Do Deer Eat Pumpkins? How To Protect Your Crop?

Do Deer Eat Pumpkins?

Deer love eating pumpkins, and their beans alongside them. They also like eating lettuce, squash, strawberries and peas which are some of deer’s favorite foods when it comes to homegrown fruits. 

However nobody wants their garden to be a dining place for wild animals like deer, especially their pumpkins.

So how do you keep your pumpkins safe from deer?

Let us find  out everything you need to know about keeping deer away from your garden in this article.

Do Pumpkins Attract Deer?

While deer love eating pumpkin it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will attract them. Whether pumpkins are going to attract deer or not depends on the food available to deer in that area, since pumpkins are not they first food choice. 

Are Pumpkin Deer Resistant?

Deer seem to like eating melons, but they don’t really like melon plants. Fuzzy and prickly plants is known to be less appealing to deer. There are also other plants toxic to deer: rhubarb and cucumber.

Agricultural Fences

Fencing is a popular way of keeping animals away from your garden, especially the wild ones. This method has proven to be really effective for the farmers against most wild animals. 

However, fencing in some areas can prohibited and there are certain types of fences not allowed on different places. So it’s important to check on laws and regulations depending on where you live before deciding what type of fencing are u going to set up.

An important part of the fencing is the quality and structure of it. If built right and with a good quality fences can last up to 30 years. Farmers are traditionally known to use wire fences.

Wire fences are made of metal wires laced together forming a physical barrier. The best part about wire fences is that they very effective, they are known to last long, and require very little maintenance. But that comes at a cost since they are also high priced and only recommended for high value crops.

Natural Repellents

There are also other ways which farmers prefer using when it comes to defending of crop from deer, such as natural resources.

Smoke – smoke can be very effective when it comes to repelling deer, farmers use this way usually by burning elephant horns. 

Fish and garlic – it is no surprise that deer have a very strong sense of smell, therefore strong smells like fish and garlic tend to keep deer at bay.

Beehive fencing – Crop can also be targeted by elephants. Beehive fences can be used to deter elephants since they are known to have a fear in bees. This is a very good way to also add another income.

Chili peppers – Another effective way to repel wild animals from damaging your crop is planting chili peppers, since it can be very successful and also you can add some extra income from growing peppers as well. 

Lavender, soybean, peas, and beans are also really good repellents and be can be an added source of income.

Egg-based repellent – Deer don’t like the smell of eggs, therefore you can easily make a homemade repellent out of eggs. Mixed with cooking oil, milk and water an egg spray repellent can be very useful and low costing.

Biophysical barriers – They are similar to traditional fences, but they are made of easily renewed material which often comes at a very low cost.

However the effectiveness and the longevity is obviously lower than the wire fences.

This method is usually used from lower class farmers or sometimes for low value crop. Bamboo sticks are often used for this method.


  • The best way to repel deer from your garden are mostly the traditional ones which have always been effective such as fences and various different methods.
  • Deer will most likely eat anything they find in your garden which is why you should always take action before it happens.
  • It is important to use non-poisonous methods and not harm deers since they are known to be peaceful animals.


As much as we like deers and think they are amazingly beautiful creatures, it is a proven fact they can be very dangerous to plants and pumpkins as well. By listening to these advices your pumpkins will be much safer, and the only one who is gonna get to taste them is gonna be you.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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