Squirrels are one of the most annoying pests ever.
For one, they damage gardens, wreck house foundations, eat through the insulation wires and even transmit diseases.
So, by all means, you need to get rid of squirrels. Yet, most wouldn’t like to kill them inhumanely. For that reason, this article compiled the best natural, non-toxic, homemade, and electronic repellent for squirrels.
But First, What Attracts Squirrels to Your Property?
Like most pests, squirrels are attracted to your house, your garden, your attics, and your cars because of three things. These things are food, water, and shelter. Let’s discuss each one below:
- Food That Attracts Squirrels Indoor
Squirrels are herbivores. That means they eat different edible fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Sometimes squirrels even eat twigs, vines, and shrubs.
As we all know, we fill our gardens with varieties of these plants. So, you shouldn’t be surprised to see squirrels “shopping” around for food in your garden.
Aside from that, squirrels also love seeds and different nuts. Nuts and seeds are often some of the major components of bird foods. For that reason, bird feeders attract squirrels.
- Water Also Attracts Squirrels to Bird Feeders and Gardens.
After eating, squirrels, like any other animal out there, will begin their search for freshwater. But luckily, our gardens and birdbath give them a fresh supply of this.
So squirrels are sure to stay and take a few sips. In fact, sometimes, they even look for nearby branches and dive directly into the bath.
- Our Attics, Cars, and Basements Serve as Shelters for Squirrels During Spring.
When spring begins, squirrels reproduce. Unlike the adults, these juveniles are fragile and less tolerant of the harsh conditions of the wild.
So, the mother squirrels look for dry, cool, and safe places to raise their babies. Luckily for them but sadly for us, our attics, basements and any other indoor spots provide them with what they need.
The mother squirrels and her babies move from the wild and your garden to a much safer place; inside your house.
How to Prevent Squirrels from Getting into Your House?
When squirrels get into your house or live inside your attic, getting rid of them might cost you a lot of money, time, and energy.
But prevention, they say, is better than cure. The best offense is the best defense.
So, your best line of action is to make sure that the squirrels don’t get in at the first instance. To do this, here are a few tips:
- Locate All Holes That Can Serve as Squirrel Entry Points.
Squirrels are often bigger than ordinary house mice. But somehow, they can squeeze themselves through unbelievably small holes as long as they get inside.
Sometimes, some squirrels can even chew through wooden walls to make the holes wider. So, the first thing you need to do is to search for all holes that can serve as small doors for these pests.
- Don’t Block the Holes Permanently at First. Instead, plug them With Rags or Paper.
As we all know, most houses in the United States are lumber-framed. This is as opposed to the cinder blocks used in North American areas like Ireland.
For that reason, squirrels can chew through our wooden walls. So, if you block squirrel holes as soon as you see them, the affected squirrels would only chew out another route.
Instead, plug the squirrel holes with rags or paper. That way, the squirrels can simply push out the rag or paper and escape without having to make another escape route.
- If After Four Days the Plug Remains, Block the Squirrel Hole with Metallic Sheets.
If the plug remains after like 2-4 days, it either means that the squirrels are currently outside your house or have made another route that you don’t know about.
Block the identified squirrel hole with metal sheets or nets. Afterward, do more legwork to locate other holes. If you don’t find any, you may be lucky to have cut off the squirrels outdoors.
- Make Sure That All Tree Branches Are About Nine Feet from Bird Feeders and House Roofing.
Often, squirrels can jump about seven feet from one place to another. In terms of vertical height, they can only jump less than nine feet.
So, if your birdbath, bird feeders, and roofs are kept outside squirrels’ jumping range, you might just have minimized the number of possibilities for squirrel infestation.
- Use Good Squirrel Repellents.
Without prior knowledge like the one you’re about to learn in this article, it’s quite hard to identify, buy or make good squirrel deterrents.
But for now, know that squirrels hate certain plants like Allium and Mint. So, you can plant these in your gardens to drive away squirrels.
Likewise, squirrels hate the scent of pepper. You can add it to birdbaths and feeders to ward off squirrels.
What Then Is a Good Squirrel Repellent?
The thing is, there’s no one way to describe the “best repellents” you can use to ward off squirrels.
However, no matter the components used, a good squirrel repellent must have at least one of the following features:
- A good squirrel repellent should be able to create scents or taste that squirrels detest.
This is called taste-odor aversion. And it works because it disturbs the great sense of smell of squirrels.
Since squirrels depend on this ability to survive, anything that affects their sense of smell would hamper their survival. So, they prefer to run from such scents.
Some of the natural substances that produce scents that deter squirrels include cayenne pepper, peppermint, castor oils, and garlic.
- A good squirrel repellent should be able to induce fear in the targeted squirrels
All animals, including humans, fear their natural predators. This fear is so potent that they run from anything related to that predator.
As for squirrels, their common natural predators include foxes and coyotes. So, anything from these two animals, including their urine, hair strands, and dried blood, will induce fear in squirrels.
Noticing that, the targeted squirrels would rather run off to safety than venture into your property.
Examples of Best Squirrel Repellents
1) Cayenne Pepper.
Like all kinds of pepper, cayenne pepper contains a substance called capsaicin. This capsaicin affects the sense of smell of the squirrels.
To use it, you can mix cayenne pepper powder with bird food and bath. This works because they attract squirrels to the food in the feeder.
But with the scent of pepper that disturbs their strongest ability to survive, they stay away.
2) Essential Oils.
Common essential oils used in repelling squirrels include castor oil, peppermint oil, and mint.
These oils are so used because they produce scents that disturb the smelling ability of squirrels.
To use them, mix any essential oil with dishwashing soap and water. Then, use as required.
Vinegar produces a pungent scent that squirrels hate. It can be used to repel them.
To use it, dilute white vinegar in water that’s twice its amount, bottle the mixture in a spray can, and apply to areas rich in squirrel activity.
Like vinegar, mothballs give off pungent scents that disturb the sense of smell in squirrels. So, yes; mothballs can deter squirrels.
To use mothballs, simply place a few mothballs in your gardens (probably near the most affected plants) and in other indoor areas like the attic.
However, remember to always change the mothballs every two weeks or after heavy rainfall since the scent of mothballs fades really quickly.
5) Coffee Grounds.
While many of us like the bitter aroma of the coffee, the scent strikes squirrels as pungent and dangerous. They would do anything to avoid it.
To use it, sprinkle grounded coffee on areas that are rich in squirrel activity. Anytime squirrels come across it, they leave the area. However, sprinkle the coffee grounds as often as possible.
6) Fake Owl.
Earlier, we clarified that repellents that induce fear work well when looking to scare off squirrels. For that reason, anything related to their predators would work well.
Now owls are well-known rodent predators. That means squirrels are on their menu as well. If you make owl scarecrows, squirrels can mistake them for real owls. So, they would run off.
However, it would be more effective to move the owl decoys about as often as possible. Otherwise, the squirrels may get conditioned to the scarecrows and it would no longer become effective.
That’s not all. We also know owls prey on other birds. So, along the line, the owl decoy may prevent your actual birds from stopping feeding from their baths and feeders.
7) Electronic Repellents.
Yes, there are different ultrasonic devices built to repel squirrels. In fact, they are one of the best squirrel deterrents out there.
However, while using any of the products, read the labels. This is because some electronic repellents for squirrels are meant to be used indoors.
Whereas, others are for outdoor usage and need to be kept under certain conditions.
8) Sound Repellents.
Like many other natural and humane methods, sound repellents can help you get rid of squirrels without killing them.
These sound repellents work by producing high-pitched electromagnetic sound waves. We humans can’t hear them. But to squirrels, these noises are unbearable. So, they stay away.
I should note that most of these sound repellents need electricity to work. Some of them are battery-powered. So, there really isn’t much difference between electronic and sound repellents for squirrels.
Best Commercial Squirrel Repellents
1) The Shake-Away 2852228 Fox Urine.
This product contains about 5% concentration of fox urine. It repels squirrels using fear inducement.
But compared to other raw predator urine, they encase this product in rainproof and porous materials.
It still keeps its scent even after rainfall, as opposed to ordinary urine that gets washed away.
2) The Hoont Solar Powered Motion Activated, Ultrasonic Pest Repeller.
Unlike most of the other electronic squirrel repellents, the Hoont device uses solar. You don’t have to worry about charging or replacing the battery very often.
And according to many people, it chases the squirrels without causing much nuisance to humans nearby.
Then again, it can be used for other pests like mice, bats, rats, cats, rabbits, birds, raccoons, and skunks.
3) The “I Must Garden” Squirrel Repellent.
They advertised this product as the most suitable chemical repellent for gardens with food plants.
This is because they made it with essential oils that only affect the squirrels. In fact, this product leaves even pollinators unaffected.
Three of the Best Home-Made Recipes Using Natural Squirrel Repellents
Out there, you will see different methods and different cocktails of substances that can ward off squirrels.
If, like us, you like to keep things non-toxic and natural. Then the following three solution sprays can help as a good squirrel repellent:
Best Repellent for Ground Squirrels in Gardens
- Make a mixture of castor oil and organic dish soap. The ratio can be such that one-quarter cup of castor oil mixes with just two tablespoons of soap.
- Take about three tablespoons of this cocktail and mix in about a gallon of water.
- Bottle the mixture in a can and spray as needed on areas rich in squirrel activity.
- For flower pots, you can spray the mixture a few times on the soil inside the pot. It’s better not to spray the plants directly.
Best Repellent for Jumping Squirrels in Attics.
- Mix powder garlic, hot pepper, and vinegar. Leave the mixture for about a day.
- Sieve the mixture and then mix it with an equal amount of water.
- You can put about one tablespoon of organic soap and peppermint oil if available.
- Bottle the mixture in a can and spray as needed.
Best Repellent for Squirrels in Bird Feeders and Bird Bath.
This requires a very simple procedure. Just mix in hot pepper with bird food in the feeder.
The pepper contains a substance called Capsaicin. This capsaicin affects the sense of smell of the squirrels.
But it is rather harmless to the birds. So, all is well.
So far, we clarified squirrels can cause a lot of nuisances. And that’s why we need to get rid of them.
However, one of the best ways to get rid of squirrels is to eliminate all their attractants, which include edible plants, seeds, nuts, and water.
Afterward, we can look at using different repellents. Natural squirrel repellents include plants like daffodils, allium, and hyacinth.
Fear-inducing repellents for squirrels include urine of predators like coyotes and scarecrows of owls.
Likewise, there are home recipes that would require the usage of pepper, vinegar, dish soaps, and peppermint. And if you like, you can opt-in for electronic and sound repellents for squirrels.