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What Do Squirrels Hate The Most? (How To Keep Them Away)

I have studied squirrels for many years, learning their behaviors and habits in different environments. Through my research and observations, I have come to understand that certain animals are a threat to squirrels—namely foxes, snakes, birds of prey, cats, and dogs. Therefore, it is important to know the strategies needed to keep these predators away so that we can help protect our beloved squirrels. In this post, I will discuss what do squirrels hate most and provide simple but effective strategies for keeping them safe.

Squirrels are small mammals with a strong dislike for their natural predators, such as foxes, snakes and birds of prey, particularly owls. As small, vulnerable creatures that rely largely on speed and agility to evade danger, squirrels will go to great lengths to avoid contact with their perceived predators. Cats and dogs that enjoy hunting may also be avoided by squirrels due to their association with traditional predators.

What Do Squirrels Hate the Most?

From their natural predators to strong odors and spices, there are a number of elements that squirrels may find uncomfortable or even downright unpleasant. Knowing what squirrels hate can help you pinpoint the best strategies for keeping them away from your home, garden, and other areas.

First and foremost is the presence of their natural predators. Owls, foxes, snakes, and birds of prey (particularly owls) are among some of the traditional enemies of squirrels. If you have any chance of luring these animals to your property in order to deter the squirrel population, it can be much more effective than spraying repellents or setting traps.

Hot Pepper

Capsaicin-containing products like hot pepper sprays are some of the most commonly used components in squirrel control repellents. For example, many commercial pet deterrent sprays contain capsaicin to repel small animals like squirrels.

Typically, hot pepper sprays are applied directly as a liquid spray on plants and flower pots as well as around doors, windows or entry points that cats and other animals might use to gain access. If you don’t want to use a commercial product, you can also make your own hot pepper spray by combining chopped peppers with water or rubbing alcohol.

Garlic Sprays

Another great strategy for controlling pesky critters like squirrels is to use garlic sprays. Garlic has a strong scent that most animals cannot stand (including ourselves!). Simply combine chopped garlic with sugar and salt in a mixture and then allow this solution to sit for several hours before spraying it onto fences or plant stands where squirrels might otherwise dine.

Garlic powder is also an effective way to keep unwanted intruders out and can be sprinkled around your yard in areas where they may venture. Be sure to reapply this substance regularly in order to maintain its potency.

Apple Cider Vinegar Spray

The distinctively tart aroma of apple cider vinegar is known to ward off small critters like squirrels. To keep these little scoundrels away, you can purchase a big bottle of ACV for a reasonable cost at the grocery store or online. Spritz it directly onto your plants and flower pots, and the powerful scent will make any pesky rodent stop in its tracks.

For particularly persistent cases of nuisance critters, combine equal measures of ACV with castor oil into a spray bottle for an added kick. Be sure to shake up the mixture every time before spraying, as the oil tends to separate from the vinegar over time.

Cider Vinegar

If you’ve been dealing with squirrely visitors inside your home instead of outside, then cider vinegar might be just what you need. The smoky taste and aroma associated with this type of vinegar inherently deters small rodents – making it perfect for strategically spraying on floors or appliances within your household.

Spicy Smells

Unsurprisingly, one thing most furry pests dislike is spicy smells. Capsaicin – which is found in chili peppers – irritates our noses resulting in us scrunching up our nose bridges, sweating and ultimately tearing up…but unfortunately for us humans it’s something our tiny adversaries cannot stand either!

This means any sort of hot sauce concoctions made with chili peppers should be effective at keeping those shifty little critters away! However, beware; once you do choose this tactic simply dabbing it along ledges isn’t enough – find creative ways such as using cotton buds soaked in chili juice and spreading that around strategic points within your house/garden perimeters.


Using mothballs to keep pests away might sound like a good idea, but it is far from ideal given the strong and unpleasant smell it emits. Also, precaution must be taken when disposing of them as the naphthalene in them can be hazardous if released into the air. Lastly, such measures may be ineffective against certain bugs such as squirrels – who are capable climbers!

Therefore instead opt for creating solutions consisting mainly of mothballs such as sprinkling bits between leaves of plants bushes etc.. rather than dispersing whole balls throughout open spaces; This increases concentration within target areas while lessening chances of permeating air quality significantly (therefore reducing health risks).

Skunk-Like Smells

Skunks have a gland located under their tail which when triggered releases an oily liquid composed mainly of sulphuric compounds- Giving off an unmistakable odor impossible not to recognize! This is why many people tend shirk away from skunks despite them being non aggressive animals; So now imagine how undesirable this odor would become for smaller creatures such as Squirrels who rely heavily on their sense of smell? Chances are they’ll prefer avoiding any area which carries even slight traces similar scent released by skunks!

If you’ve been dealing with annoying domestic pests like squirrels constantly getting into places they don’t belong, a potential solution may be to create mixtures of citronella wax and other types of waxes (wood etc.), melted and cooled down then hardened into shapes such as eggs. These can be placed in areas that pests access frequently, releasing a scent deterring them from entering the previously invaded area.

Animal Urine

There’s no denying animal urine has proved challenging facing troublesome infestations experienced at households worldwide from rats mice’ cats dogs etc.. But surprisingly enough even Squirrels seem respond well hypothetical solutions mimicking scents produced mammalian excretions- namely deer & fox urine! Producing mixtures based on carefully measured ingredients such as sodium chloride garlic powder henna seed meal yeast clove

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds not only keep squirrels away, but they also help deter other pesky critters as well. Whether you are having trouble with chipmunks or large deer, using coffee grounds is a good first step to take in your effort to protect your yard.

Including coffee grounds in your garden will act as a natural repellent against different pests. The smell of the ground coffee beans can be enough to drive off most small mammals and birds. Not to mention, it provides excellent nourishment for earthworms. When used as mulch, it’s great for retaining water and regulating temperature in the soil.

Vegetable Oil and Cayenne Pepper Mixture

Cayenne pepper is an extremely effective deterrent against squirrels. A potent smell coupled with the hot taste can easily discourage them from entering the area or eating away at bird seed. You can sprinkle some cayenne pepper over the bird seed which will make it unpalatable for them.

Another way to use cayenne pepper when dealing with squirrels is by mixing it with vegetable oil. This combination produces a strong scent that deters animals from digging holes and raiding your garden beds.

Preventing Entry into the Home and Garden

Covers, Fencing, and Netting

The Best Squirrel-Proof Barriers

Keeping rodents out of your home requires erecting secure barriers that prevent access from outside. When looking for these materials, opt for ones specifically designed to keep rats and squirrels out as regular fencing may not be enough insulation if a gap exists between each piece of steel.

You should also consider burying some netting around the edge of the fence or decking so that rodents don’t dig underneath it; alternatively, you could add sand or rocks on top of the decking too. Plastic wrap over pots is also recommended – poke a few openings within this wrap and pour liquid over it; this gleaming reflection scares away squirrels.

Move Bird Feeders

Bird feeders become an attractive spot for wild creatures once they know it’s there – including squirrels. To reduce their visitations, try relocating the bird feeder or hanging it higher than usual so that they can’t reach it.

Plant a Variety of Squirrel-Proof Flowers

Flowers like petunias, daisies, daffodils and crocus all have a strong pungent odor that discourages animals from visiting your area in excessive amounts due to their overall discomfort-inducing scent and colour spectrum.

Use Strong Odors

Squirrels are drawn to food sources, but fortunately, there are ways to keep them away. One of the most effective tactics is to use strong odors to repel them. Capsaicin-containing sprays or squirrels-eat-black-oil-sunflower-seeds/”>oils, vinegar, and peppermint oil all work well for this purpose.

Research shows that applying apple cider vinegar spray to plants and flower pots can deter squirrels from entering your property. Additionally, peppermint oil has been shown to be a natural repellent to them. To prevent entry into homes, metal mesh should be put up over eaves, as it can effectively act as a barrier against pesky critters.

Scare Them Away

The Best Squirrel Repellent

Scare them away with some common items found around the house! Capsaicin-containing sprays or oils, vinegar, and peppermint oil can all be used as natural squirrel repellents. Additionally, placing a pet in the yard or near vulnerable areas can act as an effective deterrent. Additionally, keeping bird seed off of your property and sealing up eaves with metal mesh can help keep these furry critters at bay.

Spray Squirrel Deterrents

Squirrels don’t like anything that smells too strong or is too spicy. Spraying capsaicin-containing oil, vinegar, or peppermint oil can be an effective way to deter them from entering your home. Research has shown that applying apple cider vinegar spray to plants and flower pots can also work as a deterrent. Peppermint oil is another natural repellent to squirrels.

Remove Sources of Food & Water

Squirrels are drawn to our gardens, yards and homes for many reasons, with food and water acting as one of the biggest attractions. If you’re looking for a way to rid your home of pesky squirrels, one of the first steps to take is to eliminate any sources of food or water that may be present.

Remove bird feeders from your yard and clean up spilled bird seed; cover gardens with a mesh fence or netting so deer and other animals can’t access the crops; and make sure outdoor garbage cans have secure lids. By doing these simple actions, you can make your property less inviting to critters like squirrels.

Establish an Unwelcoming Environment for the Squirrels

In order to keep squirrels away, it’s important to create a living environment in which they don’t feel welcome. To do this, start by cleaning up any potential nest sites such as piles of wood, overgrown bushes, or unsecured trash cans. These places may all provide shelter for squirrels if left undisturbed, so making them inaccessible will help. Additionally, try planting flowers that naturally deter squirrels like lavender or calendula around your garden.

Clean Up Any and All Attractive Spaces

Want to keep pesky squirrels away from your property? Start by creating an environment that is hostile to them. Clean up any and all attractive spaces where they may want to set up shop. Remove any sources of food, including birdseed, and get rid of fallen fruits or nuts in the yard. Take a close look at trees to make sure that branches aren’t overhanging or providing pathways into your home.

Create Barriers (Gates, Doors, etc.)

In addition to cleaning up attractive spaces that could provide shelter to squirrels, you can also create physical barriers between them and your home or garden. Install metal mesh over eaves or any other openings near entry points into your house as this will stop them from easily entering through open windows or doors. Place gates on fences leading into areas with particularly large concentrations of food sources like fruit trees or berry bushes — this will serve as an effective deterrent for sneaking in.

The Best Method to Keep Squirrels Away

Ultimately, aside from the preventative measures outlined above, there are some natural remedies that can help keep squirrels away for good. Coffee grounds are primarily used as a way to repel squirrels since the smell of coffee is unbearable and irritating to their sensitive noses. Sprinkling coffee grounds around flower beds and garden areas can help discourage them from return visits.

Another option is creating a DIY oil repellent spray by mixing together vegetable oil and cayenne pepper and spraying around your garden or property line — the strong smells naturally repel critters like squirrels. Finally, implementing certain smells such as vinegar-based sprays or mothballs in areas where squirrel activity has been noted is a good way to make sure they stay far away.


How can I best keep squirrels away?

Squirrels can be a nuisance, but there are ways to deter them from your outdoor area. Ammonia-soaked cotton balls, ultrasonic repellents and sprinkling chili or cayenne pepper are all effective methods of keeping squirrels at bay. You can also set up barriers such as fences or chimney caps, store food sources securely and install motion activated sprinklers to prevent squirrels from entering your garden.

What is the best way to keep squirrels away?

If you are looking for an effective way to deter squirrels, there are some steps you can take. Squirrels dislike loud noises, so installing a device that emits sound can be a great deterrent. Additionally, smelly odors such as vinegar or garlic can be placed in areas where squirrels nest or feed. For a more permanent solution, create a barrier by covering the area with fine mesh or hardware cloth. Finally, trim any tree branches near your home, as they provide squirrels with access to roofs and other areas.

How can I eliminate troublesome squirrels?

Having pesky squirrels in your garden or lawn can be annoying. To get rid of them, you can use humane strategies including:

  • Installing mesh fencing around your property to prevent access.
  • Trimming trees and shrubs that they often use as pathways.
  • Using motion-operated sprinklers; the sudden noise and motion scares them away.
  • Deterring them with taste repellents like hot pepper-based solutions.

What do squirrels strongly dislike?

Squirrels are not fans of anything spicy or bitter, so if you want to keep them away, there are a few things you can do. To start, use strong-smelled deterrents like garlic, peppermint oil and ammonia to repel the squirrels. Additionally, spread citrus peels or plant peppermint or mustard plants near prone entrances to discourage them.

Do mothballs keep squirrels and chipmunks away?

Mothballs are not effective in deterring squirrels and chipmunks from gardens and lawns. While they may provide a short-term solution, they cannot provide lasting protection. A better option would be to install exclusion barriers such as fencing or netting around the property or fix wildlife-proof vents on your home. Additionally, making sure that food sources are properly managed can help prevent these animals from finding a hospitable living space near you.


It is clear that squirrels will do whatever it takes to avoid their traditional predators and other threats. To protect your garden or property from these creatures, the most important thing you can do is to prevent access to food sources and remove any potential hiding places. Additionally, by understanding what do squirrels hate the most, you can take proactive measures to ensure the safety of both humans and animals in your vicinity.

From foxes and snakes to cats and dogs, there are many things that squirrels may find frightening or off-putting. By being aware of this fact and minimizing contact with their perceived enemies, you can provide a safe environment for both yourself and these little critters. Remember, understanding what do squirrels hate the most is key to keeping them away from your home or property.

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