Milorganite For Deer Control

What is Milorganite?

Milorganite is a processed sewage sludge that originates from Milwaukee. Sewage sledges are residue of organic matter generated as a byproduct of waste water treatment.  After waste water treatment, the water is removed and the waste is heated and dried, then made into small granules.  The heating process kills viral and bacterial pathogens.

The trade name Milorganite R was derived from MILwaukee ORGAnic NITroEn.  This treated sludge is sold as a natural fertilizer with a formulation of 6-2-0 (N-P-K).

Will Milorganite Keep Deer Away?

A Cornell Extension agent in New York tested Milorganite on ornamentals that deer liked to eat and found it effective.  His plots included yews,tulips, and hostas. His research in New York found that broadcasting this fertilizer at 5 pounds/100 sq feet, applied every two weeks reduced deer damage in the summer when alternative foods were available to deer.  It was not proven to be effective in the winter when other food sources were not available. 

In another research test, tied in sachets reduced damage to Yew shrubs.

At Berry College, in Georgia, Milorganite was found to reduce damage to Chrysanthemums in two different locations.  Milorganite was applied overhead at 4 oz. per plant. In this study Milorganite did not completely eliminate deer damage, but it did greatly reduce it. They suggest reapplying the product after the first sign of damage.

In another study in Georgia, they research the effect of Milorganite to repel deer from food plots.  did reduce damage to soybean crops.

On our deer repellent recipes page of this site Since its development in 1926 as the first pelleted fertilizer in the United States, Milorganite has sold over 9,000,000,000 pounds (4.1×109 kg) of recycled waste. As of 2012, the plant produced about 45,000 tons from heat-dried microbes per year. In combining concerns for the environment and social justice, while successfully navigating the fluctuations and vagaries of the changing waste stream to deliver an important product through recycling, Readers comments submitted about Milorganite you can read reviews from other readers that recommend. Other references on the internet suggest it works well in Washington DC to save pansies and hostas.

If Milorganite isn't available in your area, it can be shipped from a supplier to your door anywhere in the US.

has been shown to work well, but would be much better combined with a product like one of the mechanical deer controller like The Scarecrow or Wireless Deer Fence.

The Wireless Deer Fence® is a deer training system. When a deer is attracted by the sweet smell to touch a Wireless Deer Fence® post, it receives a startling shock on its very sensitive nose or tongue. The deer thereafter strongly associates the sweet smell of the post with the painful shock, and it is instantly and permanently trained to keep out of your yard and garden! The Wireless Deer Fence® like a baited electric fence, but without any wires.

For Other Natural Deer Repellents - Go to

Natural Deer Repellent Page

Motion Detector Deer Repellent

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Home Gardner 
I have approximately 18000 square feet of centipede grass in my yard here in western north carolina. I used an application of Milorganite on my yard once …

I have used milorganite at the first emerging signs of growth in the spring. It really worked well as I think the deer associated my garden with a bad …

Works well on food plots Not rated yet
Two years straight deer ate an acre size plot of peas in 4 days. After applying Milorganite the second planting was hardly touched. After the plants got …

On the ground or on the plants? Not rated yet
Great testimonials about Milorganite-- I want to try it as the deer in my yard are eating even those plants labeled deer resistant. Is it better to …

Eric Salls/ Not rated yet
I don't have a story about use as I do a question about the use of milorganite fertilizer. 30+ years ago I worked at a competitor for Home Depot that …

Thirtypoint Not rated yet
When I lived in northern Wisconsin the deer were eatin the buds off my rosebushes. Once a week I would go out and sprinkle an small soup can of milorganite …

Milorganite Works Not rated yet
When I lived in Connecticut we cleared an acre to build a house right in the middle of a deer path - first year they stripped my tulips, white pine, etc. …

RPB Not rated yet
Several years ago we purchased some bushes from a local nursery and the nursery suggested we use milorganite to keep deer from eating our bushes and flowers. …

Deer do not like, but neither do some of the plants Not rated yet
I have used Milorganite (about 12 bags this spring) but I have to say that my plants burned terribly, especially things like roses if I left any of the …

It works well in commercial orchards Not rated yet
We have a commercial orchard and we can't spray around the fruit. Milorganite works well as a repellent that is safe for us to use.

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