Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I need a recipe for squirrel repellent that does not keep the birds away too. I found one made with cayenne powder, but that will hurt the birds, won't it? These rodents eat a small fortune in birdseed!
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Leigh from Litchfeild County, CT
This isn't a repellent, but try putting an ear of corn out for the squirrels. They will work at that instead of eating the birdfeed. Works pretty good for us.
My husband put a wire cable between two trees and hung the bird feeder on the wire. There is about 20 feet between the trees with no low hanging branches. While the squirrels may sit at each end where the bolt goes into the trees, they cannot walk on this wire. The feeder is high enough off the ground so they can't jump up either. This has worked for several years, so unless I find a squirrel with a ladder, or stilts I feel I can feed my birds and not go broke doing it.
I've been dealing with squirrels and moles in my garden and bird feeders forever, the methods that employ the use of dry herbs such as cayenne pepper are useless, save the cayenne for homemade chili. The solar "pounders" are also a wast of money.
The best formula that i have found for squirrels and moles is this: add 1 tablespoon of castor oil to 2 tablespoons of ordinary dish soap, then add 6 tablespoons of water and mix until it has a whipped cream consistency. Spray the area down with a garden hose soak it nicely, then connect your garden sprayer to the hose with the "solution" added to sprayer. Soak the area down.
This works for 2 weeks to a month. It may seem like a hassle but the thing is, it works!
Optional ingredients include: 1 tablespoon of powdered alum and human urine, yes urine! First it is a natural fear factor for the animals, second, it also breaks down into ammonia, which is of course repellent, and good for plant growth.
Hot pepper spray does not hurt birds. I know several gardeners that spray the seeds and mix it around before putting them in the feeders. The birds eat it up and the squirrels and chipmunks leave it alone. I've also been successfully using home-made hot pepper spray under the hood and in the trunk of my car to deter squirrels and chipmunks from leaving seeds near the spare tire and chewing wiring or the hoodliner. I pulled out the filter from the filter box under the hood and sprayed both sides generously, misted inside the hoodliner, the outside of the hoodliner, and all under the hood around the engine and all rubber hosing. So far its been WEEKS and not one re-occurrence. I live in NH and as it gets colder and has started snowing already that's when these critters like to get under the car the most. So far so good! Every couple\few weeks I give it another fine misting but I haven't seen any evidence of re-occurrence. Someone else said they successfully sprayed the trunk of their peach tree to keep the squirrels off it. She only has to re-spray if it rains. I make several bottles at once to keep on hand.
HOT PEPPER SPRAY RECIPE: (Wear gloves!)
Take several fresh jalepeno peppers and discard the stems. Cut them up roughly and add them to the food processor (seeds and all!) with 2 cups of water. Blend well. Let sit for 2 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter into a 32 oz spray bottle. Repeat until the bottle is full. DO NOT use any kind of hot pepper pre-packaged or bulk spice mix as most of them contain salt which is very corrosive if you're spraying it on anything with metal or aluminum parts (ie the car). It's best to use only fresh peppers from the produce section of the store to make this recipe.
Hope this helps someone else. :-)
I need a recipe for homemade squirrel repellent. Thank you.
Lord, I hope someone comes up with something I cannot stand the squirrels here either.
How do I make a spray using cayenne pepper to deter these rodents?
By MR from England
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
This stuff keeps squirrels from eating up your garden, flowers and veggies.
The book I got this recipe from has recipes for everything; I mean everything. I love Jerry Baker. When I grow habaneros, I usually dry some to powder and add to this, just in case the cayenne isn't hot enough, but that's just because I'm a cook and always experimenting. The recipe works great on it's own.
Caution: Watch which way the wind is blowing and wear gloves.
Source: Backyard Problem Solver by Jerry Baker
By Lou from Denver, CO
The only problem with this, I've heard that they can get the cayenne powder in their eyes and then it really burns their eyes. Not sure if it's better because it's part of a mix, but I know that putting the peppers down on the plants will hurt them. (05/06/2010)
It didn't work for me, I poured it all over my bird feeding platform. As soon as it dried I put out sunflower seeds for the birds. Within minutes I had a squirrel up there chomping down. (05/10/2010)
A squirrel is eating my treated lumber steps. I need a recipe for a repellent.
By jchenry from OH
Put hot pepper sauce on it, critters do not like hot stuff. Good luck. (09/02/2009)
Squirrels can do a lot of damage. You could use a Have A Heart Trap (sometimes you can borrow these traps from the animal control department). Catch the squirrels and release in woods far from your house. I would want them to be far away as perhaps they will find another tasty area of your home. (09/03/2009)
Does anyone know a good, thrifty homemade squirrel repellent that won't harm them, but will keep them away? My mom's squirrels are eating all the bird seed and driving her dogs mad.
Kim from Rochester, MI
One thing she can try is to buy red pepper flakes at the store (often the dollar store has them, you don't need expensive) and grind them in a blender and put some of the powder in with the seed. The squirrels don't like the pepper, and the birds don't care.
But if there were one tried and true method, there wouldn't be so many "foil the squirrel" products and books. If persistence to the task would do it, my father-in-law would have "beaten" them years ago. (07/15/2008)
I think it's too early to be feeding birds in the yard there are still plenty of food sources available. When the weather gets colder and the birds which remain through the winter months are finding it difficult to find food, begin filling the feeders (don't forget fresh water, too). If you can't manage to repel the squirrels, you can feed them separately (quite a distance away) with ears of dried corn.
Make sure the bird-feeder isn't reachable from any branch or the porch railings, etc., and put a squirrel baffle on the pole (like a garbage-can lid with a hole in the middle for the feeder pole to go through and supported by a couple of nails). Be sure you are feeding high-quality seeds so that the birds won't pick through them and kick out seeds they don't want. Feed seeds for the type of birds you get at the feeder. Clean up under the feeder regularly to keep the squirrels from scavenging the dropped seeds.
Nancy from NC (07/16/2008)
We had the same problem and were told to feed the birds safflower seeds, because squirrels don't like the seed. We have had no problem, with the squirrels eating the seed. The seed is kind of expensive, more expensive than sunflower seed, which we were using, but we feel it is worth it. We don't feed seed in the summer, only in the winter. (07/16/2008)
Cayenne or any red pepper is effective with any bird seed it will not harm the birds, but the squirrels won't go near it. I live in a heavily wooded, squirrel infested area and the red pepper thing really works. I don't see why sprinkling red pepper on hoses in car engine compartment on hoses wouldn't work as well. Squirrels also ate through a gas line (metal) my outdoor grill. Guess what? Coated it with a mixture of Vaseline and red pepper and they never came near it again. (03/01/2009)
By Sylvia bird lover
For my bird feeder, I tried the cayenne pepper mixed with the seed, but it didn't work. However, I placed my bird feeder on a metal post in the middle of my yard, where they could not jump "on" it (away from trees and such). I lubed up the conduit pole I used for the feeder, with a mixture of cayenne pepper and Crisco.
The only way they could get to the feeder was if they climbed it and they could. However, after climbing it and getting the Crisco mixture all over their feet, they were forced to clean themselves and we all know how hard it is to wash grease off your hands. Well, they only climbed it once and they learned their lesson. Now, they just sit at the bottom of the feeder and take whatever seeds fall from the birds. I love it and its harmless, but painful for them since they have to clean themselves. Worked here in New England all year round. Just grease the pole periodically. Cheap, too. (05/05/2009)