Smells That Squirrels Hate [For Repelling Squirrels]

Smells That Squirrels Hate

Many people face issues with squirrels as they can cause extensive damage to yards, gardens, and even homes. If so, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are several smells you can use to deter them. 

You can use the smell that squirrels hate to repel them. These smells include everyday household items such as; coffee grounds, garlic, lavender, onions, and essential oils such as peppermint. To effectively repel squirrels, you must use large amounts of these scents.

There are several ways to remove squirrels from an area, but using various scents to repel them is the least harmful method. This method does not harm the squirrels and causes them to move out of the area without any other intervention. 

So let’s explore some of the best smells to deter squirrels from your home and yard. 

Types of Smells That Squirrels Hate

We’ll discuss a variety of other smells that squirrels hate, dividing them into groups; natural repellents, commercial repellents, and home remedies.

Natural Repellents

Natural repellents can be the best and most humane method for deterring squirrels. The best part is you can find many of these everyday household items in your kitchen or garden. 

Some of the most effective natural repellents are:

  • Peppermint oil: Squirrels find the smell of peppermint oil to be overwhelming and irritating.
  • Cinnamon: The strong aroma of cinnamon can help deter squirrels from entering your space.
  • Garlic: The pungent smell of garlic can keep squirrels at bay.
  • Apple cider vinegar: The strong scent of apple cider vinegar can help drive squirrels away.
  • Rosemary: The aroma of rosemary is unpleasant to squirrels, which may prevent them from coming near your property.
  • Mint: To deter squirrels plant fresh peppermint or spearmint plants in your garden, or use essential oil. 
  • Garlic: It has a sharp, pungent smell that repels squirrels and other animals. 

None of these smells or substances will harm the animals, but they will likely repel them easily.

Commercial Repellents

commercial squirrel repellents

You can use several commercial products to repel squirrels and other animals. These often contain some of the natural ingredients mentioned above and additional chemicals that will help keep squirrels at a distance. 

Some commercially available repellents include:

  • Mothballs
  • Predator urine
  • Pepper sprays
  • Squirrel Stopper Animal Repellent
  • Whemoalus Squirrel Repellent

Some store-bought products contain harmful poisons and toxins that can kill birds and other wildlife. 

So it’s essential to read the packaging and follow the directions to ensure proper use to get the desired result you’re looking for. 

Home Remedies

Lastly, you can try some home remedies using items you might already have lying around. 

Popular options involve creating a barrier to keep squirrels away from specific areas, such as bird feeders or your garden. These methods include:

  • White vinegar:  Create a solution with water and white vinegar, and spray it around the area you want to protect.
  • Dryer Sheets: Use a fresh unused dry sheet to repel squirrels, rats, and insects. The downside is it doesn’t last long. 
  • Irish Spring soap: Shave pieces of Irish Spring soap and scatter them around the area you want to keep squirrel-free.
  • Coffee grounds: Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your garden or other squirrel-prone areas. They dislike the smell, and the grounds deter pests and enrich the soil.

By using one or more of these smell-based deterrents, you’ll successfully keep squirrels at bay and safeguard your property.

How to Use Smells to Repel Squirrels in Different Areas

Gardens and Yards

To keep squirrels away from your garden or yard, you can use a variety of scents that squirrels despise. 

One option is to create a spray using white vinegar or cider vinegar. The pungent odor effectively keeps rodents away due to its long-lasting scent.

You can also use pure rosemary oil to repel squirrels. Add 50-100 drops to a quart of water, shake well, and spray on fences, pots, and raised beds. 

Another option is to simmer 1 quart of water with 1 cup of dry rosemary for about half an hour and spray the solution around your garden area.

Attics and Crawl Spaces

Peppermint oil, cinnamon, and chopped garlic are known to keep squirrels away from attics and crawl spaces. 

To utilize peppermint oil, soak cotton balls in the oil and place them in strategic areas of your attic or crawl space. Replace the cotton balls every few weeks as the scent fades.

For cinnamon and chopped garlic, sprinkle them around the entrance points or along the paths commonly used by squirrels. Remember to refresh the spices regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

Bird Feeders

Squirrels love raiding bird feeders, but luckily, there are a few scents you can use to deter them without harming the birds.

Capsaicin, which is found in hot peppers, is a natural squirrel repellent. 

Mixing cayenne pepper with birdseed is a simple way to make it unappealing to squirrels while not affecting birds.

Another method is to spray a mixture of rosemary oil and water on the bird feeder, making it an unwelcome environment for squirrels. 

Lastly, placing dryer sheets near the bird feeder can help repel squirrels due to their strong smell.

Does Smell Work To Deter Squirrels?

Yes, using smells to deter squirrels can be an effective method, as these animals have an excellent sense of smell that they rely on to find food and identify potential dangers. 

Strong, unpleasant scents can irritate their sensitive noses, keeping them away from areas where these odors are present.

There are several natural scents squirrels dislike, including capsaicin, white vinegar, lavender, onion, garlic, rosemary, etc. 

These smells can be strategically placed or applied around your property, garden, or bird feeders to create a natural barrier against squirrels.

Here are a few ways to use these scents to repel squirrels:

  • Peppermint oil or mint plants: Apply a few drops of peppermint oil to cotton balls and place them in areas where squirrels frequent, or plant mint around your garden to deter them.
  • Capsaicin: Mix cayenne pepper or hot pepper flakes with birdseed or sprinkle it around the base of bird feeders to keep squirrels away.
  • Predator urine: Sprinkle predator urine granules (such as those from foxes or coyotes) around the perimeter of your property to create a barrier that signals danger to squirrels.

Remember to reapply these scents regularly, as their effectiveness may decrease over time or after rain. 

Always use caution and wear gloves when handling strong-smelling substances to protect your skin and avoid accidentally transferring the smell to other surfaces.

Safety Precautions When Using Repellents

When using repellents to keep squirrels away from your property, it’s crucial to prioritize safety for both you and the animals. 

Here are some precautions you should take:

  • Follow product instructions: Always read and follow the directions on any commercial squirrel repellents you purchase. This will ensure that you use the product safely and effectively. Failure to follow instructions could harm you, your family, or the squirrels.
  • Natural repellents: Opt for natural repellents like dryer sheets, Irish Spring soap, or essential oils when possible, as they are less likely to cause harm to humans or animals.
  • Keep children and pets away: If you are using any repellents, make sure they are out of reach of children or pets. Even some natural options might not be suitable for consumption or prolonged exposure.
  • Ventilation: If you’re using repellents in enclosed spaces, such as attics or basements, ensure there is proper ventilation. This is particularly important when using stronger chemicals or scented products that could cause respiratory issues.
  • Use caution with deterrents: While using more aggressive deterrents like mothballs is tempting, make sure you only use them in open spaces and as directed. These powerful substances can harm squirrels and humans if misused.

By taking these safety precautions into consideration, you’ll protect yourself, your loved ones, and the squirrels as you work to repel them from your property. 

Always remember that squirrels are a part of our ecosystem, and the goal is to encourage them to find alternative habitats, not to harm them.

Alternatives to Smells for Squirrel Control

While using smells to repel squirrels can be effective, there are other methods you can also try to keep these furry creatures at bay. 

In this section, we’ll discuss a few alternatives to smells for squirrel control.

Physical Barriers

One effective approach is to use physical barriers. For example, you can protect your plants by placing chicken wire around them, making it more difficult for squirrels to access your garden. 

Additionally, you can install squirrel guards or purchase squirrel-proof bird feeders, preventing squirrels from stealing bird seed.

Clean Your Yard

Maintaining a clean and organized garden is also crucial in deterring squirrels. Regularly rake up any fallen berries, nuts, and seeds, which may attract squirrels to your yard. 

Squirrels are also hesitant to enter areas where there’s no hiding place, so trimming overgrown shrubs and trees will make your garden less appealing to them.

Plant Greenery They Hate

Consider planting some trees or shrubs that deter these rodents. Some plants you can plant in your yard or garden are onions, garlic, lavender, and peppermint. 

These plants not only repel squirrels, but you can use them for cooking and enhancing your garden’s overall aesthetics. 

Live Traps

Lastly, consider using humane traps to capture and relocate squirrels. Be sure to check your local regulations and guidelines before using this method. And always handle these animals with care, as they can become stressed and aggressive when trapped.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can squirrels become accustomed to these smells?

Yes, squirrels can become accustomed to certain smells over time, so changing the scents you use or combining multiple scents to keep them away is essential.

Are these smells safe to use around children and pets?

Most natural smells, such as spices, vinegar, and essential oils, are generally safe to use around children and pets. However, some scents like mothballs and predator urine may pose risks. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use caution when applying these products.

Will any smell guarantee to keep squirrels away?

No single smell can guarantee to keep squirrels away, as they are adaptable creatures. However, using a combination of deterrents and keeping the area clean can increase the chances of successfully repelling squirrels.

Final Word

Several scents can effectively discourage squirrels from encroaching on your property. By leveraging their powerful sense of smell, you can create an unappealing environment for these critters.

Some of the most effective squirrel-repelling scents include peppermint, cayenne pepper, and ammonia. Other options, such as garlic and predator urine, can keep squirrels at bay.

Experiment with these various smells and find what works best for your situation. Doing so protects your garden, bird feeders, and other outdoor areas from squirrel damage. 

Just remember to reapply these scents periodically to maintain their effectiveness.

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