Pest Control

14 Best Ways To Repel Pesky Squirrels


Squirrels may look cute and can generally be friendly creatures. However, squirrels can be pretty devastating to your home. They may chew everything from lead roof flanges and attic vents to wood shutters and siding, causing damage to the outside of your house. 

Squirrels may wreak severe damage to your home if they get inside your walls or attic, including gnawing through wiring to start fires and potentially ripping away insulation for nests. But what are the best ways to keep squirrels from doing this to your home?

When repelling squirrels from your home, you can do a few things to keep them from damaging your property.

  • Motion-activated sprinklers
  • Squirrel-proof bird feeders
  • Using mulch for your gardens
  • Natural squirrel repellents like cayenne pepper
  • Get a dog and let them out in your yard frequently
  • Keep attic clean and seal off any entry points
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These are just a few examples of things you can employ to keep the squirrels from coming onto your property. As you continue to read this article, it will go more in-depth with each of these examples.

What Is The Best Way To Repel Squirrels?

As stated above, there are plenty of reasons for repelling squirrels, including the damages they can cause. They can also come with a few diseases transmitted to humans and your pets that can be harmful or life-threatening at worst.

Something to consider is that home inspectors roughly estimate that nearly 20% of all house fires in the United States are started by squirrels chewing on electrical wires in the attic.

There are plenty of reasons why you want to keep these furry guys away from your home. Now let us go ahead and start the list!

1. Plant Flowers That Squirrels Hate

If you figure yourself a pretty green thumb, planting certain herbs, flowers, and veggies can naturally repel squirrels. It would be best to use this method to reinforce the other repellent methods on this list and help protect your garden from squirrels. 

Plant flowers that are either brilliantly colored or have a powerful scent to keep squirrels out of your garden. Here are some of the plants squirrels despise:

  • Fritillaries
  • Galanthus
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinth
  • Mint
  • Geraniums
  • Lily of the valley

Keep in mind that daffodils are dangerous. They contain lycorine and calcium oxalate, which are toxic to whoever ingests them.

Alliums like onions, garlic, and scallions taste and smell that squirrels despise, thus repelling them naturally. With that, mint is another strong repellent for most animals. While it may smell good and be pretty tasty to humans, the pungent odor can assault the squirrels’ sense of smell and send them running.

Fritillary flowers are another good plant to use as a repellant. Mainly in the opposite sense of mint. These flowers can be pretty pleasing to the eyes with their beautiful colors. However, the smell of these flowers can be pungent and stinky, depending on the genus. 

Other flowers like the hyacinths produce a tin layer of oxalic acid which can cause skin irritations in just about any animal or human that touches them. If you want to plant these pretty flowers to repel squirrels, it is advised to use gloves when handling them.

Use these plants to supplement your other squirrel eradication efforts. Squirrels will not enter your yard if you plant them near access points. Please place them strategically around tree trunks to discourage these critters from climbing up to the fruits.

Place them around the perimeter of your property to deter squirrels from approaching. These colorful, fragrant blooms keep squirrels away and add beauty to your landscape.


2. Using Mulch In Your Garden

Continuing with the garden defense, if you happen to have an issue with squirrels ravaging your garden, you can use a mulch to drive the squirrels away along with helping your garden grow even better.

Mulch is any substance applied atop the soil to keep it wet, inhibit weed development, and keep pests at bay. But what is it about mulch that squirrels despise? Inorganic mulch, such as gravel, pebbles, plastic sheeting, rubber chips, or chicken wire, is the ideal choice if you’re searching for a primary squirrel repellent.

Organic mulch, such as shredded grass, leaves, hay, and straw, is too similar to what squirrels dig up naturally, and it will be simple for them to break through to the soil.

Squirrels dislike digging up inorganic mulch because it is much stronger and has a texture they don’t like. This is also an excellent method of repelling squirrels that want to make their homes underground in soft soil rather than trees.

Apply mulch in the soil 12 inches on all sides of your plants to keep squirrels out of your garden. Cut a hole in the plastic sheets to allow the plant stem to pass through. It’s worth mentioning that many people believe that layering gravel over the chicken wire is a good squirrel deterrent in terms of mulch.


3. Installing Motion Activated Sprinklers

Squirrels are naturally jittery animals. They’re tiny and rely on their fangs and jaws to defend themselves. When confronted with a frightening situation, individuals choose to flee rather than fight.

You do not need a lot to frighten squirrels away. You don’t have to cause any pain or injury. A sudden movement or loud noise is enough to send them fleeing. Having a motion-activated sprinkler is ideal for this.

Proper motion-activated sprinklers will allow you to select whether you want your motion-activated sprinkler to run throughout the day, night, or 24 hours a day. It also includes a sophisticated sensor that can differentiate between animal and wind-driven movement.

Depending on the animal’s height you need to get rid of, you may alter the sensor’s angle. Connect to your hose and drive the spike into the ground. Even sprinklers have a container attached to them that you have to fill up instead of connecting your hose.

Suppose you are looking for a safe, non-toxic, all-natural repellent for squirrels and other pesky animals like raccoons or weasels. In that case, motion-activated sprinklers are the perfect solution for you.

Ultrasonic Device

4. Use Ultrasound Technology

According to research, squirrels can hear noises in a frequency range more than twice as vast as ours. Their frequency range is biased toward ultrasonic, which refers to noises that are higher in frequency than what the human ear can hear.

This important discovery has led to another type of squirrel repellent that is not harmful to the squirrels. 

Ultrasonic animal repellent devices are durable, solar-powered, and have multiple settings you can choose. Depending on the species you wish to eliminate, you may pick from five different frequency settings. Turn the knob to 3 for squirrels. It also flashes brilliant LED lights that act as additional squirrel repellent as it makes a sound.

Consider placing these devices in areas that allow them to get full benefits from their small solar panel. However, on rainy or very cloudy days, most of these devices come with a USB charging port to charge them.

The sensor scans the environment at a 110-degree angle, but you may change this if you prefer a tighter range. Because it can detect movement up to 30 feet away, place it close to their specific entrance sites to get the most out of the squirrel repellent sound gadget.


5. Remove Easily Available Food Sources

If you want to keep squirrels away from your yard, you must first comprehend why they enjoy hanging out there in the first place. The majority of the time, it’s due to eating.

Squirrels primarily consume plant matter in the wild. But, in reality, these creatures can eat just about everything. Squirrel issues may arise from various factors, including putting pet food out, constructing an easily accessible bird feeder, planting fruiting trees, and failing to secure garbage bags.

It’s best not to leave your pet’s feeding bowl outside. Install a squirrel guard on the pole that supports your birdfeeder, or purchase a squirrel-proof one. Protect your fruiting trees with protective netting and your vegetable garden with hardware cloth or chicken wire. Clear your yard of any fallen fruits or bird feed. Put your trash in a sturdy trash can with a lid that you can lock.

Bird Feeder

6. Using Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Everyone knows that bird feeders attract squirrels. It’s difficult to say no to delectable grains, seeds, nuts, and fruits. These creatures may climb up and eat all the food, leaving your home devoid of birds.

You can buy squirrel-proof bird feeders at the home improvement store, but there are many DIY solutions to ridding your current bird feeders safe from thieves. Instead of putting it in the ground, you may suspend it on a wire. To keep them from jumping, make sure it’s at least five feet off the ground.

Thread a plastic bottle on either end of the wire to ensure they can’t get it through. It’s amusing to watch the squirrels struggle to get past the bottle once they discover it’s stuck on the wire!

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If it is set on a stake, you may add a baffle to your bird feeder. A baffle can be used as a barrier to keep squirrels away from the feeder or to broaden the pole so they can’t grab it. You may either buy one or create one yourself.

Something else you can do is attach a slinky to the bottom of your bird feeders that you have staked into the ground. As the squirrel runs up the pole and grabs onto the slinky, they will slide down. This can be entertaining to watch.


7. Removing Entry Options To Your Roof & Yard

Houses are highly appealing to squirrels. It’s well-protected from the elements and predators and near a reliable food supply. So, if there’s a gap big enough for them to slip in, you can bet they’ll try. If you’re wondering how to keep squirrels off your roof, the most basic approach is to keep them out. 

Take a walk around your house and look for any potential entrance points, such as a foundation fracture, a hole in the screen door, or water-damaged eaves. Use a sealant to fill up the gaps. Copper mesh combined with expanding foam is your best chance of preventing squirrels from biting through. The copper mesh does not match these rodents’ sharp teeth and muscular jaws.

These thin metal sheets are flexible and may easily be packed into various shapes and sizes. Apply foam using a foam applicator pistol to fill the small holes in the mesh. This prevents water and dust from infiltrating the crack. Once the foam is completely dried, paint over it to hide the gap.

Remove anything that squirrels can use to scale up your walls to keep them away. This involves removing firewood from the side of your house and trimming tree branches and vines that graze the walls.


8. Using Decoy Squirrel Feeders

A fake squirrel feeder will only work if you eliminate all feeding possibilities in your home beforehand. Make it as simple as possible for these animals to select the decoy over your home.

You should find the most squirrel-appealing food buffet in the fake squirrel feeder. Fill it with all of their favorite foods, making sure there is enough for everyone.

For tree squirrels, it’s ideal to find a location with hollow trees and soft ground for ground squirrels. There should be no incentive for them to return to your house now that they have a reliable food source and decent real estate. 

You can get one designed to hold corn cobs and giggle at how they eat the corn. You can get one where the food is kept in a cage and watch them figure out how to get the nuts off the grills.

Mouse Trap

9. Scaring Squirrels Away With Mousetraps

Mousetraps are one of the most aggressive pest control tools. However, you may use them to deter squirrels without harming them if used appropriately. When a mousetrap snaps, it makes a loud cracking sound that drives animals away instantly. The usage of these gadgets for squirrel control is based on this premise.

Animal welfare regulations and common sense suggest that you should not use these items on squirrels in a conventional manner. These may be used to prevent squirrels from digging. You must attach these traps to the ground to utilize them humanely. Animals will not be harmed if they are secured.

With a newspaper and a little soil, cover the traps and the ground they prefer to dig in. The motion of digging will cause the newspaper to be disturbed, triggering the trap. These gadgets will not spring up and grab the squirrels since they are fixed to the ground. Instead, the squirrels will flee in response to the loud noise and sudden movement.

When the squirrels connect that terrifying surprise with that location, they will avoid returning. This is a technique to keep ground squirrels out of your newly-tilled garden.

Natural Repellent

10. Use Natural Squirrel Repellents

Chemical sprays that are successful in getting rid of squirrels are widely available. On the other hand, they may cause toxicity in animals and people and harm the environment. Instead, use food-grade ingredients to produce your own natural squirrel deterrent spray.

The secret to producing a squirrel repellent is to utilize substances that these creatures despise. Spices are one of the easiest to get by. Squirrels will flee anything that tastes or smells spicy or minty. A gallon of water mixed with a bottle of tabasco is a cheap and easy DIY natural squirrel repellent.

Add a couple of drops of dish detergent to this squirrel repellent for the garden to help it stay on the surface of leaves longer. You may add a raw egg to the tabasco water combination to help preserve your trees. This increases its viscosity and stickiness, making it ideal for use on tree bark.

The residue will stick to the squirrels’ paws, causing them to abandon the tree soon. You can also get the same effect for defending your garden by sprinkling cayenne pepper powder, pepper flakes, or a garlic powder-pepper combination on the surface of your plants.

Here is how you can make your repellant:

11. Own A Dog Or Cat & Let Them Out Frequently

A terrified squirrel is almost certainly running away. You may be sure that once these creatures learn to link your home with danger, they will avoid it. Squirrel predators are an excellent method to scare these creatures away.

Dogs and cats are natural squirrel deterrents that are alive and well. Allow them to work in your yard by allowing them out every hour or two. Make the timetable varied so the squirrels don’t assume they’re constantly there.

If you don’t have a cat or dog, various methods make these creatures believe you have squirrel predators in your home. Install life-size or realistic owl figurines on your roof or in your yard. You must ensure that they move for them to be effective. Buy the ones that move wildly using solar or wind power. Ensure that they are forced to new areas every few days. 

Anti-squirrel sprays that employ predator urine or other odors are also available. You can spray this around the perimeter of your home or anywhere the creatures are known to congregate. However, because this has a strong odor, do not spray it in areas of your home where people congregate.

Bird Bath

12. Take Away Standing Water Sources Like Bird Baths

Aside from food and shelter, what else do all living creatures require? Water is the answer. Remember, if you have a source in your backyard, you can bet it will draw various animals, some of which you may not want to welcome. Squirrels are included. These critters need to keep hydrated; therefore, they seek out areas with standing water where they may drink.

Check your property for open water tubs and either empty them or cover them with a lid. Until you’ve gotten rid of the squirrels in your garden, empty your birdbath.

Look for any deep potholes where water might collect in pools. After a rainstorm, double-check to see if any puddles have formed. This keeps ground squirrels and other animal and insect problems at bay.

In addition to standing water, ensure your garden hose and outside faucets aren’t leaking. Squirrels have been observed to lick drops with their tongues. Stopping leaks makes your property less appealing to these pesky pests while preventing water waste.

Hole In Home

13. Cleaning & Sealing Your Attic

The sounds of squirrels in the attic might make you go crazy, but it is dangerous if they chew on wires. Short-circuits and fires might occur in your house as a result of this.

To eliminate squirrels in the attic, clean it thoroughly to remove hiding spots where they prefer to build nests. Check for any broken wiring and repair it as soon as possible.

Because the squirrels will be out throughout the day, clean your attic during the day. Leave a loud radio and bright lights on for a day or two before your scheduled cleaning to guarantee that none of them are still inside.

Allow these squirrel repellents to do their job before you come in to clean so you may move items around without worrying about being attacked.

If you come upon a nest with baby squirrels in it, don’t touch them. It’s preferable to wait till they’ve grown up and moved out as much as possible. You can use a squirrel trap or hire a professional pest control firm if you need them gone right now.

After you’ve cleaned up the attic and made sure all of the squirrels have left, seal any access spots to prevent them from returning. To keep squirrels away, consider placing squirrel spikes around the perimeter of your roof.


14. Installing Proper Fencing Around Your Home

It all starts at the perimeter of your property if you want to keep squirrels out of your house. You may kill two birds with one stone when you have a decent fence: squirrels in the home and the garden.

However, not just any fence will suffice. While designing squirrel-proof fencing, you should consider a squirrel’s capacity to dig, climb, and nibble.

Use a sturdy, long-lasting material like hardware cloth or chicken wire to avoid squeezing through the mesh. Make sure the holes are tiny, preferably approximately 1 inch wide.

Place the mesh on the posts’ outward-facing surface. At least one foot of mesh should be left on the bottom to be buried in the earth. Any squirrels that believe they can get in by burrowing under the fence are frustrating.

Install an electric wire at the top to keep them from climbing over. Make sure there are no gaps in the fence. If you have a tree outside your house, trim its branches so that squirrels can’t jump over the fence.

Final Thoughts

Squirrels are adorable creatures that can have destructive and annoying tendencies. They can carry a few transmittable diseases to you, your family, and your pets. Not to mention the damages they can cause to your home, including setting it on fire. With all the information provided above, you have found what you were looking for when repelling squirrels.

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Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.