common, don't use urines specific to your location because it will ATTRACT them. Nobody wants a goddamn bear in their back yard (Ursid, not hominid.) OK. Bear whiz will chase lesser predators. But it will attract OTHER BEARS. You see what I'm getting at with this? In my rural area, I would NOT use Bear whiz because Black Bear visit frequently and I don't want them at my 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.
You know what works? Butch Husband Piss. Man, this stuff is so good it chases the JW's. Dogs? Get your Butch Biker Husband to piss waaaay up high on a nearby telephone pole, or tree. Just soak it down. Your problems are finished. This is all due to something called pheromones. 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. The higher up it's applied, the bigger the inquisitive noses will assume the Butch Biker to be. Gone baby gone.
I am dead serious. Human male pheromones are the bomb. Your petunias are safe. If you do not have a Butch Biker Husband, flag a passing biker down and explain your issue. Buy him a six. He'll be happy to oblige all your urine needs.
I have tried my own brand. It doesn't seem to work. Now, at a 1: 5 dilution at the root of your roses, you will have roses on roses on roses, happy, smiling, friendly, spotless and beautiful roses. But human bitch piss doesn't seem to chase anything away, no matter how angry you are at the time of urination. It's just the way it is.