Does Cinnamon Deter Squirrels?

For humans, cinnamon seems to be a love it or hate it kind of smell. But what about with squirrels? Let’s have a look at how these rodents react to the smell of cinnamon and if we can use it to deter them from our gardens. 

Cinnamon does deter squirrels in most cases. You can either sprinkle ground cinnamon on the ground or you can create a cinnamon spray which you use around the garden.

Do Squirrels Like Cinnamon?

Squirrels do not appear to like cinnamon and they can often be deterred by the presence of this smell.

Squirrels have very sensitive noses so very pungent substances, such as cinnamon, can be off-putting because of their overwhelming smell. In fact, squirrels do not seem to like the smell of many herbs or spices at all.

Now that we know that squirrels do not like cinnamon, let’s have a look at how we can use it to deter them. 

How to Use Cinnamon to Deter Squirrels

Using ground cinnamon is the most effective way of keeping squirrels away through the use of this smell. Ground cinnamon does not cause any harm to your plants, so it is easy to apply without worry.

Simply sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the soil of bedding plants that are frequently disturbed by squirrels and the smell will surround the area and keep the squirrels away from your garden. 

Do Cinnamon Sticks Deter Squirrels?

You can, in theory, use cinnamon sticks in the same way as ground cinnamon to deter squirrels. There is no doubt that the strong-smelling sticks will drive squirrels away if they are placed in the soil in your garden.

However, it is likely to be much less effective than using ground cinnamon for several reasons. The sticks have a much higher chance of being dislodged or removed either due to animals or weather conditions. And because the smell is concentrated in one area, you will only deter squirrels from one part of your garden.

If you have pets, you also run the risk of the sticks being eaten. Cinnamon is not actually toxic to cats or dogs so if they get a tiny bit by accident you shouldn’t worry.

But a large amount, such as a stick, will quite likely cause them to have an upset tummy so it is something that you should really try to avoid. 

How to Make a Cinnamon Spray to Deter Squirrels

Making a cinnamon spray is another way that you can use this spice to deter squirrels. There are a couple of ways that you can do this.

The first one is to boil some cinnamon sticks in some water, wait for the water to cool down and then spray the cinnamon water around your garden. Another way to make a cinnamon spray is to use essential oils. 

Cinnamon essential oil is very strong so it needs to be very diluted before it can be applied around your garden. You only need a few drops of cinnamon oil, no more than 10, per one cup of water.

You can then mix these together and use a spray bottle to apply the solution. It should be noted that conducting a test spray when using something strong such as essential oils is vital.

To do this, simply spray one or two leaves of a plant in your garden. Wait for a couple of hours and then go back to see if the leaves have taken any damage.

If they have not then your solution should be safe to apply to the whole of your garden, but if they have been damaged then you need to further dilute your solution to make it safe for your plants. 

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What Else Does Cinnamon Deter?

Squirrels are not the only animals that can be repelled by the strong smell of cinnamon. There are a couple of other pests that also seem to dislike the smell. Here is a short list of other creatures that will be repelled if you use cinnamon. 


The smell of cinnamon can seriously mess up an ant’s scent trail. These scent trails go from the nest to a food source.

In the presence of cinnamon, ants will likely move their nest elsewhere so that they are not impacted by the strong-smelling spice. 


These bugs are ones that you definitely want to keep away. They can be dangerous, but they can also be repelled by cinnamon.

Many people have said that sprinkling cinnamon along their windowsills has helped to keep mosquitoes, and other bugs, out of their house. 

What Other Smells do Squirrels Dislike?

Cinnamon is not the only strong scent that can drive a squirrel away from your garden. Here are a few other things that you can use to deter squirrels from your land. 


Coffee is bitter and strong to a squirrel and they do not like it. Use wet coffee grounds and sprinkle them on soil, much like you would with cinnamon, to keep squirrels at bay. 


You can either grow peppermint or instead make a peppermint spray using essential oils, similar to the cinnamon one earlier discussed.


Like with the mint, you can either grow garlic to deter squirrels or instead make a garlic and vinegar spray to deter them.


To summarise, no, squirrels do not like cinnamon and yes, it can be used to deter them. You can either sprinkle ground cinnamon on your soil or make a cinnamon spray using diluted essential oils.

Cinnamon is also said to deter chipmunks, ants and mosquitoes. Other smells you can use to deter squirrels include coffee, mint and garlic. 

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