What Frightens Squirrels? {A Complete Lists of Sights, Sounds & Smells To Scare Them}

Boo! Have you ever wondered what frightens squirrels?

Why are squirrels so jumpy? Squirrels seem to flinch, twitch and tremble at times when we can’t see any reason or any potential threats.

Do they know something we don’t know? How do you scare a squirrel to make sure they leave your garden alone?

In this article, we will discuss, “What Frightens Squirrels?”

What Frightens Squirrels?

Loud or high frequency sounds, sudden movements and repulsive scents are just a few stimuli that affect a squirrel resulting in fear, stress or the need to flee the premises. You can considering using:

  • Ultrasonic noise repellents
  • Scarecrows, statues of owls or hawks
  • Capsaicin peppers, peppermint
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cinnamon
  • Predator urine
  • Garlic
  • Dryer sheets
  • Scented soaps
  • Rosemary

Let’s evaluate the items on this list further as we dive deeper into what frightens squirrels.

What Are Squirrels Most Afraid Of?

Squirrels are most afraid of dying or being caught by a predator. They will do what it takes to remain safe by zig-zagging away, darting up trees and fleeing into safe cavity holes they have found or created as shelter.

Squirrels are also repelled by scents like predator urine which indicate that there could be a potential threat nearby. You can mimic the scent of predator urine by using ammonia in a saucer or spray bottle.

Mix it with dish soap for an added touch of scent that will also deter squirrels from entering areas where you applied this mixture.

Which Plants Do Squirrels Hate?

If you wish to keep squirrels out of your garden, you can consider scarecrows or statues of owls, but you can also think outside of the obvious.

Many people have used scarecrows with mixed results, but what works better is planting repelling plants in between your prized plants to keep squirrels and other rodents away.

These plants do very well in gardens as repellents for squirrels:

  • fritillaries
  • geraniums
  • hyacinth
  • galanthus
  • lily-of-the-valley
  • mint
  • daffodils

Daffodils might be the worst because they are toxic when ingested due to the lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals contained within.

How Do You Keep Squirrels Away Naturally?

If you want to deter squirrels, you don’t need to scare the fur off their tails. They don’t need to fear for their life. They should hate or despise your property because of the odors, sights and sounds that are contained within such as:

  • Hot peppers
  • Peppermint oil on cotton balls
  • Mothballs
  • Garlic and vinegar spray
  • Rosemary and vinegar spray
  • Motion detector lighting
  • Large statues in the garden.
  • High Frequency ultrasonic sound machines

A combination of the items in the list above will prove their worth by keeping squirrels fearful or disgusted by your property. They will look elsewhere for a better location to dig up or search for food and shelter.

YouTube video

What Would Scare Squirrels Away?

Scare the squirrels away by releasing the hounds! It’s true that a cat or dog in your yard will naturally choose to investigate, chase or shoo a squirrel away, but what if you don’t have a pet?

You can employ the use of tangy, bitter or repulsive odors that would keep squirrels at a distance. All peppers that contain capsaicin will be harmful to squirrels if ingested. They won’t go near the odor, but it’s safe for birds.

You can season the garden with pepper powders or spray peppermint oil mixed with water all over each day. You can also try ammonia or purchase predator urine that scare squirrels away when they smell it and think that a threat has marked its territory.

Scarecrows, motion sensor lights and ultrasonic noise creating machines that send out high pitched sounds that we can’t hear also work well in unison with pepper powders and sprays.

Do Fake Owls Keep Squirrels Away?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no. In some cases the owl decoy is too small or too cute to act like the real thing. I purchased a large owl statue because I have an affinity to these incredible birds of prey, but it works to keep rodents away too.

Placement is important too. Hinder squirrels, mice and rats by moving the owl statue around every few days so rodents don’t get used to avoiding one specific location.

They will remember that a threat looms in this territory and they will tread with fear or extra care or avoid the area altogether.

Does Aluminum Foil Deter Squirrels?

Aluminum foil or metal sheets are used to keep rodents like squirrels from climbing up areas that we wish for them to leave alone.

If a squirrel is gnawing on your tree barks or other plants, you can choose to wrap them with some strips of aluminum foil.

This is a short-term solution. If this works for you, consider using metal sheeting instead for a permanent fix to keeping rodents off the side of your house or leaving your trees alone.

Do Rubber Snakes Scare Squirrels?

This one didn’t work for me. Maybe my son’s rubber snake toy was just too silly and unrealistic. Get a larger rubber snake and make sure it looks like the real thing.

Keep this decoy in the garden or in areas where you want squirrels and other rodents to leave alone. The more realistic the rubber snake, the better . You may actually scare birds and play tricks on family and friends as well.

What Is the Natural Enemy of Squirrels?

Squirrels have many predators and they can be considered enemies or threats. Squirrels are obviously scared of any location that could be considered the territory of the animals below:

  • coyotes
  • raccoons
  • weasels
  • eagles
  • hawks
  • falcons
  • owls

Avoiding these animals can be tough for a squirrel who is trying to look for food. Sometimes the smell of predator urine alone is enough to make squirrels shiver and flee. This is why predator urine is sold in stores to deter pests.

Are Squirrels Afraid of Sounds?

Yes. Loud sounds or high frequency sounds can scare squirrels away. Any sound that is unexpected can frazzle or cause a squirrel to flinch and escape before they try to figure out what exactly it is.

They have no time to spare when there are so many potential enemies who look for squirrels as an easy meal. Spooking a squirrel with unfamiliar sounds that are disconcerting, will keep them away.

Some examples are available on Youtube clips where annoying sounds are played that bother me as well. I go with high frequency sounds that I can’t hear but squirrels can and they work to keep them away.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Does Cayenne Pepper Keep Squirrels Away?

Yes. Cayenne pepper is an excellent repellent for squirrels. People either grow this plant next to other plants they wish for squirrels to keep away from or they sprinkle the cayenne pepper powder all over designated zones and it works.

2. Does Scare Tape Work on Squirrels?

Scare tape is good for birds and rodents. It can also be a bird blinder and they come in various thicknesses. Scare away rodents or the birds like woodpeckers, pigeons, seagulls and many more with scare tape.

3. Do Sonic Squirrel Repellents Work?

Ultrasonic pest repellents are one of my favorite options for keeping rodents away. Some do not work as advertised and usually require acoustics to bounce off the sound rather than leaving them in wide open spaces. You may need walls or indoor settings for these devices to work at their best.

4. What Frequency Do Squirrels Hate?

Squirrels hate frequencies opening at 50 khz or higher. Low frequency sounds will not always work. This is why I don’t simply play a sound clip from Youtube to scare away squirrels. Your speakers or a dedicated high frequency repellent device will have to be appropriately set for sound repelling to work well.

5. How to Keep Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders

It’s annoying to see squirrels taking away the bird feed that was not intended for them. There are wrap-around squirrel baffles available on the market to use on your bird feeders. This will stop them from reaching and stealing bird seeds. Look for torpedo baffles or other models and decide to purchase or create one for yourself.

6. Why Do Dogs Bark at Squirrels?

Dogs do not like unknown animals entering their personal space. The home is marked as the spot for this dog to rest and relieve him or herself. When a rodent enters, the dog can pick up on the odor or witness its movement. This usually sparks a reaction to chase or bark the unwanted visitor away.


We hope the information today gives you a variety of strategies and tactics to scare squirrels away from spaces that you wish for them to leave alone.

If you are concerned about your pet squirrel being scared all the time, you may have arrived at our site where we help nuisance pests from destroying or causing damage to our properties.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that a rodent with many potential predators will always be on the lookout and flinch very easily at sudden, sights, sounds and smells that cause fear or stress.


Thanks for visiting ThePestManagement.com for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.