Use Irish Spring to Keep Out Garden Pests

By: Diy maven May 11, 2007

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Perennials are springing up everywhere. And the herbivores are loving it. The hostas pictured above are always the first course. Around here, the biggest culprit of garden dining are deer. Don’t believe me? I took the following picture of our back yard two years ago. Apparently, we are living in the Grand Central Station for the Bambi crowd.

Garden stores sell various deer and rabbit deterrents, but most are topical treatments that have to be applied after each rain or even heavy dew and, generally, they’re expensive. Since many are based on smells (a popular one is coyote urine), it’s not surprising a non-appetizing, odoriferous, rainproof thing such as Irish Spring keeps the critters at bay.

Just cut a bar into cubes, wrap the cubes in scraps of cloth, and staple them onto stakes.

Drive the stakes in among the tantalizing vegetation. I also cut smaller bits to scatter along the ground.

Yes, the yard smells ‘refreshing’ and no, the soap doesn’t suds up during a rain. Last year, I did the stake trick at the beginning of the year, but replenished my scattered pieces once a month or so. Together, they seemed to do the trick; the deer left my plants alone.

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If you don't like Irish Spring, Ivory bar soap works just as well.

I have opossums that poop in my plant pots. That is gross! I won't eat the tomatoes or strawberry's if they have. Do you think that will stop them too?

That's what I wanted to know if Irish Spring works on ground hogs? I think that is what is eating my Asiatic Lilies I didn't even get to see some of them bloom because they ate them before they could bloom. 8^(

Thanks if it works.

Plant mint in areas you don't mind if it takes over, like around chicken coops, along a building etcerta to keep rodents out, mice, squirrels, rats etc.

you should probably research your animal pest to see if smell is an important part of their food hunting because it is the strong smell that deter deer. I don't  know if rabbit and moles are smell sensitive but I'm sure a bit of googling will help you find out. Mice apparently don't like mint. and some insects are turned off by rosemary. I notice that when my plants are being munched none of my basil or mint are ever chewed by deer. so you have to find out what theyd don't like the smell of

I'm going to guess this tactic, Irish Soap, deters bunnies as well.  Anyone try it for hungry hosta loving rabbits?  

Does IRISH SPRING work to deter ground hogs? They like my backyard...ugh!

I hung pieces of irish spring on my tomatoes after deer started chompin them. for a while I got no more chomps. I got complacent and forgot to put more irish spring on the taller new growth. Well, soon the new growth got chomped but not the lower leaves where the bars still hung. So yeah, it keeps them from chomping but it has to be very near the plant for the smell to deter. so keep it high and low.  I just hung it with yarn on various branches and on the trellis near the leaves. Also bird netting helps.

I sprinkle Irish Spring chips in with my wool blankets and garments for storage and even put it in the pockets of wool coats that are hanging in my closet. So far, so good for repelling moths.

for squirrels get a .22 rifle and shoot them like deer. they make a great meal fried up or baked to go with your fresh veggies. waste not, want not .

Is irish spring effective for  keep  squirrel out of garden as well? any suggestion?


Works for me!

Yes - please more info about rat deterrent. Will try Irish Spring under the truck hood for mice/wiring problem.  Brilliant! Thank you

There are many plants that repel deer and I KNOW it works. The gardens on the campus where are work are NEVER bothered by the deer on campus! The many gardens, including a large rose garden, are never touched by the deer. 

Irish Spring stinks.  I'd rather have chewed up hostas than a yard that smells like a brothel.  And fellow gardeners, seriously, the chemicals that are used in scented products end up in the environment and our oceans--forever.  As for rats and squirrels, I would recommend a Jack Russel terrier.  :)

Does anyone know how to get rid of squirrels?  Ground squirrels and grey tree squirrels.

The ground squirrels have so many holes it's becoming hard for me to even mow.  Then my dog makes the holes even larger trying to catch the squirrels. She's just never realized that they always have a back door, also.

The grey tree squirrels get my pecans before they even have a chance to ripen for the most part.  I know everything has to eat, but I haven't harvested one pecan in the last two years.  Because of their location, there is no way to keep the squirrels from getting in the trees, and I tried tieing the different colored plastic ribbons in as much of the tree I could reach with a ladder.  Didn't help.

I tried mothballs in the ground squirrels holes, but they just threw them back outside by the next morning.

Seven works as well!


To kill squash bugs anywhere in your garden, use 1 tablespoon of liquid regular dish soap to 1 gallon water. I use it in my sprayer, I spray them and they fall off within 1 minute dead, you can pick the squash bugs off and put them in a bucket with the mixture and it will kill them with in 4 minutes. I saw this on You Tube last year and tried it this year, works GREAT. A friend said when she lived on the farm they use to throw their dish soap out on the flowers and in the garden to kill the bugs...

I used a homemade mixture of egg, oil, milk and water and sprayed it on my tender plants. WOW. No more animals eating my plants! I do spray again after a heavy rain but it's cheap and easy and works!

Does the irish spring work to keep cat's away?

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