Free Ideas to Repel Squirrels From Garbage

Squirrels lose their cuteness when they chew through garbage cans, bird feeders and gardens.


Cayenne pepper and hot sauces are effective squirrel repellents.Cayenne pepper and hot sauces are effective squirrel repellents.
Lawn care specialists and home gardeners give mixed reviews to commercial products that are intended to chase away these bushy-tailed critters. Instead, they recommend several free ideas to repel squirrels from garbage cans. These solutions can be effective against squirrels without harming children or pets. suggests a concoction of water, onion, jalapenos, cayenne pepper and paprika. First, a homeowner combines three cups of water, one chopped onion, two diced jalapenos and one tablespoon each of paprika and cayenne pepper. Bring the concoction to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes; the water will turn green. Once the mix has cooled, the liquid is filtered through a cheesecloth or a fine strainer--to collect all the solid material-- and into a bowl. Using a funnel, the homeowner pours the fluid into a large spray bottle. He can spritz this homemade squirrel repellent around his garbage cans once a week and after every rain storm to keep pests at bay. also recommends spraying plants with this homemade squirrel repellent.

Hot Sauce

Squirrel repellent can be created by combining one small bottle of hot pepper sauce, one gallon of water and a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent, according to the website Hints and Things. This potion can be sprayed on garbage cans, flowers and elsewhere and can be more effective than some commercial mixes that might actually attract squirrels. Like other such mixes, this blend has to be re-applied on a regular basis, because squirrel populations are part of the natural habitat of any tree-lined area, and squirrels are always searching for food.

Metal Lids and More suggests sprinkling hot sauce or cayenne pepper flakes directly onto the top of a garbage bin because those seasonings are very offensive to squirrels’ taste buds. A homeowner also could consider replacing plastic garbage cans with metal containers and lids. Those metal lids can be secured with bungee cords that cannot be torn apart by critters’ sharp teeth. Another idea is to coax squirrels away from trash areas by leaving a pan of nuts, vegetables, fruits or seeds elsewhere. But those who use food as a distraction will have to keep doing it, or the squirrels will revert to scavenging through the trash.