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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Will Deer Repellent Repel Native Insects?

Like many gardeners, I have deer that visit my property and need to use various deer repellents on my native plants…usually younger plants, while they are establishing. Does this repel the native insects that would like to chew on the leaves of these native plants? No repellents are chemical-based, only natural ingredients. We need to use something to help protect the natives. Otherwise, they will not exist due to deer browse.

∼Dan Jaffe Wilder

I don’t know of any negative effects of repellents associated with insects assuming the insects are not being directly sprayed with the repellent. If overspray is a concern, the gardener can switch to granular deer repellents instead of the spray-version.

∼Bruce Wenning

 I have never heard of deer repellents made of natural products being harmful to insects/pollinators. Just don’t spray flowers on shrubs, to be sure. The materials sprayed are used mostly on foliage, and I have never found that emerging flowers, after spraying deer repellents, were repellent to visiting insects.


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