Repellex – Effectiveness

Q: I wondered if you’d gotten any feedback on the effectiveness of Repellex, especially to voles and bunnies.

A: I asked folks to report to me their experiences with Repellex tablets, which contain capsaicin.

Repellex (click for sources)

Their replies have been somewhat mixed but hopeful.

Remember that these comments are not scientifically based. Your own experience is the best trial.

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I used this product on all of my dahlias in my home garden (around 250) and in the Dahlia Display Garden at Stone Mountain Park. I used two tablets per plant as many get up to 6′. This provided a 2′ height that hopefully deer would get the message and stay away. After a few nibbles in my home garden in the spring the deer have not touched my dahlias. They did bother some knock out roses and daylilys but not dahlias. Earlier in the season I would supplement this product with Liquid Fence which would keep them away from everything as long as I sprayed regularly. I have not sprayed it in a number of weeks and still the deer won’t bother my dahlias.

Deer have not touched any dahlia plant in the Stone Mountain Garden all season.

The added feature of this product is that chipmunks do not eat the dahlia tubers which has been an annual problem. Here again they ate some newly planted tubers in the spring but when the tablets got into the tubers they stopped eating them and I have not lost another one all season to chipmunks..

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I placed the Repellex tablets near my plants a week ago. The directions say it takes about a week for them to become effective. My main problem right now are rabbits. They are eating my phlox like candy. Since last week, the phlox looks worse than it ever has. I had the plants in for over 2 years. They’ve never grown larger than 5″ in diameter (due to rabbit candy). They are now about 3″ and barely above ground. I certainly hope my other plants do better with the Repellex. So far the phlox is a total loss.

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I used these Repellex tablets early in the spring around my 2 varieties of hosta. They are supposed to be a season-long deterrent but unfortunately that didn’t happen. After the largest hosta plants were well-developed, they were all eaten. The smaller variety lasted longer but was soon fodder for the deer as well. I ended up spraying various types of deterrents directly on what was remaining of the leaves and that seems to work best……….until it rains or the deer get used to the odor. I was very disappointed with Repellex.
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Sometime in the early Spring you mentioned a product which claimed to repel deer – REPELLEX. I immediately ordered some and when it came placed two tablets around each of 6 Hostas. The product claims to repel deer for one year.

You asked for feedback on this product – WELL – last night deer ate all of three, most of two and part of one of the Hostas.
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Wonderful results! A few leaves bitten off my hosta, slightly chewed, then discarded. They (probably rabbits) never tried again!

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I started “planting” the pills in the early spring as my plants started sprouting.  I used several per plant — especially on my large hostas. As you know, gardening in Big Canoe is a challenge when it comes to deer grazing, and with the daily rains, it has been almost impossible to have enough dry periods to put out Liquid Fence.  Thanks to the Repellex, I have beautiful hostas, my hydrangeas have all bloomed, and I had day lilies blooming.
I know it worked because the deer ate the plants that came up later in the spring when I just didn’t have time to treat them.  They would take one nibble from the treated plant and walk away.  The untreated plants were eaten to the ground! Next spring I will be diligent in treating everything.

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Here are pictures of my yard with no deer fence at the end of summer 2014. This was my second year to use Repellex early in the spring — granules this time. I am now a true believer. Some of my friends used it but waited until the plants were fully leafed out and didn’t have as much success.

deer results Repellex 1

deer results Repellex 2