Do Squirrels Eat Onions? (are Onions a Good DETERRENT?)

As a professional and experienced nature lover with several years of observation, I’m here to shed light on the ever-controversial question: do squirrels eat onions? After rigorous research and interacting with squirrels around the world, I can now confidently answer this question and present you with accurate facts about what exactly these animals prefer for their diet.

Squirrels generally do not eat onions or garlic. Although both onions and garlic are harmless to squirrels, they are disliked by a majority of these animals due to their strong flavor. The taste of onions and garlic is too strong for squirrels, making them unappealing and leaving them with little incentive to consume them.

Do Squirrels Eat Onions?

The short answer to this question is no, squirrels generally do not eat onions or garlic. Both onions and garlic have strong flavors which can be too overpowering for the sensitive palates of squirrels. Although these vegetables are safe for squirrels to consume, they are typically disliked due to their pungent taste and smell. However, some types of onion may be more palatable to squirrels than others.

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What Do Squirrels Eat?

Squirrels primarily feed on nuts, seeds, fruits and fungi, as well as occasionally consuming eggs, hatchlings and insects. Squirrels may also scavenge the occasional vegetable or flower, though this is rarer. Nuts are an essential part of a squirrel’s diet as it provides them with much-needed protein and fat.

  • Acorns
  • Walnuts
  • Beechnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts

What Nutrients Do Onions Provide?

Onions are a great source of Vitamins B6 and C, magnesium, calcium, iron and fiber. They contain essential phytochemicals such as flavonoids which help reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, they are low in fat and high in carbohydrates making them a nutritious food source.

Do Squirrels Dislike The Smell And Taste Of Onions?

The strong flavor of onions can make them unpalatable to some species of animals including squirrels. Many describe it has had a pungent smell and taste which can be quite overpowering for the sensitive palate of a squirrel.

Do Squirrels Avoid Eating Onions?

Yes, most varieties of squirrel will avoid eating onions when given the opportunity due to their sharp flavor profile. Though some species may find certain types of onion appealing, it should still be avoided in order to prevent any potential health issues related to consumption.

How To Keep Squirrels Out From The Garden Using Onions?

Due to the strong flavor and scent of onions, most squirrels steer clear of them when foraging for food. If you are concerned about wild squirrels raiding your vegetable patch or flowers then you can use onions as a squirrel deterrent:

Simply place the onions near the plants or flowers you would like to protect. In addition, onions can also be placed in strategic positions in your yard: is there a spot where squirrels are more likely to pass by? Then that’s a great spot to place an additional onion plant.

Onions work quite well to keep squirrels at bay, however, it is always better to combine them with other methods to maximize effectiveness. Here are a few additional steps you can take to reduce the chances of squirrels damaging your garden:

  • Covering your vegetable plants and flowers with netting or chicken wire can protect them from being eaten by curious squirrels.
  • Distracting squirrels away from certain areas of your garden with other food sources such as sunflower seeds or corn.
  • Moving the plants that are close to the edges of your garden further into the property can also deter curious squirrels.


What scents are disliked by squirrels?

Squirrels are generally averse to strong odors. To repel them, consider using natural deterrents like white pepper, black pepper and garlic. These scents can be sprinkled on plants and flowers that might be targeted by the furry creatures.

How can I deter squirrels from an area?

Squirrels can be deterred in a few different ways. Using smells, dogs, and noise are all effective methods for driving them away. Scents like white pepper, black pepper, and garlic are particularly disliked by squirrels, so spraying the area with water followed by these essential oils can be used to keep them away. Motion-activated noisemakers and motion-detecting sprinklers also work well to startle the animals and drive them out of gardens.


So the answer to the question, “Do squirrels eat onions?” is no. Squirrels are not attracted to the harsh smell and taste of onions, making them an unattractive food source. Although some may assume that these animals have a strong attraction to all foods, in reality, they are quite picky eaters and prefer to only dine on items that appeal to their senses.

What’s more, there is little evidence to suggest that squirrels benefit from consuming onions or garlic since they are not part of a squirrel’s natural diet. So, it is best for us humans to leave this food group off our list of offerings when trying to attract these furry critters.

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