What Do Squirrels Hate?

Even though they do not seem to be too fussy when it comes to what food they will eat, there are actually many things that squirrels dislike. Below we’ll look at what squirrels hate as categorised by their senses. 

The list of things that squirrels hate is quite extensive. There are smells, sights, sounds and tastes that squirrels hate including daffodils, garlic, ultrasonic sounds and dogs barking.

What Smells Do Squirrels Hate?

The primary reason for a squirrel’s dislike of something is most commonly because of its smell. Squirrels have very sensitive noses, and many scents in a garden will appear much stronger to them and cause them to vacate the area.

Here are some of the most well-known smells that squirrels dislike. 


Squirrels despise the smell of daffodils; this is because the entire plant is toxic to them. They can identify this from their smell, so it repels them, and these bulbous plants are frequently used as a squirrel deterrent. 

Are Daffodils Poisonous to Squirrels


Peppermint is powerful and sweet-smelling to squirrels, and it can be rather off-putting for them. Gardeners have utilised this knowledge and found that planting mint and using peppermint essential oil sprays effectively keep squirrels from disturbing your garden. 


Squirrels appear to dislike the bitter smell of coffee. Sprinkling coffee grounds around the base of commonly disturbed plants is said to be a good method of keeping those areas of the garden squirrel-free.

It also helps your plants to grow better as coffee grounds add extra nutrients to the soil. 


They appear to dislike all kinds of pepper, including black pepper, white pepper and cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper seems to be the most effective kind of pepper for deterring squirrels, most likely due to its strong spicey smell. 


If you want to plant garlic, then one great added benefit is that these bulbs repel squirrels due to their strong-smelling nature. As well as repelling squirrels, garlic has also been known to get rid of other garden pests such as aphids.


Squirrels are adept at smelling possible predators. If you have a cat or dog, squirrels will smell them and be more likely to avoid your garden.

But they can also identify the presence of predators from the smell of fur clippings and urine. You can obtain these things from pest control suppliers to stop squirrels from bothering your garden. 

Cider Vinegar

Most humans do not like the smell of vinegar, so it is not a surprise that squirrels, with much more sensitive noses, also dislike the smell. Many people will incorporate vinegar into deterrent sprays with smells such as peppermint. 

What Sounds Do Squirrels Hate?

Whilst squirrels seem to have a dislike for things that mostly carry a strong scent. Some sounds can frequently disturb and therefore repel squirrels.

Squirrels have become adapted to have a good sense of hearing so that they can be aware of the presence of predators.


If you have a dog, then this is probably quite an obvious answer for you. Dogs will bark at squirrels, and as they are an evolutionary predator of squirrels, the squirrels will hide if they can hear a dog barking.

Some people try to use recorded dog barking to deter squirrels if they can be seen disturbing gardens.

Ultrasonic Noise

Ultrasonic noise is noise played at a very high frequency which can often be very harsh and sometimes even painful for squirrels and other rodents. There are lots of ultrasonic devices which you can purchase to deter squirrels.

They work by using motion detectors and will emit a high-frequency sound when something moves past the device.

This sound can only be heard by certain animals and it is a popular choice of a deterrent because it does not use any bad smells or harmful chemicals. 

Do Ultrasonic Devices Deter Squirrels

What Sights Do Squirrels Hate?

Unlike certain species of pests, squirrels are not frequently deterred by sights such as certain colours of flowers. However, they will be easily frightened by the sight of a predator and you can use this to your advantage. 


Obviously, you can not have an owl patrolling your garden to make sure that squirrels do not enter your garden. But you can easily purchase plastic owls and place them on your fence or a roof overlooking your garden.

The sight of these owls will scare squirrels and keep them at bay. However, some are smart and will realise that the threat is not actually real, so it is a good idea to move the plastic owl from time to time to keep up the illusion.

Owls Scare Squirrels

What Tastes do Squirrels Hate?

Squirrels are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they will eat almost anything that they can. However, there are some tastes that they do appear to dislike. But if they are hungry and desperate enough, a squirrel will eat something that it dislikes to keep surviving. 


A close relative of the garlic, this root vegetable is not a favourite of the squirrel. It has a very strong taste, amplified when it is raw, which is how squirrels would find it in the wild.

Planting onions and garlic around your garden will help to keep squirrels away, but you should be cautious. If they are hungry enough, squirrels will eat onions despite their dislike for the actual taste. 

What Do Squirrels Love?

Now that we know what to use to deter squirrels let’s look at what to avoid. The main thing to avoid having in your garden are foods that squirrels like. Below is a list of some favourite squirrel food.

Many of these are included in bird feed, so be careful what you put in your bird feeders.

  • Black Sunflower Seeds
  • Monkey Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Tulip Bulbs
Do Squirrels Like Tulips


To summarise the main points from this article, here are a few key sentences. Squirrels mostly dislike things with a strong smell including daffodils, garlic, peppermint and coffee.

They hate anything that reminds them of predators whether this is sight, sound or smell. They dislike the taste of onion but will eat it if they are struggling to get enough food.

Most of the things that squirrels love are sources of food so avoid using black sunflower seeds and monkey nuts in bird feed. 

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