Squirrels are cute, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and fun to watch; unfortunately, they can also damage your home and garden. They can destroy tree and shrub roots, damage building foundations, chew up insulation and electrical wires in your attic, and they may also carry diseases ranging from tularemia and typhus to bubonic plague. So, how can you keep squirrels away, and are there repellents you can use on them?
What are the best squirrel repellents to buy and keep squirrels away? The best squirrel repellents you can buy to keep squirrels away include the I Must Garden All Natural Squirrel Repellent and Messina Squirrel Stopper Repellent. They contain natural and organic ingredients that are effective in repelling squirrels and are safe for plants, people, and pets.
If you want to know how to keep squirrels away, you’ve come to the right place! Read on and learn how to scare away squirrels using safe, effective, and humane techniques.
What Attracts Squirrels?
Squirrels are plant-eaters, and your yard and garden are full of edible plants. Seedlings, twigs, leaves, shrubs, vines, vegetables, fruits, nuts – all are tasty treats to a hungry squirrel. And because they love seeds and nuts, your bird feeder can become a magnet for unwelcome squirrels.
They also need water. Your bird bath may become a squirrel drinking fountain. If there are nearby branches, they can jump onto the bath’s rim. Clean water can be hard to find in the wild, so if there are abundant sources of fresh water in your yard, they are sure to notice.
Additionally, as winter ends and the first buds of spring begin to open, female squirrels seek safe places to raise their young, including your attic that has everything a mother squirrel could want. It’s drier, safer, and more spacious than any new home she could find in your backyard.
Now that you know why squirrels come to your property, we can tackle the critical question: how to get a squirrel out of your house.
How To Repel Squirrels?
The best way to get rid of squirrels in your attic is to make sure they never get in your house in the first place. Here’s what you can do:
1. Get a ladder and examine the outside of your home for squirrel-sized holes.
2. If you find one, plug it up with a rag or crumpled newspaper, then wait two days. This will give any squirrels in your attic the chance to push their way out without chewing another hole.
3. If the plug is still there after two days, close the hole with gnaw-resistant galvanized sheet metal or galvanized metal mesh.
4. Trim any branches which might offer squirrels easy access to your roof, feeders, or birdbath. Squirrels can jump around 7 feet (2.13 m) from one perch to another but don’t like to drop more than 9 feet (2.74 m) or so onto another surface.
Your bird feeder can become a squirrel buffet, as squirrels may nibble on your feeder and will drive away birds. To keep them away from your feeder:
1. Mix a bit of cayenne pepper with your food. Birds aren’t sensitive to hot pepper, but squirrels are.
2. You can also use a squirrel-proof feeder like the Brome Squirrel Buster Legacy Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder to stop squirrels from eating your bird food.
- ROBUST MODEL FOR CUSTOM BIRD FEEDING
- TRULY SQUIRREL-PROOF: Openings in the shroud align with the...
- PAYS FOR ITSELF IN SAVED SEED: Squirrels can no longer steal your...
- RECOMMENDED BIRD FOOD: Black oil sunflower or/and safflower seeds
- LIFETIME CARE: This is how we support you and our planet. Should...
3. Be sure to remove spilled seed on the ground.
Ultimately, the best way to deter squirrels is to stop giving them reasons to visit your yard.
Related: Does Chicken Wire Keep Squirrels Out of Gardens?
What Is a Good Squirrel Repellent?
Squirrels perceive capsaicin (the active ingredient in peppers) the same way we do. But while humans may enjoy spicy food, squirrels have never developed that taste, which is why commercial squirrel repellents often use hot pepper in their squirrel sprays.
Peppermint and other mints are a potent squirrel deterrent. However, while we find minty scents refreshing, squirrels find them painful; thus, many of the best squirrel repellent sprays use mint to keep squirrels out of your home and garden.
9 Best Commercial Squirrel Repellents
Here is our list of the 9 best squirrel repellents if you are looking for the top-rated squirrel repellents. Wondering how to keep squirrels out of plants and attics? Here are nine suggestions:
1. I Must Garden All Natural Squirrel Repellent
- STOPS DAMAGE FAST – Contains powerful ingredients that prevent...
- NATURAL INGREDIENTS & PET SAFE – Safe for people, pets, and the...
- PREVENTS CAR & TRUCK DAMAGE – Stops squirrels from chewing on...
- SAFE FOR PLANTS – Safe to spray directly on plants that are...
- PROTECTS FURNITURE & DECKING – Prevents costly damage to...
I Must Garden Squirrel Repellent uses a mixture of essential oils to keep squirrels away from your home and stop them from gnawing on wires, deck furniture, plants, and flowers without endangering pets or pollinators.
2. Messina Squirrel Stopper Repellent
- Messina Squirrel Stopper Ready-to-Use 32oz Repellent that...
- Is a highly effective formula for preventing squirrel and...
- Can also be used to prevent entry to living spaces (including...
- All natural formula
- Effective for 30 days, regardless of weather and watering
Messina Squirrel Stopper Repellent is an all-organic squirrel repellent spray. The Squirrel Stopper’s active ingredients are rosemary oil, cornmint oil, eggs, and cinnamon oil. It smells good to you but most important of all, it has smells that repel squirrels.
3. Diaotec Indoor Ultrasonic Squirrel Repeller
- Diaotec rondent repellent consists of transducer and dual...
- Diaotec naturally drives rondents out without killing them. No...
- Four different sound modes to choose from based on the...
- It is a humane way to drive squirrels, chipmunk, mice, rats and...
- Before using the ultrasonic squirrel repellent, make sure there...
If you can’t figure out how to get rid of squirrels in the attic, try the Diaotec Indoor Ultrasonic Squirrel Repeller. Diaotec’s electronic squirrel repellent broadcasts a high-pressure wave that varies between 25kHz and 60kHz. You can’t hear it, but it’ll drive squirrels out of your home.
4. Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Rodent Repellent Spray
- Extra Concentrated for Long-Lasting Protection
- Natural Ingredients Proven Effective in the Real World
- Large 1 Gallon Container
- Powerful Essential Oil
Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Rodent Repellent Spray uses the power of peppermint oil in a spray that will repel squirrels, mice, spiders, ants, and other vermin. You can use Mighty Mint in your attic, garage, garden, or anywhere else squirrels congregate.
5. Ortho Animal-B-Gon All-Purpose Animal Repellent
- Protects yard and garden from rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels and...
- Safe for people, pets and plants. When used as directed.
- Long-lasting, "no-stink" formula
- Covers approximately 4,000 sq. ft.
- Dispense directly from bottle and apply liberally
Ortho Animal-B-Gon All-Purpose Animal Repellent features a “no stink” formula of rosemary, peppermint, and cinnamon oils with putrescent whole egg solids. This squirrel deterrent will protect your yard and garden from squirrels, rabbits, and other small herbivores.
6. Plantskydd Animal Repellent
- For year round control of deer, rabbits, elk, moose, hares,...
- Protects approximately 1,750 square feet
- Application frequency: Active growing season (6-8 weeks), Dormant...
- 100% Dried Blood (Porcine and/or Bovine). No animals parts are...
- OMRI listed (Organic Materials Review Institute) for Organic Use....
Plantskydd Animal Repellent is made with 100% dried blood. For a squirrel, dried blood means carnivores are around, and they’re on many predator menus. Plantskydd can be used in gardens, sheds, attics, or any place you want a non-toxic squirrel repellent.
7. Repels-All Animal Repellent Concentrate
- Bonide 237 Animal Repellent Bottle, Concentrate
- Unique blend causes a mild, yet annoying, irritation to the...
- Lasts up to 2 months per application
- Works 3 ways to repel animals and stop plant and property damage
- Pack of 1(pack may vary)
If you want to get a squirrel out of your house, Repels-All Animal Repellent Concentrate can help you brew an effective squirrel deterrent spray. Garlic, dried blood, whole egg solids, clove, fish oil, onion, and wintergreen make for a potent squirrel repellent.
8. Safer Brand Critter Ridder Animal Repellent Granules
- Repels raccoons, skunks, dogs, cats, squirrels, groundhogs, and...
- Uses oil of Black pepper, piperine, and Capsaicin to keep...
- Dual-action formula repels animals by scent and taste
- Long-lasting granules provides up to 30 days of protection
- Apply with lawn spreader or by hand
Safer Brand Critter Ridder Animal Repellent Granules irritates a squirrel’s nose and tongue with a spicy blend of piperine, capsaicin, and oil of black pepper. Drop these granules in your attic or use a lawn spreader to eliminate squirrels in the yard.
9. Uncle Ian’s Mole, Gopher, Deer, Rabbit, and Squirrel Repellent
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Uncle Ian’s Mole & Gopher, Deer, Rabbit & Squirrel Repellent is an all-natural solution to your squirrel problem that combines dried blood with red pepper to make an effective squirrel repellent for gardens and yards.
How To Keep Squirrels Away Naturally?
If you want to know how to get rid of squirrels naturally, you can use some home remedies to deter them. These natural deterrents won’t harm squirrels, people, or the environment, but they’ll keep the critters away from your home.
If squirrels are invading your garden, why not make it unfriendly to them? While they love eating many plants, a few plants and flowers can serve as natural squirrel pest control.
Plants that repel squirrels include:
- Alliums: Planting garlic and onions in your garden may discourage squirrels from nibbling your growing plants.
- Daffodils: The fragrance and taste of daffodils deter squirrels, rabbits, and deer.
- Galanthus: Strongly scented snowdrops (Galanthus) will make squirrels turn up their noses.
- Geraniums: Humans love the sweet rose-like scent of geraniums, but squirrels can’t stand it and will avoid being near geraniums.
- Hyacinths: Spring-blooming hyacinths will drive squirrels away with their scent and give your tender seedlings time to grow.
- Mint: Mint is fast-growing, easy to care for, and squirrels think it stinks to high heaven.
- Peppers: Spicy peppers in your garden will deter squirrels, deer, rabbits, and other plant-eating pests.
Best Natural Squirrel Repellents
To make homemade squirrel repellent, combine substances that repel squirrels into a squirrel deterrent spray or powder. Pepper, garlic, and peppermint are all potent natural squirrel repellents. To do this:
1. Soak minced garlic and hot pepper in vinegar (another smell squirrels hate) for 24 hours.
2. Strain the mix, and pour it into the water at a 1:1 ratio.
3 Add a teaspoon of organic liquid soap and 10 drops of peppermint oil.
This spray will let squirrel invaders know they are not welcome on your property.
To get rid of ground squirrels, do these quick steps:
1. Mix 1/4 cup of castor oil with two teaspoons of organic liquid dish soap.
2. Put two tablespoons of this mix in a gallon of water.
3. Spray it wherever you’ve seen ground squirrels.
When they nibble on this mix, the squirrels get diarrhea and will avoid those plants in the future.
Squirrels can be cute and entertaining backyard companions, but they can also be destructive pests. Knowing that there are many top-rated squirrel repellents in the market and other natural squirrel deterrents, you can finally keep squirrels out of places where they don’t belong. If you want to get rid of these critters, the best way is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place.
Related: Do Wind Chimes Scare Away Squirrels?
List of Sources
Lampman, J. (2015). The squirrels are coming, the squirrels are coming!!. Cornell Blog Service
Quinn, N.M., Dimson, M. J., Baldwin, R. A. (2018). Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Squirrels and Ground Squirrels. Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California.
Thurston, S. (1997). Tree Squirrels. Penn State Extension.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Living with Wildlife: Tree Squirrels.
Cornell University. (2009). How To Deal With Unwanted Yard Visitors: Squirrels, Cats, Bugs, Hawks, And More.