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23 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Squirrels in Yard & Garden

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23 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Squirrels in Yard & Garden

If you’re like most people, you probably love the outdoors and all the animals that come with it. But there’s one animal that you may not love so much, and that’s the squirrel.

They can be a real pain when they start getting into your attic or raiding your bird feeder.

If you’re looking for natural ways to get rid of squirrels, there are some fantastic methods listed in this article.

Squirrel Damage

Having a garden means that there are plenty of different critters that can wreak havoc on your hard work. One of the most common (and pesky) culprits is the squirrel.

These little guys love to dig up tulip bulbs and nibble on other plants. While they may look cute, don’t be fooled! They can cause a lot of damage to your garden.

And as mentioned, squirrels can get into your attic and disturb everything down there. They can gnaw through wiring and insulation, and their sharp claws can even tear open attic vents [1].

How to Get Rid of Squirrels Naturally

Whether they are entering your garden or home, it’s important to take steps to keep them away. These methods will get rid of squirrels without harming them.

1. Remove Food Sources

Before doing anything else, remove their food sources. Otherwise, you’re just going to be playing a never-ending game with these critters.

So, what do squirrels like to eat? Just about everything, it seems. But their favorites include nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. And if you have a bird feeder, they’ll also go after the birdseed.

Therefore, store all these things in a squirrel-proof container or keep them out of reach altogether. If there’s no food around, they’ll eventually go away.

2. Repellent Plants

Another way to keep squirrels out of your backyard and garden is to plant flowers such as marigolds, daffodils, and hyacinths. The pests hate the scent of these plants.

Other plants that repel squirrels include mint, alliums, catnip, and lily of the valley.

3. Seal Cracks and Entryways

Sealing up cracks and entryways will prevent them from getting in. By doing this, there will be no easy point of entry, keeping them out of your home for good.

4. Ground Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a natural squirrel repellent, and it’s easy to acquire if you don’t already have it on hand.

Just sprinkle some ground cinnamon around the places where you’ve seen ground squirrels, and they should stay away. Squirrels can’t stand the smell.

5. Motion Activated Sprinklers

These devices will also deter squirrels. You can buy motion-activated sprinklers at most hardware or home improvement stores, and they work by spraying water at the pests when they come near, scaring them away.

6. Eliminate Standing Water

Eliminating standing water is another way to stop squirrels from coming around. Not only do they love to drink from puddles and bird baths, but standing water also provides them with a place to cool off on hot days.

So, if you want to make your yard less attractive to these furry little pests, be sure to empty any water that’s been sitting around for more than a day.

7. Clean Your Attic

We’ve all been there. You’re minding your own business when suddenly you see a furry little face peer out from your attic. It’s a squirrel, and it’s there to stay unless you take action.

First, investigate to find out how they’re getting into your home. Next, seal up any holes or cracks that they may be using to get into your attic in the first place.

Also, clean your attic from top to bottom. This will get rid of any food or shelter that the squirrels may be using. Once you’ve done that, it should keep them from coming back.

8. Squirrel Traps

Purchase one of these traps from a farm or garden supply store.

You can bait it with a variety of foods, such as corn, sunflower seeds, or even a piece of fruit. Once it catches the squirrel, you can release it far away from your home.

9. Squirrel-Proof Fence

Erect a squirrel-proof fence. This type of fence is typically made of mesh or wire and is tall enough to prevent them from climbing over it.

You will find decently priced squirrel-proof fences on the market that can keep these critters out of your yard.

10. Cayenne Pepper

This spice is known for its hot, fiery flavor, and it can also be used to repel squirrels. Therefore, use it to make a homemade cayenne pepper spray for squirrels.

All you need to do is combine one tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder in a pot with two quarts of water.

Next, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Afterward, remove from heat and strain through a cheesecloth when it cools.

Use this spray to mist problem areas like around the bird feeder, patio, porch, and in the attic.

11. Scarecrows

These straw-filled figures are commonly used to protect gardens and fields from birds and other pests. But did you know that you can also use them to scare squirrels away?

Squirrels are notorious for raiding bird feeders and digging up flower bulbs. But a well-placed scarecrow can help keep them at bay.

12. Garlic Spray

You can make garlic spray at home with just a few ingredients. All that’s needed is some garlic, water, and a few drops of dish soap.

Simply blend the garlic and water, then add the dish soap and mix well. Next, pour the concoction into a spray bottle and apply it to any areas where you see squirrels.

The garlic smell will disgust them so much that it will prevent them from coming back. Moreover, this natural squirrel repellent spray can be used safely around children and pets.

13. Coffee Grounds

Another great home remedy to control squirrels is coffee grounds. Just apply it to areas where you don’t want these pests, and they will not come near.

Sprinkle it around the outdoor plants that they’re bothering. You can also place some used coffee grounds in your potted plants.

These rodents don’t like the smell of coffee, so it will stop them from coming around.

14. Get a Dog

We all know the age-old saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend”. But did you know that dogs can also be your best bet for getting rid of pesky squirrels?

That’s right, those rodents are no match for a good ol’ dog. Just let your furry friend loose in your backyard and watch the squirrels run for the hills!

Dogs are natural hunters and will take care of any squirrel problem you have. Plus, they make great pets and will provide you with hours of enjoyment.

15. Peppermint

Not only is peppermint excellent for keeping away certain insects and rodents, but it’s also a refreshing scent that will make your home smell great.

To make a DIY squirrel deterrent spray, combine about 12 drops of peppermint oil in one cup of water. Shake well and apply to areas where the pests frequent.

Alternatively, you can purchase this combo repellent spray that includes peppermint and other botanical oils.

16. Fox Urine

Fox urine is known to repel small mammals such as skunks, squirrels, and chipmunks, so applying it to problem areas outside can help keep these critters away.

Squirrels are afraid of foxes, so it’s only natural that the scent of fox urine will scare them off.

17. Human Hair

The critters do not like the smell of human hair, so gather up some from your brush or comb. You can also ask your friends and family for their hair.

Once you have a good amount, head outside and start scattering it around the areas where you’ve seen the squirrels, or use it as mulch in your garden beds. They’ll be so disgusted by the hair that they’ll stay away.

18. Irish Spring Soap

Irish spring soap can also help keep squirrels away without harming them.

That’s right, just put a bar of soap close to your bird feeder. Additionally, spread some grated bits of Irish spring soap around plants.

Squirrels don’t like the smell of it.

19. Ultrasonic Devices

These devices give off high-frequency sound waves that are irritating to squirrels and other rodents, causing them to flee the area. And, best of all, they’re completely safe for humans and pets.

20. Safflower Seeds

These seeds are not as attractive to squirrels as other common bird seeds, so you can throw some in the feeders. Squirrels don’t like them, so they’ll leave your feeders alone.

21. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar works great for deterring squirrels.

Mix one part ACV and three parts water in a spray bottle. Apply this homemade squirrel repellent to problem areas.

You could also soak a few old rags in raw apple cider vinegar and place them around the attic. The smell of the vinegar irritates squirrels.

22. Cover Trash Cans Tightly

Tired of those pesky squirrels raiding your trash cans and making a mess? There’s an easy solution.

Cover your trash cans tightly! That way, those little critters will have absolutely no access.

23. Eliminate Overhanging Branches

Chop off any branches that are hanging over your house. This will make it harder for them to get onto your roof and access your home, which will eventually lead them to find another place to live.


We all know that pesky squirrels can be a real pain, raiding our bird feeders and scurrying around the yard. They can also do a lot of damage to gardens and even enter our homes.

However, as you can see from this post, there are many things you can do to help. All the above methods will help get rid of them humanely.

Picture via commons.wikimedia.org

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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