Keeping Squirrels Away (Deterring Squirrels)

Squirrel Eating From Bird Feeder
Despite their delightful antics, having squirrels eating the birdseed, garden or playing in your attic or shed, can be very frustrating. It can be a challenge to make your home and garden unappealing. This page is about keeping squirrels away (deterring squirrels)..


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
November 7, 2016

My successful loco pepper experiment, began with a blender jar half filled with loco peppers topped off with water, and well blended = pepper slurry. Loco peppers on a plate


The first picture shows a concrete mixing tub that was filled with ivy cuttings. 90% of the cuttings were destroyed. I only salvaged 10%. No slurry was applied. Peppers as Squirrel Deterrent


The next photo is of a small bed being prepared for viola, riddled with holes. Had viola been planted, most would have been destroyed. Again there was no slurry. Peppers as Squirrel Deterrent


A small bed was prepared for viola. There was no damage. It had been treated with the slurry. Peppers as Squirrel Deterrent


The last photo is of a bucket of Loco peppers. Next year I will grow enough peppers to fill this 5 gallon bucket. Sweet! Peppers as Squirrel Deterrent



  1. Photo Description My successful loco pepper experiment.

    Blender jar half filled with loco peppers topped off with water, well blended =pepper slurry.

    1. Concrete mixing tub was filled with Ivy cuttings. 90% destroyed. Salvaged 10%. No slurry.

    2. Small bed being prepared for Viola, riddled with holes. Had Viola been planted, most would have been destroyed. No slurry.

    3. Small bed prepared for Viola. No damage. Treated with slurry.

    4. Bucket of Loco peppers. Next year I will grow enough peppers to fill this 5 gallon bucket. Sweet!
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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
November 16, 20161 found this helpful
Top Comment

Here are a few of the Loco peppers I slow dried in an oven and then rubbed to reduce them. They will be stored in an airtight glass jar for later use.

These peppers seem hotter than Jalapeño, but milder than Scotch Bonnet or Habanero. I tasted one. Somehow, I don't think the heat of the peppers is what keeps the squirrels away. Maybe it's the irritation to the nasal passages. I sneezed constantly while rubbing the peppers.

I've never seen dried, rubbed Loco peppers for sale. Surely, all totaled, I must have $50 worth of pepper. It will be put to good use.


I'm sitting here laughing. I'm imagining seeing a squirrel sneeze. A dog or cat sneezing is funny. A squirrel sneezing has got to be hilarious.

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January 24, 2008

As an avid birdwatcher, I do not enjoy watching the abundant squirrels devour all my bird feed. Not many birds came even though I refilled the birdhouse countless times. Thankfully I once heard that squirrels HATE red pepper.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 114 Posts
March 13, 2009

We weren't aware of the tenacity of squirrels when they are trying to get into your home looking for food until we bought a cottage on a lake.

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13 Questions

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Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 53 Requests
September 30, 2008

I have an elderly client that lives in the country, and he is having trouble with squirrels eating his wooden steps outside his front door. Is there anything inexpensive he can use to deter them and/or stop them from doing this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Janice from Illinois


By harry (Guest Post)
September 30, 20080 found this helpful

They are eating the wood in stairs to keep their teeth in shape. He could get a have a hart trap and bait the trap with sun flower seeds. When the squirrels are trapped he could take them for a ride of maybe 10 miles and release them or he could buy metal mesh at a big box store and nail it over the area the squirrels are eating.


I dont think chemicals and moth balls will work.

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By jen (Guest Post)
September 30, 20080 found this helpful

I put cayenne pepper in my bird feeders to keep the squirrels out. I'd try the cheap stuff at the $ stores or a few sprinkles of hot sauce and dish soap.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
September 30, 20080 found this helpful

Take cayenne or hot red pepper flakes & put this in a bottle of rubbing alcohol & leave it set for 2 weeks then strain it out & put it in a well marked spray bottle. He'll have to spray it on the steps each time it rains. Maybe plain Tabasco sause would work as well. You could paint it on with a paint brush.


---> A much better & more permeant fix would be to go to a Home Depot or hardware store & in their roofing area, buy aluminum roofing flashing. You can buy a 20 foot x 6 inch roll for under $7. Take this & bend it around the stairs. & screw it in. If this is a bit intimidating for you, an even easier fix would be to take aluminum gutter mesh (which bends easier) and wrap the sides of the stairs in this. You can use washers under the screws to attach it. If you don't want to mess with washers & screws you can buy construction adhesive (super strong glue). This gutter mesh is made to go over the tops of gutters to keep leaves out. Some stores only sell nylon or plastic gutter mesh, but you only want the aluminum type. It comes in a roll for under $7. I paid $5 last year for a small roll.

A third option would be to wrap rubber matting around the stairs. It's sold in the floor area of Hardware or Home Depot stores. It's that clear plastic stuff our moms put on the floors by the front door to keep our rugs looking new when we were kids. I'm sure the squirrels could chew right through this if they wanted, but it may deter them. Something better would be one of those recycled rubber mats that smell like nasty rubber tires. They are made to wipe your feet on, but the smell might keep the critters from munching them. They are black, & are sold where they sell floor mats. You can't miss that nasty rubber tire smell!


A fourth option would be to paint the steps with that gritty sand you add to paint. Also, they sell a "Non skid" sticky-back stuff that comes in a sheet or on a roll. It's made so people won't skid on stairs & handicapped ramps. This stuff has some kind of grit in it. you could try sticking it on the steps because the squirrels might not like the grit.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 399 Feedbacks
September 30, 20080 found this helpful

You could get a Have-A Heart Trap & once you have caught the squirrel take him out to the country & release him.
A neighbor uses a barrel, fills it with water, adds a Frisbee with peanut butter (sets the peanut butter in the Frisbee in the water). The squirrels try to get the peanut butter & end up drowning!
Squirrels are rodents, but the 2nd method is cruel, however if squirrels get into a house they can cause major damage. We had one enter when on vacation.
They eat wires and everything.

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful

Go to your local dollar store and buy cheap rubber snakes. Put them on the stairs and the squirrels will go somewhere else. I put these in my apple trees to keep them from eating all my fruit.

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful

Put some Vicks Vapor Rub on the edges of the steps. They don't like the smell or the taste.

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October 2, 20080 found this helpful

I very recently ordered this product to stop the squirrels that get in my walnut tree. I haven't gotten it yet but it's organic, guaranteed effective and not expensive. It looks like this would be easy for the man to spray on his steps. I have dogs and they hate the squirrels but they also get in the tree from the roof of my house. I'm to the point of probably getting the tree cut down soon if something doesn't work!

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May 31, 2004

I'm having problems with the squirrels going into the bird aviary. Can I get rid of the squirrels with rubber snakes? Do I hang the snakes on trees, fences, or the bird aviary itself? Can you help me out? Thank you.



September 6, 20040 found this helpful

I spread area with mothballs to repeal rodents, fill nylon stocking with a few mothballs and hang or place where needed

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By Hayley. (Guest Post)
September 23, 20050 found this helpful


I have a bird aviary with 5 adult quails and 2 baby quails. I have once had a Tiger snake get in their and eat an Adult. Once again snake season has rolled around again. is their anything i can do to keep snakes out of my bird cage. it is really important to me because the females are breeding and i dont want them to be eaten or killed because thet have to feed the babies.


Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 13, 20090 found this helpful

As was suggested above, you can keep snakes out my using moth balls around the aviary, however..... PLEASE do not place them where your birds can access the moth balls! Place them outside the cage a safe distance from the cage wire and line the perimeter of the area. This should do the trick!

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September 28, 2009

How do I get rid of squirrels?

By floranne from Philadelphia, PA

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July 3, 2011

I have one simple peach tree in my yard and this was the first year it was mature enough to produce a decent number of peaches. I quickly realized that I was going to run in to competition with the birds and the squirrels. So, I purchased netting.

It was fairly effective against the birds, but one day while working in my home office, I saw a squirrel come in to the yard. He scoped it out to make sure he was alone and took a flying leap at the peach tree. His momentum and weight took him half way up the tree, into the branch area. It gave him enough of a grip (netting is not solid!) to hang on, and he began reaching in and pulling branches towards him. Each branch he pulled in, brought another closer to him. Needless to say, he munched on about 6 peaches in as many minutes.

I chased him off and tried a new angle. I purchased chicken wire, and built a frame around the tree. Far enough from the branches, that his little arms couldn't pull in a branch. Then I sprayed it with a product called "Repel All" that contains nauseous smelling stuff like dried blood and garlic, that is supposed to scare the beegeebee's out of rodents, because it smells like a slaughterhouse. Well, that worked well for the squirrel, but then it got interesting.

I was on a business trip for two days during a heat wave. Evidently rats are not opposed to slaughterhouse scents, and a rat got in through the wire gauge. He chewed into every single remaining peach (leaving pits only on some). To his dismay, when he tried to exit, his bloated belly got him stuck in the wire at his mid-point. When I returned, I found this seriously decayed rat stuck in the wire!

I decided that if I couldn't have my fruit this year, neither could the rodents, and removed the cage, pulled every remaining fruit and threw them away. But for next year, I am hoping there is someone out there that has a real solution that I can use.

Please! There has to be something that doesn't cost 100 times the cost of the fruit itself!

Looking forward to your answers!

By MadDog

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May 16, 2011

Does anyone know how to get rid of squirrels? Are there any home remedies for getting them away from your house?

By Sharon Rafferty

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April 28, 2014

Does anyone know how to rid the garden of squirrels? They keep digging up my grass, hiding and then retrieving food.

By Rhonda G.

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October 16, 2013

How do I get rid of squirrels nesting in a shed?


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November 20, 2013

Squirrels are chewing all the plastic parts around the engine in my truck. How do I deter them?

By Dan

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October 14, 2013

My next door neighbor is feeding a squirrel, now 3 squirrels, peanut butter cookies. I opened the door for my son and there was a squirrel hanging on the side of my front porch. Making a weird noise. I never heard it make that type of noise before. It also looked like it was hyper. I looked like a rat. When I scatted it away it just make a circle and came back. I was worried if it bit one of us we would get rabies/sick from them. She still continues to feed them. I spoke to her and she says she can do whatever she wants to.

By C.Barcar

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