Does Neem Oil Repel Squirrels? | Plus 5 Natural Repellants

Squirrels are adorable creatures, but if you aren’t careful they can make your life miserable, especially if you have a garden. Whether you’re growing fruits, vegetables, or plants, squirrels seem to have never-ending appetites. They love eating everything in your garden.

Neem oil is a great natural way to repel squirrels in your garden. It can be diluted and sprayed around the area to keep squirrels from finding their way in. The strong smell will keep squirrels away from your home and will not harm any beneficial insects.

This article will explore how to repel squirrels with neem oil at home while keeping your pets, kids and beneficial insects safe.

How neem oil works to repel squirrels

Neem oil is an essential oil made from the fruits and stems of the neem tree, which is found mostly in India. Neem oil is sold in gardening centers and home-improvement stores as it is most commonly used as a treatment for sap sucking insects like bronze orange bugs or aphids.

Neem oil is easy to use and very effective at repelling rodents including mice and rats and large animals such as squirrels. It has a strong smell when sprayed around your garden and the smell will keep squirrels away.

If you have a problem with aphids, thrips, spider mite or bronze orange bugs neem oil is a great way to treat the problem. Spray the oil to plant leaves in the evening or early morning to avoid burning the leaves.

The smell will naturally deter squirrels at the same time.

How to use neem oil to repel squirrels

Using essential oils such as neem oil and others is really very simple. Squirrels do not like certain scents, and they will stay away from your shrubs, garden fences or trees if you spray them with a dilute mix of neem oil.

Here is the recipe you’ll need to make a neem oil spray to deter squirrels.

  1. Fill up a spray bottle 3/4 full with water.
  2. Add 15-20 drops of essential oil.
  3. Use this to spray all of your plants, on your fence or garden path. Spray this around the base of trees to keep squirrels away.

Remember, neem oil is natural and won’t hurt children or pets, so feel free to use it anywhere in your yard where you see squirrels congregate. Neem oil is

Again, use neem oil on your plants in the evening once the sun goes down, so they don’t scorch or burn. Squirrels will try to come near your plants but will turn and run in the other direction as soon as the scent of the neem oil gets anywhere near them.

Can you use other smells besides neem oil? Yes, you can, so let’s take a look at some of them.

Other oils and smells that deter squirrels

There are loads of other scents that can be used around your house and garden to keep squirrels away. Check out these natural smells you can use at home.

1. Vinegar

Squirrels hate the smell of vinegar so use it around your home to keep them away. There are two important things to remember when you decide to use vinegar to get rid of squirrels. Avoid spraying too much vinegar directly on your plants as it can cause damage. Instead spray the vinegar on paths, gates, fences or paths to stop the damage.

Second, use white vinegar only. Some people use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar, but this will actually attract the squirrels to your plants instead of scaring them away.

2. Cinnamon

Squirrels hate the smell of cinnamon, so you can simply sprinkle some into the soil around your plants to repel squirrels. Keep in mind that you’ll have to reapply it fairly often because the wind can blow a lot of it away over time.

Another good thing about cinnamon is that it deters not only squirrels but other pests as well, including ants.

3. Garlic

Everyone knows that garlic has a very strong smell, which most of us love when it’s used in our foods. But it is too strong for squirrels and does a great job of keeping them away. Garlic is cheap, so go ahead and buy lots of it to use in your garden.

You can crush the cloves of garlic and place them somewhere close to your garden, or you can use garlic oil and place it directly on the plants themselves. Either way will work and keep those pesky squirrels away for good.

4. Coffee grounds

Used coffee grounds sprinkled around your plants is a great way to keep squirrels away. We’re not sure why they do not like the smell of coffee grounds, but it could be that the smell is one that is unfamiliar to them.

Coffee grounds will gradually break down into your soil so instead of throwing used coffee grounds in the trash can, sprinkle them in the soil of your plants and watch how good a job they do at making sure the squirrels stay away.

5. Other essential oils

Instead of neem oil, you can use other essential oils to keep away the squirrels in your garden. Use them in a spray bottle like you do the neem oil, and make sure the oil has a very strong scent to it.

Essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, orange, and tea tree oil will do the trick, and make sure they are 100% pure essential oils that haven’t been diluted. Otherwise, when you mix them with water in the spray bottle, they might be too diluted to work properly.


The bottom line is, squirrels do not like strong smells. There are natural oils that you can use to keep them away because those oils have smells that are strong, and therefore unpleasant to squirrels and other pests.

One of these is neem oil, which can usually be found in a gardening or home-improvement center. Neem oil is very effective and only needs to be sprayed on your plants to keep squirrels away. Buy neem oil as a concentrate and dilute it yourself at home in a spray bottle.

There are other remedies that keep squirrels away as well, including coffee grounds, cinnamon, garlic, and vinegar, as well as other essential oils with strong smells. To be sure, when you’re trying to get rid of squirrels in your garden, you have a lot of options available to you.