13 Smells That Repel Squirrels From Your Yard

When it comes to controlling the presence of squirrels in our gardens and yards, oftentimes, we are left searching for practical solutions.

However, one method that has been proven quite successful is using smells and odors to repel pesky critters.

Many scents are unpleasant for squirrels and can keep them away from your property. Some odors are offensive enough to cause them to flee an area entirely.

This can be done by creating a scent barrier around your property or simply leaving a foul-smelling substance in areas where squirrels may frequent.

By understanding the fragrances that repel squirrels, you can take more control over their presence on your property.

The most effective smells for repelling squirrels come from dryer sheets, pepper, garlic, predator urine and other strong scents that can cause these animals to flee an area quickly. 

So, what smells do squirrels hate enough that they’ll stay away from your property? Here are 13 smells that repel squirrels:

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Key Pest Points

• Scents like vinegar, pepper, garlic, and predator urine are the most effective at repelling squirrels.

• You may need to apply the scent multiple times to repel squirrels effectively.

• To effectively repel squirrels, you need to apply different methods, such as using a squirrel-proof bird feeder, sprinkling cayenne pepper, and using predator urine.

smells that repel squirrels

1. Cider Vinegar

Cider vinegar has an acrid smell that can be used to repel squirrels from invading gardens, lawns, bird feeders, and other areas.

The pungent odor of the vinegar is especially effective in keeping rodents away due to its long-lasting scent.

Cider vinegar also works well to repel squirrels because it can easily be used as a spray and won’t damage plants or crops while repelling unwanted visitors.

Applying cider vinegar around common entry points for squirrels, such as vents and eaves, can ensure that they stay away from your home and garden without resorting to more dangerous methods of extermination.

You can use a great quality cider vinegar like Bragg’s to help you create a squirrel repellent solution that will keep these pests away.

smells that repel squirrels

2. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper has a strong, spicy smell that is believed to be effective in repelling squirrels. The pungent aroma of the peppers causes pests to stay away due to the discomfort it brings.

This type of pepper contains capsaicin, an active ingredient that irritates mucous membranes and can cause mild burning sensations.

This irritation is believed to be too much for squirrels, so they avoid areas where cayenne pepper has been applied.

Cayenne pepper is safe for humans and pets as long as it’s not ingested since it only affects animals with sensitive nasal passages.

It’s also inexpensive and easy to apply, so there’s no need for expensive pest control treatments. All in all, cayenne pepper is an effective way to repel squirrels without any health risks or environmental damage.

Cayenne pepper should be sprinkled around the area or mixed with water and sprayed on potential entry points.

Make sure to reapply the mixture every few weeks to ensure that it stays effective.

smells that repel squirrels

3. Garlic

The pungent odor of garlic is known to act as a deterrent, as the smell can be overpowering and unpleasant for these animals.

This is why gardeners and homeowners often use it to keep squirrels away from their property.

When crushed, garlic releases the compound allicin, which is responsible for its pungent smell.

Applying garlic as a spray or mixing it with other repellents, such as vinegar, can effectively keep squirrels away from areas they may otherwise frequent.

To apply garlic to your property, crush the cloves, then mix it with water and vinegar before spraying it around entry points or potential hiding spots of squirrels.

smells that repel squirrels

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another option to help deter squirrels and other small animals from your property. Its pungent odor is distasteful to these critters, prompting them to stay away from the area where it has been applied.

This unpleasant smell deters them from entering or rummaging through gardens, yards, and other outdoor spaces.

Despite being harmless to humans, cinnamon’s strong aroma can repel pests and provide a much-needed confidence boost among gardeners seeking a safe haven for their precious plants.

Using cinnamon as an all-natural squirrel repellent can be highly advantageous. Not only does the spice discourage squirrels, but it can also be effective against fruit flies, cockroaches, spiders, and other pests.

Moreover, unlike chemical repellents, cinnamon is highly non-toxic and safe for pets and humans; it is widely available in various forms, such as powder or cinnamon oil, at any grocery store or on Amazon.

smells that repel squirrels

5. Coffee Grounds 

Coffee Grounds are becoming an increasingly popular method for deterring curious and pesky squirrels from invading gardens, yards, and even garbage cans.

They are effective because of the strong aroma of caffeine and the bitter taste it gives off when touched or eaten.

This scent can be quite unpleasant to animals like squirrels and is enough to prevent them from wanting to investigate further.

This repels them, and coffee grounds encourage other beneficial insects, such as worms, essential to soil health.

Because of their acidic nature, coffee grounds can also help reduce soil’s pH and make it less attractive to certain plant-destroying pests.

Coffee grounds are also full of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which can help fertilize your garden while keeping away those pesky intruders!

smells that repel squirrels

6. Peppermint Oil 

Peppermint oil has long been used as a natural repellent for squirrels, owing to its strong scent that is unpleasant for the critters.

It is an organic compound derived from the leaves of peppermint plants and has a distinct, minty smell that drives away small animals such as squirrels.

In addition to its strong odor, peppermint oil contains menthol, which gives it an even more intense scent.

This intense aroma is known to repel many animals and is considered an effective deterrent against squirrels.

The most common way to use peppermint oil as a pest repellent is by mixing the essential oil with water in a spray bottle and spraying the solution around your garden or other areas where you don’t want squirrels coming into contact with your crops or fencing.

Peppermint oil also works well when sprayed around windowsills or door frames to keep squirrels from entering your home.

7. Predator Urine

Predator urine has been known to effectively repel squirrels, as the smell of it serves as a warning sign and reminder that they are in danger.

The strong ammonia-like scent is particularly unpleasant to them and will make them less likely to linger in an area where predator urine is present.

Not only does this serve as a protective measure for homeowners who want to protect their gardens and yards, but it can also be used on farms and fields where pests like squirrels can cause significant damage.

The use of predator urine in these scenarios is effective in deterring squirrels and relatively safe since it is natural and non-toxic.

Additionally, since predators mark their territories with urine, the smell can last for quite some time – making it even more helpful as an effective form of pest control.

Luckily, you can easily find predator urine that could help prevent these pesky pests from taking over your yard and allow you to enjoy your outdoor space again.

8. Dryer Sheets 

If you’re thinking about using dryer sheets to repel squirrels, you may be onto something. The strong fragrance from the fabric softener in the sheets is thought to be a deterrent for many animals, including squirrels.

The smell of the dryer sheets lingers long after they have been put in place, and this can be enough to keep away curious squirrels.

They are most effective when placed around the perimeter of your garden or yard, as well as windowsills, door frames, and other potential entry points into your home.

You can use Bounce brand dryer sheets as a squirrel repellent and place them around your property.

When using this method, make sure to replace the dryer sheets every week or two to maintain their effectiveness.

However, if the scent from the dryer sheet is mild, it will not be as effective, and you may need to try a different form of pest control.

smells that repel squirrels

9. Irish Spring Soap 

When repelling squirrels, Irish spring soap can be a surprisingly effective solution. Like dryer sheets, the pungent smell of Irish spring soap is thought to be an effective deterrent for many animals.

To get the most out of the soap, it should be grated into small pieces, placed in a cheesecloth or other container, and hung around your garden, where these rodent pests are likely to enter.

The smell of the soap will linger for several days, providing an effective deterrent for squirrels looking for food or shelter in your garden or yard.

Irish spring soap may not be suitable for dogs and does not necessarily repel insects, so it is crucial to keep that in mind when using this pest control method.

smells that repel squirrels

10. Rosemary 

Rosemary is a natural, non-toxic solution to deter squirrels from entering an area. It has a strong scent that squirrels are repelled by, and its intense aroma can permeate the air to create an effective deterrent.

Rosemary also contains compounds such as carnosol, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid, which act as natural insect repellents and are particularly effective at keeping squirrels away.

In addition, rosemary is safe to use around children and pets, making it an ideal choice for families with small children or animals.

By planting rosemary near entryways or other areas where squirrels may be a nuisance, the strong smell will keep them far away.

11. Mothballs 

One of the most popular methods for insect and squirrel repellent is to use mothballs. Mothballs contain a potent chemical called naphthalene which is thought to be effective in deterring animals such as squirrels from entering an area.

They should be placed strategically around the yard’s perimeter, windowsills, and other areas where squirrels may enter. 

However, it’s important to note that although mothballs can be a deterrent, they are potentially hazardous to humans and animals.

The chemical smell from the mothballs can be overwhelming and cause nausea or headaches if exposed for too long.

Additionally, the naphthalene in mothballs can be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin – so it’s essential to use them cautiously.

If you choose to use mothballs, place them in areas where children and pets cannot access them.

12. Skunk Smell

Skunks have a potent and pungent smell that is often used as an effective way to repel squirrels. The scent is produced by glands near the skunk’s tail, which act as a defense mechanism against potential predators.

The scent produced by these glands contains thiols, which are sulfur-based compounds that create a powerful and unpleasant aroma.

When a skunk feels threatened, it will release its scent to scare away potential predators, including squirrels. The smell is so strong that it can be detected up to one mile away!

Not only does this smell deter squirrels from attacking or getting too close to the skunk, but it also serves as a warning for other animals – if they get too close, they may encounter the same strong odor.

You can obtain a skunk smell in liquid form and spray it around your yard or garden to deter squirrels from entering.

Although the skunk smell is not harmful, it can be quite overpowering, so make sure to use it sparingly and in areas where children or pets won’t be exposed to the smell.

smells that repel squirrels

13. Pine Sol

Pine Sol is a cleaning product that contains pine oil, which gives it its distinct scent. This produce has been used to repel insects and other pests and works effectively against squirrels due to its strong smell.

You can use Pine Sol in two ways: spraying it around the perimeter of your garden or diluting it in water and using it as a spray.

Both methods have proven to deter squirrels from entering an area due to their powerful smell.

However, Pine Sol is not without drawbacks – the strong odor can be overpowering, and the product can cause skin irritation and allergies.

Additionally, the fumes from Pine-Sol can be toxic if breathed in for too long, so it’s essential to use it with caution and in areas where people and pets won’t be exposed to the smell.

What smells deter squirrels will vary from, so it’s important to do your research and figure out what works best for you. 

Alternative Preventions for Repelling Squirrels 

Several other alternatives may help to repel squirrels without using any of the products mentioned above.

Here are some of the most effective:

Installing fencing around your garden or yard – A fence with small mesh openings will help keep out squirrels since they cannot fit through the openings. This can also help keep other rodents and animals from invading your garden.

Planting plants and flowers with strong scents – Strongly fragrant plants like lily of the valley, garlic, and daffodil can deter squirrels due to their powerful smells.

Using motion-sensor sprinklers to startle themMotion-activated sprinklers can be set up in your yard or garden and spray water when a squirrel (or other animals) passes by. This startles them and keeps them away from your property.

Storing food in squirrel-proof containers – If you keep bird feeders or other food sources in your yard, store them in metal or plastic boxes that the squirrels can’t get into. Purchasing squirrel guard containers is one of the best ways to stop them from accessing food sources.

These are just a few alternatives that can be used to keep squirrels away from your home or garden.

Depending on the size of your property and the number of squirrels present, some methods may work better than others.

However, if you follow these tips and use a few of the products mentioned above, you should be able to keep squirrels away from your house effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of FAQs below if you are still trying to figure out how to keep squirrels away.

What Is the Best Way to Repel Squirrels?

The best way to repel squirrels is by using different methods, such as motion-activated sprinklers, planting strongly fragrant plants and flowers, and storing food in squirrel-proof containers.

In addition, you can also spray liquid skunk scent or Pine Sol around the perimeter of your yard to deter squirrels from entering.

Does Wd 40 Keep Squirrels Away?

Although WD-40 has been used as squirrel repellent, it is not the most effective or humane solution. It is better to use other methods, such as the ones mentioned above to keep squirrels away from your property.

How Do You Stop Squirrels From Eating Plants?

To stop squirrels from eating your plants, it is best to use a combination of different methods. These may include creating barriers around the area with mesh fencing, using motion-activated sprinklers to startle the squirrels, and spraying solid scents around the perimeter of your garden.

There are different methods that can be used to repel squirrels without using any toxic chemicals or products. It is best to use a combination of different tactics to ensure that the squirrels stay away from your property.

Remember, what scents will keep squirrels away depends on the type of squirrels you are dealing with, so it is important to research and figure out what smells work best for your situation. 

If you are still having trouble, it may be best to contact a local pest control professional who can better assess the situation and provide more advice.  


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