Deer Repellents: Will They Work on Moose?

Colorado Rocky Mountains - Moose in the Wild

If you have a problem with moose wandering onto your property or picking at your garden, you might be thinking that deer repellent will keep them away. After all, moose and deer are pretty similar. So why wouldn’t deer repellent work?

Depending on the strength of the repellent, deer repellent may or may not work in repelling moose. Moose-specific repellents are usually more effective than deer repellents because there is a large size difference between deer and moose.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of deer repellents and how they work. We’ll also get into whether or not they work on moose and other ways to repel these immense creatures.

Key Takeaways:

  • Not all deer repellents will work on moose, but some are effective at keeping moose at bay.
  • Most commercial-grade deer repellents are also rated to repel moose, but results may vary
  • Combining deer repellents with other deterrent methods will help keep deer and moose out of the yard and garden.

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The Difference Between Deer And Moose

If not all deer repellents work on moose, then it begs the question: what’s the difference between a deer and a moose?

All Moose Are Deer, But Not All Deer Are Moose

When you think of ‘deer,’ you probably picture a white-tailed deer. It’s the most common species of deer in the United States. However, there are 43 species of deer, one of which is the moose.

In simplified terms, moose are a type of deer (Cervidae), just like how tigers and cheetahs are a type of cat (Felidae), or wolves and coyotes are a type of dog (Canidae). Moose, along with white-tailed deer, fallow deer, elk, reindeer, and plenty of others, are all under the same family umbrella.

Moose And Deer Share Similar Characteristics

When compared to the default ‘deer’ – white-tailed deer – moose are pretty similar:

  • Antlers: Male moose and white-tailed deer both grow antlers in the spring and shed them in the winter.
  • Hooves: Moose and white-tailed deer both have hooves and long, thin legs that help them traverse snow and rocky terrain.
  • Tail: White-tailed deer and moose have small tails, although the white-tailed is a bit more flashy!
  • Diet: White-tails and moose consume a similar diet of mostly herbivorous foods. However, when food is scarce, both will consume insects and even other animals.

All in all, besides the massive size difference, white-tailed deer and moose are very similar creatures.

The Main Differences Between Moose And Deer

Remember, when we say ‘deer’ we’re really just referring to the family Cervidae. There are a few main differences between moose and other deer:

CharacteristicMooseWhite-tail DeerElkReindeerMule Deer
SizeLargestMediumLargeMediumMedium
ColorDark brownReddish-brownLight brownLight brownGray-brown
DietHerbivorousHerbivorousHerbivorousHerbivorousHerbivorous
Preferred HabitatForests, marshesForests, fieldsForests, plainsTundra, forestsForests, fields
RegionsNorth America, Europe, AsiaNorth America, Central AmericaNorth America, Europe, AsiaArctic, Scandinavia, North AmericaNorth America, Europe, Asia

A moose’s long legs have made them well-adapted to wetlands, which is where you’ll often find these majestic creatures. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry notes that moose will not be found in hot climates with sustained temperatures above 75F.

What Will Repel Deer From The Yard?

white-tailed deer in backyard infront of brick building

Many things repel deer. These animals are naturally skittish around people and new objects, so there’s a lot you can use to repel them from your yard and home. If you find one of these critters wandering around your property, you can read about the things to do if you find a deer in your yard here.

Strong Scents

Deer and moose use their sense of smell to locate food and to smell for predators. When a strong smell is in the environment, they have a hard time locating food and sensing potential predators, so they aren’t likely to stick around.

Some smells that can repel deer include:

  • Strong-scented dryer sheets
  • Vinegar
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Strong-scented soap
  • Epsom Salts
  • Peppermint

Strong scents can also mean the presence of a commercial deer repellent, some of which use strong smells to repel deer. Take a look at our article on the scents that deer hate for a complete list of smells that’ll drive these critters away!

Loud Noises And Lights

Deer will be frightened by loud noises or lights. Most wild animals avoid both of these things because they signal an approaching predator. Check out our guide on the sounds and noises that’ll scare deer away for more in-depth information.

You can easily install a motion-activated light like the Lycoming Deterrent Device. Lights like these should be attached to a fence or tree at about the height of the animal you’re targeting. For deer, this should be about four feet. For moose, around five and a half feet.

Noises like wind chimes, tin pie cans, pots and pans, and even the sound of your voice may be able to keep deer away. However, using your voice might not be the best idea with moose. You can read more about the reasons why you shouldn’t yell at a moose here.

Types Of Deer Repellents And Whether They Work On Moose

Red Deer stag at sunrise.

There are many different brands of deer repellents out there. Some us powerful scents to repel deer while others use dried blood or specific chemicals that can ward off door.

Sprays Work On Deer And Moose

If you prefer to use a spray, Harris Deer Repellent is a great option. While you can use it on fences, it’s primarily intended to protect plants that deer like to nibble on.

Simply spray it on the flowers you’re worried about being eaten. Since the contents of the spray are organic, there’s no need to worry about damaging the plants. You can even spray it on your vegetables!

Does it work for moose? Yes, The Harris Deer Repellent is rated to use on moose!

Repellent Pouches May Not Repel Moose But Will Repel Deer

If you’d rather not use sprays, you can keep the repellent enclosed in a little pouch like these Predator Guard Deer Repel Repellent Pouches. These contain the powerful ingredients of peppermint, garlic, and rosemary to keep pesky deer away.

Does it work for moose? These pouches may not be as effective on moose unless they are doubled up. The pouches last for a long time, up to 12 months, and are rain-resistant. The only disadvantage is that they could be knocked over during a storm or damaged if the wind is heavy.

Granules Help Repel Moose & Deer

Granules are another deer-repellent option. They’re easy to use because you just shake the granules out of the container in the areas you want to protect from deer and moose.

Plantskydd Animal Repellent granules use dried blood to ward animals off. It may sound gross, but the smell of blood appeals to an animal’s sense of fear, making them leave the area. This repellent is most effective on plants under 2ft high or for the protection of bulbs.

Does it work on moose? Yes, Plantskydd is rated to repel moose.

Blood Meal Fertilizers Repel Deer And Moose

If deer and moose are targeting your lovely flowers or hard-earned garden, you might be able to use certain types of fertilizers to repel them.

Down to Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer Mix is similar to Plantskydd in that it uses blood to repel deer and moose. Specifically, it uses a blood meal with an NPK ratio of 12-0-0, making it high in nitrogen. This makes it a great choice for heavy feeders like corn, spinach, broccoli, and other leafy greens.

Does it work on moose? Down to Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer does work on moose.

Human Or Pet Hair May Not Repel Deer Or Moose

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the presence of pet hair, or even your own hair, will deter deer from certain areas. While there is no scientific evidence backing this up, it has been used by people with some success.

Does it work on moose? Human and pet hair will not work to deter moose.

Irish Spring Soap Repels Deer But Not Moose

One surprisingly successful deer repellent for the yard and garden is Irish Spring Soap. When the bar is diced up into small squares or shaved around the garden, it seems to deter deer from the area.

An article from the Univesity of Nebraska found that soaps with a high tallow content were more effective at reducing deer browsing than other kinds of soaps. Irish spring soap is a tallow soap, making it an effective deterrent.

Does it work on moose? Unfortunately, Irish Spring soap does not seem to deter moose as successfully as white-tailed deer.

We have a fantastic guide on the best natural deer repellents if you’d rather not use chemical sprays and repellents.

How Else Can You Repel Deer And Moose?

Bull Moose in Autumn in Wyoming

If you have deer or moose in the area, it’s best to repel them before they start causing damage. As soon as they get a taste of your garden or the fresh green shoots of your plants, they will be much harder to deter.

Build A Fence

If you have the time, the know-how, and the money, building a fence is the ultimate way to keep deer and moose out of your yard or garden. Dalen Deer X Protective Netting measures 7′ high by 100′ long.

This may not keep out a very determined moose, but it should keep out most other types of deer. Even if you don’t want to place the netting around your entire garden, you can always protect small, specific areas that are prone to moose or deer browsing.

Avoid Growing Plants That Moose Love

Moose and deer have different preferences when it comes to the plants they eat. This is because moose are typically in northern, colder regions, while deer are scattered throughout all types of ecosystems.

In general, moose prefer the following trees:

  • Birch
  • Apple
  • Aspen
  • Willow
  • Cottonwood
  • Mountain Ash
  • Maple

In terms of vegetables, moose love anything from the Brassicaceae family, such as cabbage, broccoli, radish, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Our article on how to keep deer away from your trees can give you ideas about protecting your trees from both deer and moose.

Provide Alternative Rubbing Areas

Moose and deer may wander into your yard because you have a solid tree that they can rub their antlers against after the velvet season. Providing an alternative rubbing post may lure these animals away from your precious trees.

This takes a little know-how, but you basically just put up a large wooden post such as a 6 x 6. The idea is that the wooden post will give the deer somewhere to itch their antlers instead of destroying the tree trunks in your yard.

You can read more about how to keep moose out of your yard and garden here for extra tips!

Contact A Professional

If moose are trampling all over your garden, destroying your trees, and causing general damage, it may be time to reach out to a pest control expert. They can help you identify what is attracting moose and provide attainable ways to keep them away for good.

Use our nationwide pest control finder to connect with a local professional in your area.

Wrapping Up

Moose are large, majestic, and sometimes pesky animals that can be seen in our yards and gardens from time to time. You’re most likely to see moose rummaging in your yard in the fall and winter, but damage can really happen anytime.

So, if you have some deer repellent, will it be useful against moose? In general, commercial products that are rated for deer will work on moose, but not every deer product will work against moose.

Here’s a recap of some of the deer repellents that will work on moose:

  • Harris Deer Repellent Spray
  • Plantskydd repellent granules
  • Blood meal fertilizers

If you can’t find a repellent that works, try using other methods, like building a fence or avoiding a moose’s favorite foods. If all else fails, a pest control specialist can help you devise a plan to keep moose, deer, and other critters away for good.

References

Belovsky, Gary E. “Diet optimization in a generalist herbivore: the moose.” Theoretical population biology 14.1 (1978): 105-134.

Dussault, C., Ouellet, J. P., Courtois, R., Huot, J., Breton, L., & Jolicoeur, H. (2005). Linking moose habitat selection to limiting factors. Ecography28(5), 619-628.

Kimball, Bruce A., et al. “Deer responses to repellent stimuli.” Journal of Chemical Ecology 35.12 (2009): 1461-1470.

Osko, T. J., Hiltz, M. N., Hudson, R. J., & Wasel, S. M. (2004). Moose habitat preferences in response to changing availability. The Journal of Wildlife Management68(3), 576-584. 

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