Does Vinegar Deter Squirrels?

Lots of home remedies for deterring squirrels rely on their sense of smell. Vinegar has a very strong acidic smell which many people dislike. But does this work the same for squirrels and does vinegar deter squirrels with success?

Vinegar can deter squirrels. They dislike strong smells and one of those smells is vinegar so it can be used to repel them from your garden if used correctly.

Do Squirrels Like the Smell of Vinegar?

Squirrels do not like the smell of vinegar, and because it is easy to obtain and cheap, it has become a favourite home remedy amongst many gardeners for deterring squirrels.

They do not like the smell because they have more sensitive noses than us, and the pungent acidity of the vinegar is very off-putting.

So, we know that squirrels dislike vinegar, now let’s look at how we can use this to deter them. 

What Types of Vinegar Deter Squirrels?

Any kind of vinegar has a pungent enough smell to deter squirrels. That being said, there are some types of vinegar that people have claimed to be more effective, likely due to the stronger smell.

Here is a small list of some of the more effective types of vinegar you can use to deter squirrels. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is the most popular choice amongst gardeners for repelling squirrels. It smells stronger than other types of vinegar and can be easily applied as it does not cause any damage when it is sprayed directly onto plants. 

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Deter Squirrels

White Vinegar

White vinegar is another popular choice to use to repel squirrels with. Like with apple cider vinegar, this is because it is stronger smelling than other types of vinegar, so it works more effectively. 

As mentioned, most types of vinegar will do the trick for deterring squirrels. However, you should note that some squirrels will still come into your garden despite the smell if they are hungry enough.

To make sure your garden can be kept squirrel free, you should combine several different repelling methods. 

How to Make a Vinegar Spray

The best way to use vinegar to repel squirrels is by making up a spray that you can use in your garden.

Whilst vinegar can usually be sprayed onto plants directly, there are some more sensitive plants that may suffer a little, so making a diluted spray means that you can apply the solution to all of your plants. 

Making a vinegar spray is easy, all you need is your choice of vinegar, some water, garlic and a spray bottle to apply the solution.

[lasso ref=”essential-spray-bottle” id=”1867″ link_id=”7392″]

First of all, chop the garlic into small, fine chunks. You can also use jalapeno pepper instead of garlic if you prefer. Mix the garlic into a solution of two parts vinegar and one part water and shake well. Then transfer this mixture into a spray bottle. And that’s all there is to it.

It is always a good idea to do a test before spraying your solution all over your garden. Spray the mixture onto one or two plants in your garden and leave it for a couple of hours. Then check how the plants are holding up.

If there is no damage to your plants then you’re good to go.

What Other Smells Deter Squirrels?

Vinegar is by no means the only smell that can work to help repel squirrels. Whilst this is one of the most effective smells that you can use, there are others that you may wish to use instead if you too cannot stand the smell of vinegar.

Squirrels dislike a range of other smells which you can also use to your advantage to create the ultimate squirrel repellent spray:

Coffee Grounds

Because of its bitter smell, coffee grounds are another thing that squirrels strongly dislike. They have also been known to help plants grow so using them around your garden has other beneficial properties as well as getting rid of squirrels. 


Squirrels dislike the smell of garlic, which is why it was added to the vinegar spray discussed earlier. You can either use garlic sprays or grow your own garlic, this will keep squirrels away from certain areas of your garden. 


Squirrels dislike the spicy smell of pepper. In fact, the spicier the pepper, the more effective it is, but you can still use any kind of pepper.

Many people will sprinkle cayenne pepper flakes around their garden to keep their plants free from squirrels. 


To summarise, here are some key points of this article. Squirrels dislike vinegar and it can be used to repel them.

The most effective vinegar for deterring squirrels is apple cider vinegar. You can make an easy vinegar spray to spray on your plants and protect them from squirrels. Using vinegar can also deter insects including ants.

Some other smells that work to deter squirrels include coffee, garlic and pepper. 

1 thought on “Does Vinegar Deter Squirrels?”

  1. DO NOT put vinegar on your plants. Vinegar is a natural “weed” killer. Even diluted many of your flowers and especially food crops will become very stressed or die. I use 1 gallon vinegar full strength with 1 cup salt. It makes a great weed control method without using toxic chemicals such as Roundup, dicamba, 2-4d.


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