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DIY Critter Ridder Recipe- Natural Rodent Repellent

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Are critters making a meal out of your home? Do they get into your trash? Your birds go hungry because some varmint eats their seeds? Do deer eat your prized flowers and garden? Then you need to make this DIY Critter Ridder Recipe for Natural Rodent Repellent.

Rodent Repellent: DIY Critter-Ridder Recipe

As contractors, and someone who lives in an all cedar (AKA squirrel-buffet) house, we see critters causing damage all of the time to the exteriors of buildings; eating soffits, boxing, and wood trim.

As a gardener, they eat my: vegetables, flowers, and landscaping before I can even get a chance to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

DIY Critter Ridder Recipe-Natural Rodent Repellent

During bird-watching in the morning with my coffee, it drives me batty that the only animals in my bird feeders have four legs. And let’s not forget having to pick up the trash that has been strewn all over the yard by some pesky raccoon’s, UGH !!!

Peppers Repel Critters

Alas, we are all part of this thing called life and we need to learn to live together. But how do you protect your home without hurting the wildlife? The answer lies within the peppers.

Birds can’t taste them. Deer avoid them. It seems that humans are the only animals on Earth who have a love of red, hot chili peppers.

Rodent Repellent- DIY Critter-Ridder Recipe

This recipe will repel: woodchucks (groundhogs), skunks, squirrels, raccoons, deer, rabbits, dogs and cats.

Safe to use indoors or out but avoid contact with your skin, eyes and mouth.

In addition to body parts, avoid direct contact with furniture as it may affect the finish. 

Rodent Repellent Supplies

  • 1 Tbsp. Cayenne pepper
  • One Tablespoon of Tabasco
  • 10 Drops black pepper oil
  • ½ tsp dish soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap- the peppermint helps keep away spiders and mice)
  • Distilled Water
  • 16 oz. Spray Bottle
  • 16 oz. Glass jar with lid.
  • Funnel
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Label (you can use masking tape and a sharpie marker)
  • Fine mesh strainer.


Add all ingredients into your glass jar in the following order.

  1. Cayenne Pepper
  2. Tabasco
  3. Black Pepper Oil
  4. Dish Soap
  5. Water
  6. Seal jar with lid and place in a cool dark place (inside a cabinet for example) and wait for two weeks.
  7. Strain ingredients with a fine mesh strainer and add to your spray bottle.

Place the top on a spray bottle and shake. The longer you let it soak, the stronger the solution will be and the better it will work. 

Write Critter-Ridder on the label and secure the bottle.

Spray your Natural Rodent Critter-Ridder anywhere you want to keep away the critters.

The soap helps it adhere to things but you will need to reapply after rain or moisture has accumulated.

Natural Rodent Repellent: Red Pepper Flakes

To repel rodents and critters from other areas you can: sprinkle red pepper flakes in your bird seed, around your flower beds, or mix in your suet cakes.

For more information on how to make suet cakes, Fresh Eggs Daily offers a recipe, Coconut Oil Suet Cakes for Chickens and Wild Birds.

Add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to each recipe to help repel rodents from eating them. 

Do Peppers Hurt Birds or Chickens?

Lastly, you want to make sure anything you use around your home won’t harm the other creatures that are roaming the yard.

Rest assured, our Critter Ridder Recipe won’t hurt your feathered friends. 

Birds DO have the TRPV1 receptor like mammals, which is also commonly called the capsaicin receptor. However the bird TRPV1 is insensitive to capsaicin.

Chili seed germination is decreased in the GI tract of mammals but not by the passage through the GI tract of birds.

In this case birds can benefit from the rich contents of the chili peppers by not being sensitive to the capsaicin. The plant benefits by getting the seeds dispersed efficiently.

The second paper has little to do with birds but it is a demonstration that an increase in the amount of capsaicinoids in fruits reduces fungal infection and seed mortality.

The fact that capsaicin does not activate the chicken TRPV1 could mean that this is a general feature for all birds because chickens are rather basal birds.

Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz

It was interesting to read that hummingbirds avoid chilies but many bird species are neophobic to new tastes and that does not necessarily mean that they do sense the heat in the chilies.

Yard and Garden Pest

Are you dealing with other yard and garden pest? I know the feeling.

Living in the mountains, every wild animal thinks they own the place. And rightfully so.

However, that doesn’t mean I want to share my garden with them.

They can help themselves to the plethora of wild nuts and fruits, the vegetable garden is for us.

Thankfully, we’ve learned a trick or two about How to Keep Deer and Other Pest Out of Our Garden, and share them with you in our article.

Sharing is caring!


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

I just made up a batch of the Rodent Repellent. I noticed your supply list includes tabasco sauce but your recipe does not list it or tell how much to use. I used about a tablespoon to equal the cayenne pepper. What would you recomment I add to the recipe?

Amber Bradshaw

Sunday 11th of June 2023

Thank for for catching that, I just updated the article. Yes, one tablespoon. You can add more or less, but I've found they really dislike the heat. Thanks for trying the recipe! Amber


Tuesday 4th of April 2023

How much water should be added to the jar?

Amber Bradshaw

Thursday 6th of April 2023

Enough to fill it up after you add all the ingredients. It really depends on your jar/bottle size. I use a 16 oz. spray bottle.


Thursday 12th of January 2023

How much tabasco sauce, and how much water? The amounts aren't listed

Amber Bradshaw

Friday 13th of January 2023

1 Tbsp. Cayenne pepper

10 Drops black pepper oil

½ tsp dish soap (I used Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap- the peppermint helps keep away spiders and mice)

Distilled Water

16 oz. Spray Bottle

16 oz. Glass jar with lid.


Measuring Spoons

Label (you can use masking tape and a sharpie marker)

Fine mesh strainer


Wednesday 15th of January 2020

Are all of the other ingredients necessary; Tabasco Drops black pepper oil I understand the dish soap, but would Vegetable Oil work?


Wednesday 19th of October 2022

@koa, Vegetable oil would most likely just separate & clog sprayer. Plain glycerin can be used in place of soap, oil. Will mix better, too.

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