Deer and Pest Deterrent Solution

This isn’t the cheapest solution but I’m using it and have video that shows it’s working, day and night. I just planted some rye grass in the front to prevent soil erosion until I can plant buffalo and some other native grasses in the spring. (I live in Jonestown Texas). I was a buffet for the deer and I could only scare them off when I was home and awake. The Deers ate $2k of plants when I was putting in the lawn and I wish I had this setup then.

You’ll need to be a little savvy but I’m using Netgear’s Arlo 720HD camera’s (cheaper than the new version) and the IFTTT application to connect the motion sensing of the camera’s to the particular zone I want to fire off when the motion is detected. The Arlo’s now with with IFTTT and can do cute stuff like turn a light on when motion is sense, blah blah and the Rachio also works with IFTTT and you an tell it to turn on This zone for say 1 minute.

I have a large front yard divided into 4 zones. The Cameras are weather proof and the IR works well and sees motion going across the field of view about 15-20 feet. Camera’s are wireless and have no wires to run. I just needed to put my base station in a window close to the cameras since it’s not the best at distance and going through stone an stucco with wire mess in it. I small property would work better.

Put the Arlo cameras in sprinkler zones / problem areas so you can tell IFTTT if it sees motion, to fire off zone X for 1+ minutes. I had an issue where the sprinkler was spraying the camera enough that is was setting off the motion and it made a continues loop. I fixed that buy installing them higher and not in a direct shot. Don’t point at any active areas like streets and sidewalks or you’ll have them going off at every car or person walking by. They can’t cover all your yard and only a 20 foot section but what I’ve figured out was where they were coming from and mounted the cameras in their path. I also found one minute to be sufficient to scare them away. I didn’t want a huge water bill and was glad to see the IFTTT/Rachio connection had 1 minute as an option. Plus, if you see the video’s, you’ll see that the deer hear the hissing from the heads as the zones start and with mine, by the time the water makes it to the head the time they’re running is less than 45 seconds. Love watching the deer run for their lives in the video. If I could get them to stop kicking up the grass as they take off would be a bonus but not a show stopper.

After your have your Arlo app setup and detecting motion where you want them, fire up the IFTTT app and connect it to your Rachio and Arlo’s by giving it your login and passwords for them both. You’ll create an “Applet” for each camera you have monitoring. Create a new “Applet” and add the the Arlo camera that you want setup to monitor motion. You’ll see the name of the camera. Hit Next and setup the applet to connect to your Rachio and select the zone name and how many minute’s you wanted to run it. Save and turn it on. I”m not an expert at IFTTT but it seems to not have to many other options but only IF That happens in that widget, THEN do that in this other widget.

Sorry if someone posted this as an option but I looked before contributing and didn’t see anyone suggest this route. Also, if you have question’s on the solution or want me to send you a video or pictures of the setup, let me know. OR if there is a way to post here let me know and I’ll look for a way too.

Also separate from the automated pest control using the Rachio, part of my yard is protected Havahart’s Motion Activated Sprinkler that detects me from about 100 ft away and sounds like a machine gun and even surprises me when I’m not suspecting it. I also have the more expensive Orbit’s with the option to connect other sprinklers that would activate when the orbit does but the water drains out of the added one unless you have it uphill of the orbit. The but noise it makes isn’t as loud as the Havahart.

Figured out how to add a video in the link text below. I have the free cloud storage and this link will stop working in seven day from today, 1-4-17.

System Scaring Two Deer Off - Video



@Johnnyweb This is so great I had to show the whole team :joy: Such a creative and useful way to use the IFTTT integration, and I guess the $2k in lost plants was a good motivator too! I would love to see some pictures of your setup- you can upload them using this button at the top of the text box when typing your post:

So cool, love seeing stuff like this. Thank you for sharing!

McKynzee :rachio:


Thanks for sharing! Wouldn’t want to be a deer in your neighborhood :wink:

This is an amazing combination of technology!


Love it! Do you know if the motion sensors are sensitive enough to detect up rabbits?


@azdavidr I was waiting for someone to bring up rabbits LOL

@mckynzee Well of course it would be @azdavidr :wink:

We might need a whole new category for “Critter Deterrents”.

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Apparently whatever variant of Bermuda that I have planted has the distinct flavor of carrots.


I’d love to see this, but the link has expired.

Thank you for this tip! If you pair IFTTT with Stringify, you can do even more specific things. The deer near my suburb only come out at night, so I set up a Stringify routine that:

(1) Stringify only allows the sprinklers to run like this between 10pm and 3am
(2) IFTTT configures Rachio to run only 1 minute
(3) Stringify starts a timer and shuts off the water in 30 seconds! (Hoping to save some water)

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I have deer and other animals or people on my lawn during the day. I’m not sure if you could limit to 30 seconds since my Rachio has a minimum on 1 min duration for s zone and not 30 secs. Plus 1min is good for me.


Johnnyweb: if you use Stringify, it allows you to set timers to then trigger Rachio to stop sprinklers after a certain amount of time (overriding the 1min minimum). It is slightly complicated and requires some programming-like skills, but it is possible to do!

Thanks for the info but there is now a cheaper and easier way to do it. If you have a Rachio controller and a Samsung Hub, you can use the Zooz outdoor motion detectors to trigger sprinklers with motion detection. Motion detectors are $25 bucks each on Amazon and can be battery powered or plugged in via a USB adapter.

I bought the detectors, added them to my Smartthings Hub and created an automation script that triggers a quick run on one zone for 1 minute. Smartthings even allows you to disable the script when you don’t need it (liked during the day).

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Has anyone implemented this with a Nest Cam and IFTTT?
If so, I am having some challenges around how to set the applets up.
I want deer and other wildlife (jackrabbits, wild turkeys, etc) to trigger the sprinklers, but not us. I was thinking of somehow leveraging the home/away mode, but am unsure how to do so.

Any recommendation?


Any possibility you could share your config? Trying to get this to work with Zooz outdoor motion zensor and SmartThings Smart Lighting app without success. Thanks

I just signed in to my account and saw your request. Do you still need info or did you figure it out? If you need more info, email me at


I have done some things with IFTTT, but do not have a Nest Cam.

Yes thanks I figured it out.

I have been working with the IFTTT and Nest Cam integration for a few months now and must admit that it’s useless. It takes so much time for Rachio to be triggered that the deer have completed decimating everything and moved on.
Does anyone have a solution to speed up the trigger so it’s more instantaneous?

How do you set rachio to run for 1 minute?
I have setup a Zooz sensor to trigger my zone on motion which works fine, but it always run for 10 minutes and I can’t figure out how to set it to run 1 minute only?

@Jbegic: What do you use to trigger for 10 minutes? Are you using IFTTT, a Google Assistant routine, or something else? The reason I ask is because the things I have tried (definitely have not tried everything since do not have everything) allows for specifying the time. I just re-read the following post and it appears @jjyahoo has more information.