10 Scents That Squirrels Hate (and How to Use Them)

10 Scents That Squirrels Hate (and How to Use Them)
April 29, 2022
10 Scents That Squirrels Hate (and How to Use Them)

Deter Your Backyard Nuisance With These 10 Scents That Squirrels Hate

They may look adorable when they're prancing around your yard, but squirrels can be a nuisance and cause a shocking amount of damage to homes and businesses alike. There are many scents that repel squirrels, and in this blog post, we will discuss 10 of them. We will also discuss where to use them and some products that can help if the natural methods don't work. So keep reading to learn more about how to get rid of squirrels!

A Crash Course On Squirrel Behavior And Their Food Sources

Before we get into the scents that squirrels hate, let's briefly discuss their behavior. Squirrels are active during the day and sleep at night. They live in trees and nests made of leaves, which they build in the forks of branches. During the winter months, they will often build these nests inside attics or other places to stay warm.

Squirrels are omnivores, meaning their diet consists of both plants and animals. Their diet changes depending on the season. In spring and summer, they eat insects, nuts, and fruits primarily; in fall, they eat mainly nuts; and in winter, they eat mostly tree bark. So if you have fruit or nut trees in your yard, you may likely be attracting squirrels.

Squirrels are notorious for stealing from and damaging bird feeders.

Squirrels are notorious for stealing from and damaging bird feeders.

The Damage Squirrels Can Cause And Where They Cause It

Now that we know a little bit about their behavior let's discuss the damage they can cause. Squirrels are known to gnaw on wires, which can lead to fires. They also like to chew on wood, such as siding, which can damage the structure of your home.

In addition, they will often dig through trash cans in search of food and make a mess in the process. Squirrels can nest among your insulation if they've made their way into your attic. And last but not least, their droppings can carry disease.

All of this damage may occur inside and outside of homes and businesses. They can even damage your bird feeders and destroy your vegetable garden. That's why it's essential to take action if you think you have a squirrel problem.

10 Scents That Squirrels Hate (and How To Use Them)

Now that we know more about them, we'll discuss the scents they hate!

The scents on this list are: Peppermint Oil, Capsaicin, Coffee Grounds, White Vinegar, Garlic, Cinnamon, Predator Urine, Irish Springs Soap, Dryer Sheets, and Rosemary.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a popular scent for many people because it has a refreshing smell. It's also a great way to deter squirrels! Squirrels hate the smell of peppermint oil and will stay away from areas where it is used. You can use peppermint essential oils in a number of ways - you can add it to water in a spray bottle and spray it around your property, or apply it to cotton balls and position them in areas where squirrels are active.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili powder and hot peppers, making them spicy. It's also a great way to deter squirrels! When capsaicin is applied to an area, it gives off a strong smell that squirrels hate. You can purchase capsaicin in powder or liquid form and spread it around your property.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds have a pungent smell that squirrels hate. Instead of pitching them, you can use your grounds in several ways. You can sprinkle them around your yard, in trees, or in other areas where squirrels are active.

White Vinegar

White vinegar has a strong smell and is a powerful squirrel deterrent. The easiest way to treat a squirrel-infested area is to simply pour it on active squirrel hang-outs or spray it around your property with a mix of water.

You can apply strong smelling scents like white vinegar or garlic around where they are stealing food or causing damage.

You can apply strong smelling scents like white vinegar or garlic around where they are stealing food or causing damage.

Garlic

Garlic has a strong smell that is naturally squirrel repelling. Its pungent scent makes squirrels avoid it. Garlic also has the bonus of tricking squirrels into thinking your garden is only garlic and, therefore, not worthy of eating. You can spread crushed garlic cloves around any area you want to deter squirrels.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another scent that squirrels hate. This spice has a warm, inviting smell for people, but squirrels find it repulsive. The easiest way to apply cinnamon is to sprinkle it around your property.

Predator Urine

Predator urine is another very effective method of repelling squirrels. The scent of their natural predators frightens them. For example, when squirrels smell fox urine, they will stay away from the area. You can purchase predator urine at most hunting stores.

Irish Spring Soap

Irish spring soap is a type of soap that many people use for its fresh scent. It's also an excellent way to deter squirrels! The strong smell of this soap will keep squirrels away. You can use it in a number of ways - you can rub it on areas where squirrels are active, or you can add it to water in a spray bottle and spray it around your property.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are often used to make clothes smell fresh and clean. They also work great for repelling squirrels! The strong scent of dryer sheets will keep squirrels away. You can place them around your property or add them to a bag and hang them in areas where squirrels are active.

Rosemary

Rosemary is an herb with many uses, both culinary and medicinal. The strong scent of rosemary will keep squirrels away. You can use it in several ways - you can scatter it around your yard or grind it up finely and add it to water in a spray bottle.

Bonus Scents Squirrels Hate

White Pepper

You can grind some white pepper upon any area your squirrels are giving you problems because they dislike this scent. This is similar to how they don't like garlic or capsaicin's strong, spicy aromas.

Black Pepper

Just like as white pepper, black pepper is a natural squirrel deterrent. You can grind up black pepper and sprinkle it around your property.

Some squirrels are so persistent you may need to use professional squirrel traps and bait.

Some squirrels are so persistent you may need to use professional squirrel traps and bait.

If These Natural Methods Don't Work, We Have Professional Products That May Work Better

Squirrels can be tricky to get rid of, but there are some excellent professional squirrel control products available.

Squirrel Traps

One of our go-to squirrel traps is the Safeguard Squirrel-Rat Live Trap. Another favorite of ours is the spring-loaded Havahart 1077 Live Animal Cage Trap. These are ideal for catching squirrels, but they can also catch rabbits, skunks, and other similarly sized animals. In order to have the squirrels enter the cages, you'll want to place squirrel bait like NB Squirrel & Rodent Paste Bait or Pro-Pest Professional Lures for Squirrels.

Squirrel Poison Baits

Unfortunately, most rodent baits will not work on squirrels, with one exception. Ditrac Ground Squirrel Bait uses Diphacinone 0.005% and is designed specifically for California ground squirrels. You can find this variety of squirrels in many western and west coast states. 

The Bottom Line On Squirrel Control

There are quite a few scents that squirrels hate. You can use these scents to naturally deter squirrels from your property. However, if these natural scents don't work, there are some professional products available. We invite you to get in touch with our team of pest control professionals if you need any assistance in selecting a squirrel control product.

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