Do it Yourself Squirrel Repellent

Stephannie Hibbard

Even though squirrels are cute, and many people enjoy watching them, they can quickly become a nuisance at the bird feeder, in the garden, and in the attic and crawl spaces of your home.

Keeping squirrels away from areas where you don't want them can be a challenge, but there are simple do-it-yourself methods to keep away these pesky creatures.

Keep squirrels away with pepper

Squirrels don't like pepper or spicy food. Sprinkle hot pepper--dry or pepper sauce--around areas where you don't want squirrels to venture. Consider growing pepper plants as a border around your garden and allowing some of the overripe peppers to mulch into the soil. Mix pepper corns with birdseed at your feeder--the birds will know which to eat and which to leave, but the squirrels will be bothered by the mix.

One recipe for pepper-based squirrel repellent:

1 bottle of hot sauce (the hotter, the better) 1 gallon of water 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid

Mix thoroughly and spray on anything you don't want the squirrels chewing on.

Keep it covered to keep the squirrels out

Squirrels are small animals with even smaller paws. They can get into areas through holes less than twp inches in diameter. Cover any opening on the outside of your home with hardware cloth (also known as window screening) to keep them out of crawl spaces and attics. Fence in your garden with mesh. Keep anything that squirrels might eat that you store outside, such as pet food, bird seed and garden seed, sealed tightly.

Make it smell scary to the squirrels

If the spicy pepper doesn't work, try scaring the squirrels with chemical or predatory smells. Socks filled with mothballs emit an ammonia smell that squirrels don't like. Predatory animal urine is available through garden suppliers to make the borders of your garden smell like a hungry fox. Natural, bitter-tasting sprays (safe ones are available from pet supply stores to keep animals from chewing at hot spots) can also keep squirrels from chewing on your trees, plants and wood.