What Smells Do Squirrels Hate in the Attic?

Mystery scents that repel squirrels in the attic – find out why these smells work and how to keep these critters at bay!

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If you've ever wondered what smells might drive squirrels away from your Attic, there are a few scents that these critters really dislike. Peppermint, mothballs, ammonia, apple cider vinegar, and garlic are among the top contenders. But why do these odors repel squirrels, and how can you effectively use them to keep these unwanted guests out of your living space? Let's explore the science behind squirrel aversion and discover practical ways to deter them from making a home in your attic.

Key Takeaways

  • Peppermint oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and ammonia are scents that squirrels hate in the attic.
  • Natural repellents like peppermint oil and garlic are safe and effective for deterring squirrels.
  • Chemical repellents such as mothballs and ammonia create unfavorable environments for squirrels.
  • Using a combination of natural and chemical repellents offers a comprehensive approach to repelling squirrels from the attic.


If you want to repel squirrels from your attic naturally, consider using peppermint oil. Minty deterrents like peppermint oil are effective scented squirrel repellents. Squirrels find the strong scent of peppermint oil overwhelming and unpleasant, driving them away from your attic without causing them harm.

To use peppermint oil as a squirrel repellent, simply soak cotton balls in the oil and place them strategically in your attic. The scent will deter squirrels from staying in the area. Refresh the cotton balls with more peppermint oil every few weeks to ensure the scent remains potent.

Peppermint oil is a humane way to keep squirrels out of your attic, as it simply makes the area undesirable for them without causing any harm. It is also a safe option if you have pets or children around, as it is non-toxic. By utilizing peppermint oil as a natural squirrel repellent, you can enjoy a squirrel-free attic without resorting to harsh chemicals or traps.


Mothballs are a traditional method for repelling squirrels from your attic. These pungent-smelling balls contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, which emit a strong odor that squirrels find unpleasant. The idea is that by placing mothballs in your attic, you can drive away these critters looking for a cozy home.

To give you a better understanding, here is a comparison between mothballs, pet deterrents, and ultrasonic devices:

Mothballs Pet Deterrents Ultrasonic Devices
Strong odor Specially formulated Emit high-frequency
Repels squirrels to deter pets sound waves to repel
Can be harmful to like dogs and cats pests like squirrels
pets if ingested from specific areas without harming pets
Not effective in the Effective for Emits sound waves that
long term indoor and outdoor disrupt squirrel

While mothballs can be effective, remember to use them cautiously as they can be harmful to pets if ingested. If you are looking for alternative methods, consider pet deterrents or ultrasonic devices as safer options.


To add to your arsenal of squirrel-repelling methods, consider using ammonia in your attic. Here are some reasons why you might want to give this natural deterrent a try:

  • Ammonia has a strong smell that squirrels have a scent aversion to, making them less likely to want to stay in your attic.
  • It is a Cost-effective solution that is readily available at most stores, allowing you to easily implement this method.
  • Using ammonia is a non-toxic way to deter squirrels, which is safer for both the Animals and your family compared to using harmful chemicals.
  • By regularly applying ammonia in your attic, you can create an unpleasant environment for squirrels, encouraging them to find a more welcoming place to nest.

With these benefits in mind, using ammonia can be a simple and effective way to keep squirrels out of your attic without causing harm to them or the environment.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Consider incorporating apple cider vinegar as a natural deterrent to keep squirrels away from your attic. This vinegar solution is a simple and effective way to create a squirrel repellent. Squirrels have a strong sense of smell, and they find the scent of apple cider vinegar to be very unpleasant. By using a vinegar solution in your attic, you can help drive squirrels away without causing them any harm.

To make a squirrel repellent using apple cider vinegar, mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to ensure the solution is mixed thoroughly. Then, spray the mixture in areas where squirrels are likely to enter or frequent in your attic. The strong smell of the vinegar will deter the squirrels from staying in your attic, making it an unattractive environment for them.


To continue deterring squirrels from your attic, explore using garlic as another effective repelling method due to its strong odor that squirrels dislike. Here are some simple ways to incorporate garlic as a squirrel repellent:

  • Garlic Cloves: Place garlic cloves around the attic or near entry points to create a barrier squirrels will avoid.
  • Garlic Spray: Create a garlic spray by mixing crushed garlic with water and spray it in areas where squirrels are Active.
  • Onion Spray: Consider using onion spray as a natural deterrent alongside garlic for enhanced effectiveness.
  • Chili Powder: Sprinkle chili powder in combination with garlic to create a fiery repellent that squirrels will find unpleasant.

Using garlic, onion spray, and chili powder can help create a strong scent barrier that deters squirrels from making your attic their home. Remember to refresh these repellents periodically to maintain their effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Squirrels Chew Through Peppermint-Scented Barriers or Repellents?

You can try using mint oil as a repellent because squirrels dislike the smell. Citrus peels can also deter them. Remember that squirrels are resourceful chewers, so it's possible they may still try to chew through barriers.

Are Mothballs Safe to Use in Attics With Squirrels Present?

If squirrels are in the attic, avoid using mothballs. They can be harmful to the animals and pose risks to your health. Consider alternatives like peppermint oil or ammonia, as squirrels dislike these scents.

How Long Does the Smell of Ammonia Typically Last in an Attic Environment?

In an attic with good ventilation, the smell of ammonia typically dissipates within a few days. It's effective in deterring squirrels, but ensure proper airflow. Ammonia is potent but short-lived, making it a temporary solution.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Be Harmful to Other Animals or Pets in the Home?

Using apple cider vinegar as a squirrel repellent is effective, but be cautious about vinegar safety around pets. While it deters squirrels, it can harm other animals in your home. Be mindful of the risks.

How Often Should Garlic Be Reapplied in the Attic to Effectively Repel Squirrels?

To keep those squirrels at bay in your attic, you'll want to regularly sprinkle garlic to maintain its potency. Squirrels are persistent critters, so reapply every few weeks to ensure they stay away.

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