Home Remedies For Keeping Squirrels Away

Home Remedies For Keeping Squirrels Away

There’s no doubt that squirrels are cute and entertaining animals. However, these rodents can also wreak havoc in your home (yard, garden, attic etc.) when left to roam freely. For instance, they’ll not only steal your fruits and vegetables but also gnaw through your wooden siding, raid your bird feeder and even dig up and chew your newly planted bulbs. The good news is that there are several safe and natural ways you can use to keep squirrels at bay and protect your home including our professional squirrel removal services in Toronto. Let’s look at some of them in detail:

Mint Oil

This oil is commonly used in preparing commercial squirrel detergents. It has a strong scent that offends the sensitive noses of these little animals and effectively drives them away from the scented area. So, consider dabbing some drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and scattering them throughout your property to repel these animals. Additionally, growing mint plants can also help in discouraging squirrels from eating and destroying the plants in your garden. However, since these plants grow fast and spread uncontrollably, it is advisable to plant them in containers and move them as necessary in places where you suspect squirrel activity.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The pungent and acidic smell emanating from apple cider vinegar creates an effective barrier that keeps squirrels away. However, note that this method only works best in small and enclosed spaces like outdoor garden sheds. Consider soaking rags in apple cider vinegar and putting them in places around your home where the squirrels frequent. Alternatively, you can pour the vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on hard surfaces like plant pots to prevent the squirrels from digging and destroying your plant’s potting soil.

Does apple cider vinegar keep squirrels away?

Apple cider vinegar can be used as an effective squirrel repellent because the creatures can’t stand the strong, pungent smell and unpleasant taste of the vinegar.

You can safely spray undiluted apple cider vinegar on hard surfaces such as plant pots, decking, and fencing. However, if you want to use apple cider vinegar on your plants, you will need to dilute it first with water at a ratio of 10 fluid ounces of vinegar to 10 gallons of water.

To prevent squirrels from entering your greenhouse, garage, or garden shed, try soaking a few rags in undiluted cider vinegar and place them close to areas where squirrels could try to gain access.


Certain spices found in your home can also help to keep squirrels at bay. For instance, ground garlic cloves and ground hot peppers are often used to get rid of these little animals. To do so, simply combine them in equal measure and sprinkle the mixture on your yard or flower beds. The offensive odor and taste of garlic and hot pepper will effectively keep squirrels away from your property.

You may also want to consider dusting or spraying your plants and other places frequented by squirrels with chili powder or cayenne pepper to keep them away. However, be sure to reapply as necessary since spices are washed away pretty fast.

Do coffee grounds keep squirrels away?

Around the world, an estimated 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year. In Canada alone, 14 billion cups of the morning brew are drunk annually, resulting in tons of unwanted coffee grounds being consigned to landfill.

But did you know that coffee grounds can also be a useful weapon in the fight against squirrel damage in your garden?

It appears that squirrels cannot stand the strong, bitter aroma of coffee grounds and will actively avoid foraging in areas that have been “contaminated” with your brew’s waste product. Coffee grounds as a squirrel deterrent are at their most effective when they are fresh, and the smell is at its strongest.

To keep squirrels away from your plants, spread a one-inch layer of fresh coffee grounds on the soil around vulnerable areas in your garden. Don’t make the layer too thick, or it will quickly go moldy and lose its potency as a deterrent. You’ll need to replace the coffee grounds after about two weeks when they lose their strong smell.

Don’t despair if you don’t drink coffee. In an effort to “go green,” Starbucks coffee shops give away used coffee grounds for free to gardeners to add to their home compost bins, rather than sending the hot beverage byproduct to landfill.

As well as keeping squirrels away, adding coffee grounds to your garden has several other benefits, including:

  • Coffee grounds add nutrients to the soil
  • Coffee grounds improve soil drainage and texture
  • Coffee grounds deter slugs from attacking the tender shoots of your veggies and plants

Homemade Sprays

You can also prepare hot pepper spray from home to help solve your squirrel problem. To do so, just mix a bottle (small or medium) of hot sauce with one gallon of water and some drops of mild dish detergent (liquid detergent preferable). Spray your plants with the preparation as necessary and be sure to reapply after rainfall or watering. Note that the dish detergent here is optional, but it really helps your homemade pepper spray to stick to the plant leaves.

Use any of these natural methods to help keep squirrels away from your property.

Article Updated: March 4, 2020

Get a Free Quote