does chili powder deter squirrel

Does Chilli Powder Deter Squirrels?

Yes, chilli powder can deter squirrels from certain areas. Squirrels are notorious for causing damage to gardens, bird feeders, and other outdoor spaces. Many homeowners and gardeners have turned to various methods to keep these furry creatures away. One popular natural deterrent is chilli powder, which is known for its spicy and pungent properties. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of using chilli powder as a squirrel repellent and provide some tips on how to use it properly.

Why Use Chilli Powder as a Squirrel Deterrent?

Chilli powder contains a compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for its spicy taste. This compound is known to irritate mammals, including squirrels. When squirrels come into contact with chilli powder, they experience a burning sensation on their paws and mouths, deterring them from returning to the treated area.

How to Use Chilli Powder to Deter Squirrels

Using chilli powder as a squirrel deterrent is relatively simple. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Identify Problem Areas

Before applying chilli powder, identify the areas where squirrels are causing trouble. This could be your garden, bird feeders, or specific plants they tend to target.

2. Prepare the Chilli Powder Mixture

Create a mixture of chilli powder and water. The ratio can vary depending on the desired potency, but a common recommendation is one tablespoon of chilli powder per gallon of water. Mix the solution thoroughly.

3. Apply the Mixture

Using a spray bottle or a garden sprayer, apply the chilli powder mixture to the identified problem areas. Ensure thorough coverage, especially on surfaces that squirrels frequently visit or chew on.

4. Reapply as Needed

Chilli powder’s effectiveness as a squirrel deterrent may diminish over time due to weather conditions or natural degradation. Monitor the treated areas and reapply the mixture as needed to maintain its potency.

Additional Tips for Using Chilli Powder as a Squirrel Repellent

Here are some additional tips to consider when using chilli powder to deter squirrels:

1. Test on a Small Area

Before applying the chilli powder mixture to larger areas, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it does not cause any damage or discoloration.

2. Protect Bird Feeders

If squirrels are raiding your bird feeders, consider applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the feeder pole or hanging a squirrel baffle above it. This will make it difficult for squirrels to climb or access the feeder, complementing the chilli powder’s deterrent effect.

3. Use Protective Gear

When handling chilli powder or the mixture, it is advisable to wear gloves and avoid touching your face or eyes. Capsaicin can cause irritation, especially in sensitive areas.


Chilli powder can be an effective natural deterrent to keep squirrels away from specific areas. Its spicy properties, specifically the capsaicin compound, irritate squirrels and discourage them from returning. By following the steps outlined in this article and considering the additional tips provided, you can utilize chilli powder to protect your garden, bird feeders, and other outdoor spaces from squirrel damage.

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