6 Best Squirrel Repellents & Deterrents for Your Backyard

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Having a squirrel around your property isn’t such a bad thing. In some parts of the world they’re a rarity that everyone wants to see on a sunny day. But, get blessed with too many of them and you might want to consider some of the best squirrel repellents on the market before things get out of hand.

As cute as they are, squirrels can wreak havoc on your wiring, plants, cabin, and so much more. Using repellents instead of traps is a good way of preventing a large squirrel family from settling in and it’s also a humane way of dealing with them. Check out my top picks to find something that will suit your needs.

6 Best Squirrel Repellents that Won’t Kill Them

While mostly water and vinegar-based, this squirrel repellent also contains other active ingredients such as peppermint oil, white pepper, and garlic oil. All of these ingredients are known to be very unappealing to squirrels, so there’s no doubt about its efficiency.

You can use this repellent around your house, garage, and anywhere you may have spotted squirrel droppings. It’s important to spray it in an area around 3ft. wide when you’re creating your barrier. That’s the recommended amount for getting the most out of it.

This may work on some other rodents too, though not as efficiently. I will say that one of the main reasons why I like this product, besides the list of ingredients, is that it comes with its own dispersal system. This makes spraying much easier than having to mix the solution yourself and switch containers.

This way, there’s less product waste. But, keep in mind that it will usually work best in drier environments. When sprayed on wet soil or during rain, it will be less efficient.

  • Natural ingredients
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    Formulated for squirrels
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    Built-in dispersal system
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    Long-lasting effect
  • Not for use around plants

The Plantskydd PS-VRD-8 can cover a massive area of around 4,000 sq. ft. Hopefully, your situation doesn’t require a whole container of granules. Anyway, this is a very efficient formula since it’s made entirely of dried blood.

This means that it will deter squirrels, rabbits, deer, and other pesky animals. It also means that it’s safe to use around plants, so you can be more liberal with the dispersal and a lot more targeted in your defense. For example, these granules can be poured into the holes you plant your bulbs too.

For protection around the house, this may not be to everyone’s taste. That’s because the granules can stain wood and concrete, especially if they get rain on them. It can protect plants under 2ft. tall which is not bad for granules.

You should also know that this is an excellent repellent to use as a precaution. In fact, it seems to be more efficient if used in areas where squirrels haven’t reached yet. It may take larger “doses” in order to repel them with the granules once they’ve established a base on your property.

With that said, each container comes with 8lbs of granules that last up to eight weeks. So, you are getting your money’s worth if you don’t live on a massive property.

  • Natural dried blood granules
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    Lasts up to 8 weeks
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    8lbs capacity containers
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    Protects plants under 2ft.
  • May stain wood, concrete, and bricks

If you’ve ever thought that rodents target only plants and homes, think again. Squirrels, rats, mice – these are all known trouble-makers that have no problem getting into your car or RV and destroying the upholstery, wiring, etc.

The problem is that not all repellents are safe to use on cars due to how much wiring and electronics they have. Some formulas are better than others, which is why I recommend this particular formulation for engines, underneath cars, trunks, boat decks, bikes, and other vehicles.

The formula contains peppermint oil, rosemary oil, garlic oil, white pepper and vinegar. Water is also added so that you don’t have to dilute the formula yourself. You can spray areas of your car that are susceptible to rodent infestation or areas that have already been damaged with the built-in dispersal mechanism.

You can even use it under the hood with no worries as it will create a long-lasting barrier against squirrels and other rodents. You might want to avoid using it inside the vehicle and focus more on the exterior, since it’s quite pungent.

  • Safe to use on electronics
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    Formulated for squirrels and other rodents
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    Built-in dispersal system
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    Long-lasting effect
  • Only safe to use in well-ventilated areas

Although Nature’s Mace offers its products in a wide range of quantities, the Squirrel Mace only comes in 40oz spray bottles. The formula is ready to use “out of the box,” meaning you won’t need to add water or anything else to it, and the nozzle on the head is slightly adjustable too.

The dispersal pattern adjustment is really nice to have since it can save you from unnecessarily wasting the product, as well as help you create a strong barrier around your property. The list of ingredients contains castor oil, lemongrass oil, garlic oil, citric acid, water, and a number of other chemicals.

It’s a bit harsh to the animals but it doesn’t have a very unpleasant odor for humans. You might not want to spray it where your pets spend a lot of time though. To get a sense of how convenient this mace is, consider some of the places where you can use it: bird feeders, decking, shrubbery, trees, and even parts of your home.

Although it’s not recommended to spray it on edible plants, you can spray it around the bulbs. Just know that it’s best to reapply the repellent every seven days or so. You might have to do that sooner if it rains. And, even though this doesn’t help its case as a strong, long-lasting squirrel repellent, the NM Squirrel Mace is just so easy and convenient to use, that it should compensate for some people.

  • Chemical-based repellent
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    Easy application
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    Works against more than just squirrels
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    Pleasant scent for humans
  • Not long-lasting

The Rodent-No-More is another vehicle squirrel repellent that offers a humane way of dealing with rodents that have a penchant for parked vehicles. You can find this in 16oz bottles or 64oz containers, both of which will have a built-in dispersal system.

One of the best things about this formula is that it’s based entirely on essential oils. It just uses fragrances that don’t agree with rodents in order to repel them. Not only is it safe to use on car engines and interiors, but it’s also safe to use in and outside the house.

Pets won’t be affected by it and there are no harsh chemicals that might harm kids either. It’s a pretty good all-round product, although it seems to work better indoors than outdoors. It is probably one of the reasons why most people use it as a vehicle squirrel repellent.

This is not one of the sprays you will want to use on your lawn and plants. Though much safer to use than many others, the effect just won’t last as long in well-ventilated areas. But, for all things indoors, so to speak, the Rodent-No-More spray is one of the best humane squirrel repellents.

I should also point out that it’s safe to use on carpets and wood since it doesn’t contain any ingredients that stain.

  • All-natural product
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    Safe for pets and kids
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    Safe to use inside vehicles and on wiring
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    Built-in dispersal system
  • Not for outdoor use

Here’s a non-toxic formula that shows great results - the Potent Squirrel & Chipmunk Repellent by Grandpa Gus. This formula contains mostly water, peppermint oil, and cinnamon oil and a few other proprietary ingredients, all natural of course.

The repellent doesn’t have an unappealing scent for humans or pets. But, to be fair, not all pets react the same way to the smell of peppermint. What’s also impressive is that you can use this formula to spray your vehicle, house, lawn, and pretty much everything you want. The list, however, should exclude edible plants because the repellent might taint their taste.

Everything else is fair game. As one of the few indoor and outdoor use squirrel repellents, the GCC-8-15 is potent, has a decent lasting effect, but most importantly, it doesn’t stain. This should appeal a lot to everyone that lives in a cabin. As you know, many granules and sprays based on dried blood can really mess up surfaces they’re used on.

The duration of the repellent depends on your situation. Generally speaking, one spray should cover a decent area and the bottle contains up to 1,200 sprays. But, if you’re trying to create long barriers around specific areas, then one bottle may not cut it. Although each spray creates a potent coating, the dispersal pattern is a bit narrow.

  • All-natural formula
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    Safe to use inside and out
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    Can spray it on engines and wiring
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    Pleasant scent for humans and most pets
  • Narrow dispersal nozzle

Differentiating Squirrel Repellents

You probably already know about most homemade repellents that always include some sort of peppermint-based solution. Setting those aside, there are really only two types of squirrel repellents - natural and chemical. Both are available as sprays and granules.

Natural repellents are usually made of specific plants. Plants like peppermint, tarragon, garlic, narcissus bulbs, and geranium are all considered natural squirrel repellents. Whether they’re planted or used in spray form, they fall under the same category.

This category of chemical repellents contains products that also include other ingredients. Animal-based ingredients, such as predator urine, blood traces, putrescent eggs, and others can be found in these repellents. Some of these ingredients are fear-inducing because squirrels will associate the smell with a predator and steer clear.

Other ingredients, pungent ones like putrescent eggs, are used because rodents can’t stand them. That’s because the proteins and amino acids create various foul-smelling substances as they rot away to keep most rodents and other animals away.

There are other squirrel repellents too. You can find other fear-inducing repellents that rely on visual and audio queues to scare squirrels. They often look like modernized versions of scarecrows that can emit sounds and appear as though they are moving. Not all of them will remain useful long-term, though.

Finally, there are electronic repellents. These will use high-frequency sound waves that don’t agree with rodents. However, these require optimum positioning, have a rather short range, and may cause problems for your pets too.

Granules vs. Sprays

I usually recommend sprays over granules because you’re more in control over how you draw your repellent barrier. You’re even more in control if you have access to an adjustable nozzle, a feature which most squirrel repellent manufacturers will offer.

With that said, granules are highly effective too. Not all of them will wash off easily or sink into the ground. But, you have to look at the list of ingredients carefully. For example, many granules are made of dried blood or dried blood with a mix of other ingredients.

Dried blood stains, and can be very hard to clean up. This means that if you’re happy with how dried blood deters squirrels, you can use it on your lawn and around plant beds. But you’ll need something else on your deck, car, walls, trees, etc.

Price vs Efficiency

Rodent repellents work a lot better than you may think. Although sonic or electronic repellents tend to top the efficiency charts, they’re not as cheap as granules or sprays. And they often fail to give you the range you need on a large property.

Sprays often make more sense. If they contain ingredients that don’t stain, it means that you can use them pretty much everywhere, barring edible plants of course. Compared to granules, they’re often priced the same, but they can also be used on trees.

You might not always want to use granules in bird feeders so that birds won’t eat them. Besides, if you don’t’ have a bird feeder, then it will be hard to stop squirrels from setting up homes in your trees. With sprays you can spray the bark, branches, and ensure that your trees don’t become homes to large populations of curious rodents.

Take the Humane Approach

A good squirrel repellent can come in many forms. As you can see, I mostly recommend ready to use sprays or granules, depending on the situation. These are all affordable choices, easy to use, and some of them can even be equally effective inside and outside your home.

Pick the product that fits your budget and, hopefully, you won’t have to revisit this article anytime soon.

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