Does Cinnamon Deter Squirrels?

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Does cinnamon deter squirrels? Yes, sources suggest that cinnamon has repellent properties and can deter squirrels. However, it is important to consider the available evidence and expert opinions to understand its effectiveness comprehensively. 

Though charming and agile, squirrels can often become quite a nuisance when they disrupt your serene backyard or garden. So, how can you dissuade these little invaders without causing harm? 

This article poses the intriguing question: does cinnamon deter squirrels? Anecdotal evidence suggests that this aromatic spice, often found in our kitchens, could be an unsuspecting ally in maintaining the peace and order of our outdoor spaces.

In the following sections, we’ll unravel the relationship between squirrels and cinnamon, exploring how the spice acts as a natural repellent. We’ll delve into the efficacy of this method, how cinnamon influences squirrel behavior, and how you can harness its power.

Our discussion will also cover if cinnamon harms these critters, ultimately presenting a holistic picture of cinnamon’s role in squirrel control. 

Moreover, we’ll extend our conversation to other scents that could act as deterrents and explore additional methods to protect your property from squirrel invasions. 

Key Takeaways

Cinnamon is an effective squirrel repellent. Squirrels are turned off by its strong scent.
Sprinkle cinnamon around the areas of your yard where you’re dealing with unwanted squirrels.
Other natural squirrel repellents include coffee, mint, ground cayenne pepper, moth balls, and garlic.
If natural squirrel repellents aren’t working, try physical barriers such as chicken wire and squirrel trap.

Understanding the Impact of Cinnamon on Squirrels

Cinnamon repels squirrels due to its strong smell, which they find unpleasant.

Does Cinnamon Repel Squirrels?

Cinnamon is known to be an effective squirrel deterrent. Squirrels appear unable to tolerate the strong smell of cinnamon, hence its effectiveness as a repellent.

The scent of this common spice used abundantly in kitchens worldwide, does more than just add a punch of flavor to our cooking. It acts as a formidable shield against squirrels. 

Sprinkling ground cinnamon or using a homemade cinnamon spray for squirrel control are viable methods homeowners can employ to keep these critters at bay from their properties and bird feeders.

However, it’s important to note that while there is evidence supporting the efficacy of cinnamon in repelling squirrels, definitive scientific proof remains limited.

Cinnamon Powder and Sticks on a Wooden Table

How Does Cinnamon Affect Squirrels?

Cinnamon’s impact on squirrels is primarily due to its potent aroma. It produces a smell that squirrels find intensely unpleasant, causing temporary irritation without inflicting any harm. 

The unique scent of cinnamon induces an unwelcome sensory experience for these agile creatures, forcing them to avoid areas where the spice has been spread around.

Squirrels are renowned for their intelligence and agility, often leading to potential nuisance situations in households. 

Using ground cinnamon as a natural deterrent capitalizes on squirrel behavior, repelling them from specific regions such as bird feeders or gardens without causing long-term damage.

This effective squirrel-proofing strategy relies not only on the irritant properties of cinnamon but also on targeted application methods maximizing its repellent effect.

Is Cinnamon Harmful to Squirrels?

Contrary to popular belief, cinnamon is not harmful to squirrels. This aromatic spice may be a deterrent due to its strong smell, which affects squirrel behavior. However, it does not cause any adverse effects on their health or well-being.

Cinnamon’s impact on these agile and intelligent creatures stems from their acute sense of smell. The pungent aroma of cinnamon can be overwhelming for them, prompting an avoidance response but causing no harm.

Consequently, using cinnamon as a natural squirrel repellent has become increasingly common in controlling where squirrels venture around your property safely and humanely.

Red Squirrel Eating Nut next to a Tree Branch on the Ground

Using Cinnamon as a Natural Squirrel Repellent

You can use cinnamon to deter squirrels naturally, such as sprinkling ground cinnamon on the soil or making a homemade cinnamon spray.

Ways To Use Cinnamon To Deter Squirrels

One effective way to use cinnamon to deter squirrels is by sprinkling ground cinnamon around key target areas in your yard or garden. Squirrels have a strong sense of smell, and the scent of cinnamon can be quite repelling to them.

You can also make a simple cinnamon spray by mixing ground cinnamon with water and spraying it onto plants or other areas where squirrels tend to cause trouble. 

Another method is tying a cloth soaked with cinnamon essential oil to a tree at the edge of your property, as this can help create a barrier that squirrels don’t like crossing.

Whether using ground cinnamon or its essential oil form, these natural squirrel repellents are safe for your plants and the environment. Best of all, they work 24/7, both day and night.

In addition to using cinnamon, you may also consider combining it with cayenne pepper for added effectiveness when sprinkled around your yard.

Making a Cinnamon Spray for Squirrels

To create this homemade deterrent, mix ground cinnamon with water in a spray bottle and shake well.

Then, you can spray the solution on areas where squirrels are causing trouble, such as around bird feeders or garden beds.

Cinnamon’s strong scent is disliked by squirrels, making it an effective repellent when used in small amounts. The cinnamon spray can help keep these furry pests away without causing them any harm.

Remember that it’s important to reapply the spray regularly, especially after rain or heavy dew, to ensure its effectiveness.

Other Smells That Deter Squirrels

Other smells, such as coffee, mint, and garlic, are also effective at deterring squirrels.


Coffee is not just a favorite morning pick-me-up for humans but can also be an effective squirrel deterrent. The strong, bitter odor of coffee grounds repulses squirrels and keeps them away from your garden or bird feeders.

Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, and the scent of coffee is simply too unpleasant for these critters to handle. So, instead of tossing those used coffee grounds in the trash, sprinkle them around your plants or strategic areas to keep squirrels at bay.

Coffee is a natural and affordable way to protect your property from these furry intruders.


Mint is another scent that can deter squirrels from your property. Squirrels find the aroma of mint unpleasant and tend to avoid areas where it is present. Peppermint oil, in particular, is effective at repelling squirrels.

Whether you use fresh mint plants or peppermint oil, incorporating mint into your pest control routine can help keep those pesky squirrels away.

Hot Pepper

Hot peppers deter squirrels effectively due to their strong and pungent smell. Squirrels have a keen sense of smell, and the strong scent of hot peppers is highly unpleasant to them. 

Using hot peppers, you can create a homemade squirrel-repellent spray that can help protect your patio furniture.

Obtain hot pepper flakes or hot sauce to make the squirrel-repellent spray. You can find these ingredients in grocery stores or spice shops. Alternatively, if you have access to fresh hot peppers, you can also use them. 


Mothballs emit a strong and distinct odor that squirrels find unpleasant. By strategically placing mothballs around your patio furniture or hanging them in small mesh bags, you can create a scent barrier that deters squirrels from approaching and chewing on your furniture. 

You can place mothballs in your exterior shed. The smaller enclosed space of a shed makes mothballs scents particularly pungent and long lasting.

However, it’s important to exercise caution when using mothballs due to their chemicals.

Mothballs typically contain chemicals such as naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, which release a vapor that repels moths and other pests. While effective as a squirrel deterrent, these chemicals can harm humans and pets if ingested or inhaled in large quantities.


Garlic is not only a staple in the kitchen but can also be a powerful tool for deterring squirrels. Squirrels dislike the strong smell of garlic, making it an effective natural deterrent.

The pungent scent of garlic can overpower other scents and help keep squirrels away from your garden or outdoor space. Not only does garlic repel squirrels, but it also contains antioxidants that benefit their overall health and shine their coats.

So, if you’re looking for a natural way to keep squirrels at bay, consider sprinkling some garlic powder around your plants or using garlic-infused water as a spray.

Additional Methods to Keep Squirrels Away

In addition to using cinnamon as a natural squirrel repellent, there are other methods you can employ to keep these pesky critters away. From physical barriers to traps and natural repellents, discover effective ways to safeguard your space from squirrels.

Physical barriers

Mesh, chicken wire, or hardware cloth can create a strong barrier preventing squirrels from accessing their target area.

These sturdy and durable barriers make it difficult for squirrels to chew through or climb over them. By implementing physical barriers, you can safeguard your garden and ensure squirrels stay at bay.

Using these simple yet effective methods is a natural way to protect your outdoor spaces without causing any harm to the animals themselves.

Using motion-activated sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are highly effective and humane for keeping squirrels away from your patio furniture. These devices utilize advanced sensors to detect the movement of squirrels and trigger a sudden burst of water. 

The surprise and spray of water startle the squirrels, creating an aversion to the area and deterring them from approaching your furniture. The motion-activated sprinklers are designed to provide a harmless yet impactful deterrent, allowing you to protect your patio furniture without causing harm to the squirrels or the environment.

One of the significant advantages of motion-activated sprinklers is their versatility. They can be easily adjusted and positioned to cover specific areas around your patio furniture prone to squirrel activity. 

By customizing the sensitivity and range settings, you can ensure that the sprinklers respond precisely to the presence of squirrels while avoiding false triggers. Additionally, motion-activated sprinklers require minimal effort to set up and maintain. 

Once installed and connected to a water source, they provide a reliable and automated solution, activating only when needed. Regular monitoring and maintenance will ensure the continued effectiveness of the sprinklers in deterring squirrels and protecting your patio furniture.

With their humane and eco-friendly approach, motion-activated sprinklers provide a safe solution to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about squirrel damage.


Various types of traps are available, including live and lethal traps. Live traps allow you to capture and release the squirrels elsewhere, while lethal traps permanently eliminate the problem.

However, checking local regulations before using any trap is important to ensure you comply with wildlife control laws. 

Traps can be a great additional method alongside natural repellents like cinnamon or other deterrent smells, especially if you’re dealing with a persistent squirrel problem that requires immediate action.

Natural repellents

Squirrels dislike certain natural repellent scents, and utilizing these smells can help deter them.

Garlic is a scent that squirrels find unpleasant, making it an excellent natural deterrent.

Consider incorporating these safe and nonharmful methods into your squirrel control strategy and enjoy a squirrel-free environment without resorting to harmful chemicals or practices.


Cinnamon can be an effective natural deterrent for squirrels. These rodents dislike its strong smell, which can help keep them away from gardens, homes, and bird feeders. 

Whether using ground cinnamon sprinkled in the soil or creating a homemade cinnamon spray, this spice has proven to be a safe and efficient way to discourage squirrels from unwanted areas.

So if you’re looking for a chemical-free solution to keep squirrels at bay, try cinnamon – it might do the trick!

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Sean is the founder of Conquer Critters. With more than 17 years of experience in dealing with various pests, he is passionate about spreading his knowledge to help everyone manage their pest problem in the fastest, most effective manor possible.

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