Are Red Pepper Flakes Good for Squirrels

Will Red Pepper Flakes Keep Squirrels Away?

Sick of those pesky squirrels stealing all the seed from your bird feeder? If you’re wondering “Will red pepper flakes keep squirrels away?” – the answer is a spicy yes!

Red pepper flakes contain a natural chemical that drives squirrels nuts, causing temporary nasal and tastebud irritation that makes them think twice about swinging by your feeder.

The powerful aroma, spicy taste, and irritation red pepper flakes create are kryptonite for squirrels but totally safe for birds. Just a few shakes can effectively repel squirrels without harming your feathered friends.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • Why red pepper is so effective against squirrels
  • How to use red pepper flakes as a natural deterrent
  • Other tips to squirrel-proof your bird feeder
  • Alternative squirrel deterrents in case you don’t have red pepper flakes

So if you’re ready to finally enjoy watching birds (not squirrels) feast at your feeder, let’s dig in!

Will Red Pepper Flakes Keep Squirrels Away?

You betcha! Red pepper flakes are like kryptonite to squirrels. That’s because red peppers contain a spicy chemical called capsaicin. Just a few shakes of crushed red pepper can irritate a squirrel’s nose and tastebuds enough to make them think twice about swinging by your feeder.

Why Red Pepper Repels Squirrels So Well

  • Strong smell – A squirrel’s keen sense of smell hates the powerful aroma of red pepper.
  • Spicy taste – The capsaicin chemical bites their mouths, causing a hot sensation.
  • Temporary irritation – Red pepper makes their noses run and eyes water, but doesn’t actually harm squirrels.

Do Squirrels Like Pepper?

When it comes to spice, squirrels and humans have very different tastes!

Squirrels hate the smell, taste, and irritation caused by peppers. Their senses are extremely sensitive compared to humans.

The chemical that gives peppers their heat, called capsaicin, doesn’t affect birds at all. But for squirrels and other mammals, it causes temporary nasal irritation, coughing, and a burning sensation.

Not only do squirrels despise the spicy kick of red pepper flakes, they also don’t like the strong aroma. Their keen sense of smell finds the peppery smell offensive.

And when a curious squirrel takes a bite of pepper-laced bird food, the bitter, fiery taste is enough to make them think twice before coming back.

So to answer the question – no, squirrels do not like pepper! That’s why red pepper flakes are such an effective squirrel deterrent around bird feeders.

The good news is red pepper doesn’t actually harm squirrels in any way. It just creates an uncomfortable sensation they wish to avoid by staying far away from your spice-laden feeder!

How to Use Red Pepper Flakes as a Deterrent

Using red pepper flakes to keep squirrels away is cheap and easy! Here are some tips:

  • Sprinkle on bird seed – Mix a few teaspoons of crushed red pepper right in with seed in your feeder. Reapply after rain or every 2-3 days.
  • Create a perimeter – Sprinkle flakes around the base of feeder poles and anywhere squirrels traverse. This hot pepper barrier drives them nuts!
  • Spice up suet cakes – Add some kick to homemade suet treats to make squirrels think twice about snacking.

Red Pepper Flakes – Safe For Birds, Misery For Squirrels

The beauty of using red pepper is that it doesn’t bother birds at all. That’s because birds lack the receptors that make mammals feel the burn. So go ahead and spice up your feeder – the birds will keep happily feasting while the squirrels get the hint!

Other Tips to Squirrel-Proof Your Feeder

  • Use feeders with weighted perches – squirrels have trouble balancing!
  • Grease feeder poles – slick surfaces stymie climbing.
  • Install baffles on poles – stops them from scaling up.
  • Site feeders at least 6 feet off the ground. Squirrels hate to leap!

Do Squirrels Like Spicy Food?

If you’re wondering “Do squirrels like spicy food?” the short answer is no, definitely not!

Squirrels have very different taste preferences than humans when it comes to spice. Their taste buds are extremely sensitive to hot, pungent flavors.

While many people love the fiery kick of chili peppers or hot sauce, squirrels can’t stand it.

The chemical compound called capsaicin that makes spicy foods taste hot does not agree with squirrels. It irritates their nasal passages and taste buds in an uncomfortable way.

When given the choice, squirrels will always opt for bland, non-spicy foods. Nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies are more their speed.

Spicy foods like peppers or hot sauce cause squirrels to react with coughing, sneezing, and head shaking. They also dislike the strong, pungent aromas.

So while us humans may savor spicy international cuisines, squirrels only crave boring, mild foods.

That’s why spicy repellents like cayenne pepper and hot sauce can be used to effectively chase squirrels away from bird feeders or gardens. The heat keeps them at bay!

Alternative Squirrel Deterrents

While red pepper flakes are a top choice, there are other creative options to deter pesky squirrels from your bird feeders.

Natural Repellents

  • Cayenne Pepper – Another spicy option that irritates squirrels’ senses
  • Hot Sauce – Mixes like sriracha or Tabasco create a spicy barrier
  • Vinegar – The strong scent repels squirrels
  • Essential Oils – Peppermint, eucalyptus or citrus oils deter squirrels

Physical Barriers

  • Baffles – Prevent squirrels from climbing poles
  • Tin Foil – The shine and noise deter squirrels
  • Netting – Block access to feeders and gardens
  • Motion Sprayers – Sprinklers scare squirrels away

Feeding Habits

  • Remove fallen seed – Don’t give squirrels free meals
  • Use safflower or thistle seed – Squirrels don’t prefer these
  • Offer suet, not seed – Make them work for snacks
  • Use weight sensitive feeders – Squirrels are too light

The best strategy is to use a combination of deterrents. Be creative and switch it up to confuse those persistent squirrels! With some innovative solutions, you can outsmart them and take back your bird feeders.

The Verdict: Crushed Red Pepper is a Safe, Effective Squirrel Deterrent

If those furry freeloaders have been hogging your bird buffet, fight back with the power of red pepper flakes! This natural, humane ingredient will keep squirrels away without harming birds or other wildlife. Give your feathered friends the all-you-can-eat seed smorgasbord they deserve and send the squirrels packing!

Share your love
Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *