Best Squirrel Deterrent

11 min read| Updated for March, 2019

DID YOU KNOW?

Squirrels can turn your attic into a disaster area for years just by making it their home for breeding and create a huge mess inviting more squirrels to come.
That’s why when it comes to squirrels, prevention should always be the first step.

The Best Squirrel Deterrent

Figuring out how to keep squirrels away from your property is not always easy. They make nests in your home and yard which can be problematic for you and your family. However, you do have options to keep this crafty animal at bay. Deterrents that say “stay away and don’t come back!”.

We put in a lot of work to narrow down the choices. Here are six of the best squirrel deterrent options.

How We Found the Squirrel Deterrent

10 Reviewers

31 Products Considered

6 Products Reviewed

3 Top Picks

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BEST

Scare Owl

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Dalen Scarecrow Horned Owl

Pros

  • Looks lifelike
  • Easy to set up
  • Will not rust when it is out in the rain
  • Aesthetically pleasing and fits into any outdoor décor scheme
  • Safe for use around plants and gardens

Cons

  • Not all squirrels are afraid of this owl

OUR VERDICT

This scarecrow owl looks lifelike, it is similar in size to real owls, and it is easy to set up.

The Dalen Scarecrow Horned Owl works to keep squirrels at bay because the lifelike bird is a predator that squirrels work to avoid. This hand-painted owl stands 16 inches tall so that it is close in size to a real owl out in the wild.

This owl is easy to place. You can set the bird on just about any surface where squirrels frequent to scare them away. The bottom of the owl has a cork that you can remove to fill the plastic bird with sand. This sand will help to stop it from falling over or blowing away on breezy days.

BEST

Hawk Decoy

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briteNway Premium Fake Flying Hawk Decoy

Pros

  • Scares away most squirrels
  • You can incorporate this decoy into any area of your yard
  • You can hang these hawks easily
  • Will not harm your plants
  • Has a realistic flying motion

Cons

  • You might have to replace the string
  • If you hang it too high, some squirrels will not be afraid of it

OUR VERDICT

This decoy is lifelike, it works during all hours of the day, and this decoy is durable.

The briteNway Premium Fake Flying Hawk Decoy resembles a real hawk to scare squirrels since hawks are a predator of squirrels. There are two strings that attach to the bird and come together at a ring hanger. This feature helps the hawk to stay hanging in breezy weather.

The eyes and wings are lifelike and sizable. The bird is the approximate size of a hawk in the wild and made of plastic, so it will not rust when you leave it outside for a long time. When you want to store the decoy, you can remove the wings easily for more efficient storage.

BEST

Scare Cats

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Homarden Garden Scare Cats

Pros

  • Easy to place throughout your yard
  • Decorative aesthetic in your yard
  • Safe around plants and pets
  • You can place these cats into the ground, or you can hang them
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not all squirrels are afraid of these cats
  • The eyes may fall off prematurely

OUR VERDICT

This scare cat is easy to put into place, you can install it in many different areas, and the steel material ensures the cat is durable.

The Homarden Garden Scare Cats are black, and you can place them anywhere in your yard to scare away squirrels. This decoy is a humane way to repel squirrels from coming onto your property. The eyes are marble, and the bodies of the cats are galvanized steel. These materials can withstand various weather conditions.

Hooks and stakes come with the cats so that you can choose where you will place them. You can stake them into the ground or hang them from trees and other structures to keep the squirrels at bay. You get three different cat poses so that you can experiment to see which repels squirrels the best.

BEST

Spikes

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Bird-X Bird Spikes Kit

Pros

  • One kit provides 10 feet of coverage
  • Squirrels are not able to land on the spikes to keep them away
  • These spikes are easy to install
  • The spikes are durable and able to withstand significant weather
  • You can place these spikes just about anywhere in your yard

Cons

  • Must buy the adhesive separately
  • Birds may build a nest of the spikes

OUR VERDICT

The Bird-X Bird Spikes Kit contains enough spikes to cover approximately 10 feet in your yard. These spikes are safe for use around squirrels and other animals that come into your yard. This squirrel deterrent offers a permanent solution since the spikes stay in place once you install them.

You can use these spikes on uneven and curved surfaces. You will need to purchase the anchors or adhesive separately as the kit does not include these components. The spikes are stainless steel, so they can stay out in the weather long-term without rusting or corroding.

BEST

Hot Pepper Sauce

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Cole’s Flaming Squirrel Feed Sauce

Pros

  • You only need a small amount of sauce, so it lasts for a long time
  • You can use this sauce near plants without harming them
  • Easy to use
  • Birds seem to enjoy the spicy flavor
  • Mixes into birdseed easily

Cons

  • The liquid may cause the seeds to spoil faster
  • Some squirrels do not seem to mind this sauce
  • It can burn if it touches your skin

OUR VERDICT

Cole’s Flaming Squirrel Feed Sauce comes in a squeeze bottle so that it is easy to use. The formula is all-natural, so it is safe for all birds to consume. The flavor is hot Cajun, so the birds love it, but the squirrels will quickly go away since they are unable to handle the spiciness.

The food-grade ingredients include sunflower meats. The pepper mixes with these. This sauce is easy to mix into the birdseed of your choice. Once you mix the sauce with your preferred seeds, pour the seeds into your bird feeder. The taste is enough to keep the squirrels away.

BEST

Spicy Bird Seed

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Cole’s Blazing Hot Blend Birdseed

Pros

  • Birds love this birdseed
  • Works with all bird feeders
  • Easy to work with
  • Attracts a variety of birds

Cons

  • Some squirrels still eat the spicy birdseed
  • Must wear gloves when handling

OUR VERDICT

Cole’s Blazing Hot Blend Birdseed does not contain any chemicals so that it is safe for birds to eat. A variety of birds appreciate this spicy birdseed so that you can attract an array of birds to your yard. This birdseed contains multiple types of seeds and hot habanero chilies.

When you need to fill your bird feeder, pour the seeds into the capsule. Make sure to wear gloves and wash your hands afterward to ensure safety when you are handling this product. The diverse nutrients in this birdseed help to ensure that your birds get what they need without the risk of squirrels coming and stealing all of it.

Facts About Squirrels

Squirrels are crafty creatures that are highly agile. They have an excellent jumping range, and they are expert climbers. This ability makes squirrels a force to be reckoned with when it comes to keeping them out of your bird feeders.

A squirrel’s front teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. They love to hunt, and they are constantly hoarding food. However, they lose some of this food to other squirrels because this animal is not afraid to steal snacks from its own species.

Squirrels are highly intelligent, and they can adapt to just about any environment. These are two other characteristics that make it hard to keep squirrels at bay. They can easily find ways to adapt to deterrents, so they no longer deter them.

Throughout the world, there are over 200 squirrel species. You can find this animal in almost every city in the United States. During the warm months, they may live alone and hunt in a solitary manner. However, when it is cold, it is not uncommon for squirrels to hang out in groups to stay warm and ensure they have enough food.

The most common squirrel in the United States is the eastern gray squirrel. They spend a lot of time in trees searching for seeds, nuts, and fruit.

Tips for Using Squirrel Deterrents

There are several deterrent methods you can use to scare squirrels so that they leave your property. When it comes to scare decoys, make sure to place them properly. Look for areas of your yard where squirrels frequent. These are the ideal places to put scare decoys.

You might also place these decoys in areas where you have birdseed, or where you are growing food. This action will help to keep squirrels out of these areas.

You might consider putting a baffle on your bird feeders. These allow enough space for birds to access birdseed, but squirrels are too large to get around them. Just make sure that the baffle that you choose is the right size for your bird feeder. This device should fully cover the top of your feeder. If it does not fully cover the feeder, squirrels can gain access.

It is best to start with one type of deterrent. This method allows you to measure its efficacy. Once you see a specific method is working, consider expanding your use of it to keep the squirrels at bay. If you notice a method is not working, replace it with one that is effective for stopping squirrels.

Other Ways to Deter Squirrels from Your Property

Squirrels can be sneaky, so it is ideal to use multiple methods to keep them away from your property. The following are tips to stop the squirrels from taking up residence in your yard:

  • Do not put out any food since squirrels will go where they can find food
  • Use scare decoys to scare them away from coming onto your property
  • Use different squirrel deterrents, such as a baffle, to stop squirrels from getting into your birdseed
  • Make sure that you frequently remove what attracts them, such as any nuts, seeds, and fruit that fall from your bird feeder, plants or trees
  • Install a motion-activated sprinkler since squirrels do not like getting wet
  • Use a spicy repellent on your flowers and bulbs to keep squirrels away from these areas
  • Consider using humane traps to trap them and then remove them from your yard
  • Plant flowers that squirrels do not like, such as snowdrops, daffodils, hyacinth, and allium
  • Check your home for places where squirrels can enter and seal these off so that squirrels cannot get inside your home

Summary

Using a variety of squirrel deterrent methods is the best way to prevent these animals from overtaking your property. You also want to make sure that you are following all product instructions to ensure you are deterring squirrels as much as possible.