4 Natural Squirrel Repellents and Scents That Work!

squirrel repellent
Natural squirrel repellents include coffee, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and flowers like geraniums and daffodils. You can deter squirrels by sprinkling or spray a mixture around your property.

Don’t be fooled by their appearance—squirrels can be ruthless property invaders. Not only do they chew through frayed wiring and insulation, but they also multiply very quickly.

If you don’t want these furry creatures turning your home into their own personal playground, you need to take action.

A squirrel repellent is your best friend to keep these critters away. Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, and anything that smells unpleasant to them, such as coffee grounds, red pepper flakes, and white vinegar, are all viable options for driving these rodents away from your home.

Selecting the best squirrel repellent may seem challenging, but it’s essential to keeping your rodent population at bay. Learn about the different types of squirrel repellents and find out which one is right for you.

Do Squirrel Repellents Work?

You may have stumbled upon fancy squirrel repellent devices online or a local hardware store, such as motion-activated blasters and ultrasonic devices. But do these gadgets work?

In truth, these repellents, while at times effective, aren’t a cure-all solution, and they certainly won’t work for everyone. Many homeowners have found that these devices are only a temporary fix, as the squirrels will eventually get used to the noise or scent and return to their old antics.

Instead of spending your hard-earned money on devices that may or may not work, it may be ideal to opt for a more natural repellent solution that’s easily attainable. Not only are natural repellents more effective, but they’re also much safer for you, your family, your pets, and the environment.

red squirrel sitting up on grass with scattered leaves

Best Squirrel Repellents

Here are 4 of the best squirrel repellents you can create at home.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are an excellent squirrel repellent. Not only do they have a strong smell, but the texture is also abrasive, making them an effective deterrent for these furry creatures.

Any type of coffee will do, whether decaf or regular, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand. If you don’t drink coffee, you can request some used coffee grounds from your local coffee shop or neighbors.

Sprinkle coffee grounds near the perimeter of your property, focusing on areas where squirrels are known to congregate. Keep the layer ½” to 1″ thick, and be sure to replenish it every few days or after it rains.

Red Pepper Flakes

Pepper contains a molecule called capsaicin, which gives pepper its characteristic heat. This same molecule is also an irritant for many animals, including squirrels.

When exposed to capsaicin, squirrels will experience a burning sensation in their eyes and throat. You can even alternate between using cayenne, black, or white pepper to create your squirrel repellent.

Similar to coffee grounds, scatter the pepper flakes around your property. You can also soak these ingredients in water overnight and use pepper-infused water to spray problem areas.

White Vinegar

Spraying white vinegar around your property is another excellent way to keep squirrels at bay.

The acetic acid in vinegar is intense enough to bother squirrels, but it’s not harmful. That said, vinegar may harm plants, so avoid spraying it on or around your foliage.

To use this method, mix one part vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. You can mix in essential oils, such as peppermint oil, to create a more spicy squirrel repellent spray. Apple cider vinegar is an acceptable alternative, too, if you don’t have white vinegar.

Then, spray the solution in the affected area, carefully not to drench any surrounding foliage.


Squirrels are deterred by a variety of flowers, which have repelling effects. Some of the most effective flowers for repelling squirrels include:

  • Geraniums
  • Hyacinth 
  • Daffodils 
  • Alliums

Plant these flowers around the perimeter of your property or in areas where squirrels are known to inhabit. The strong scent will bother them, and eventually, they’ll stay away from the area altogether.

squirrel in a tree surrounded by green leaves

What Smell Do Squirrels Hate the Most?

A variety of smells repels squirrels. To get rid of squirrels, taking advantage of their strong sense of smell is key to success.

Here are some of the top effective rodent repellent measures to counter a growing squirrel problem in your home:

  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
  • Predator urine
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary 

Do Ultrasonic Squirrel Repellents Really Work?

It’s essential to be cautious when buying ultrasonic devices. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises customers to be wary of claims made by manufacturers of ultrasonic pest repellers.

These ultrasonic repellents are devices that emit high-frequency sounds that are meant to deter pests. However, little scientific evidence supports the claim that these devices are effective. Lab tests conducted by the FTC have also found that these devices don’t work as advertised.

Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?

Yes, mothballs can be effective in repelling squirrels. Mothballs contain naphthalene, which gives off a strong smell that irritates many animals, including squirrels.

Place mothballs around your flowers, attic, or any other area where squirrels are known to frequent. Be cautious not to place them too close to your home as the fumes can harm pets.

squirrel on the lawn

What Attracts Squirrels in the First Place?

Squirrels are attracted to an area for three primary reasons: food sources, predator defense, and weather.

Squirrels eat various foods, including nuts, bird seeds, fruits, and even insects. If your property or home has any of these things in abundance or a bird feeder, squirrels will eventually find their way there.

In terms of defense, squirrels are attracted to areas that can protect them from predators. This could be a tall tree, the roof of a house, or any other high point. Pregnant squirrels and mother squirrels with young are especially attracted to these areas as they provide a safe place to raise their young.

Lastly, squirrels are also attracted to areas that offer shelter from harsh weather conditions. The winter can be tough on these little animals, so they look for places to hide from the cold and snow.

If you’re dealing with a squirrel infestation, it’s vital to learn how to repel squirrels. Once you’ve taken action to squirrel-proof your lawn, such as setting up a chicken wire, you can then start using repellents to keep them away for good.

If you need further assistance, pest control companies are excellent companies to contact to help you repel squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents on your lawn.

Joshua Munoz

Most people’s first instinct when they see a wild skunk is to back away, but not Joshua. He holds a near-obsessive fascination with skunks and their behavior. Although Joshua has never been closer than five feet to a skunk, he has spent countless hours researching them. He knows almost everything there is to know about skunks, from their diet and habitat, to how to humanely trap them. Joshua’s interest in skunks is rooted in his love of animal biology. He fondly remembers topping his finals in biology class while in university. Now, as a writer, he fuses passion and expertise into one by sharing his knowledge about the animal kingdom with others.

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