DIY Critter Ridder Recipe- Natural Rodent Repellent

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DIY Critter Ridder Recipe-Natural Rodent Repellent


Rodent Repellent: DIY Critter-Ridder Recipe

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.

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 soffit’s, 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.
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 !!!


Rodent Repellent: DIY Critter-Ridder Recipe

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 (ground hogs), skunks, squirrels, raccoons, deer, rabbits, dogs and cats.
Safe to use indoors or out but avoid contact with your skin, eyes and mouth.

Ingredients and Supplies

  • 1 Tbsp. Tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 10 Drops black pepper oil
  • ½ tsp dish soap (I used Dr Bronners Peppermint Castile Soap- the peppermint helps keep away spiders and mice)
  • Distilled Water
  • 16 oz Spray Bottle
  • Funnel
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Label (you can use masking tape and a sharpie marker)


Place funnel in spray bottle. Pour ingredients into spray bottle in this order:

  1. Cayenne Pepper
  2. Tabasco
  3. Black Pepper Oil
  4. Dish Soap
  5. Water

Place top on 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 to bottle.
Spray your 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.

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, click here for the 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?

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



Are you a fellow DIY’er and Love to learn new things? Well click here for more amazing ideas!

Do It Yourself & Homemade


  1. Susan on September 3, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Hi I made your critter ridder and the only problem I am having is it keeps clogging the spray bottle so it stops spraying after a few squirts. I have tried different spray bottles but this seems to happen with all of them.

    Are you using a specific type of spray bottle?

    • Amber Bradshaw on September 3, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Hi Susan and thanks for reaching out- sorry you are having trouble with your recipe. We always use the spray bottles my husband gets at the Auto Supply store so maybe there is a difference? I would try straining your spray through a fine mesh strainer, your bottle is probably getting clogged my the pepper that hasn’t dissolved. If you let your spray set for two weeks prior to using, it should be fine to strain without losing effectiveness. You can also add a whole hot pepper to the bottle.
      Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with- and kudos for going the natural route!

      • Susan on September 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm

        Thanks I’ll try that

  2. Shannon on September 24, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Or you can use an empty dishwashing liquid bottle and squirt it out

    • Amber Bradshaw on September 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Great tip- thank you!

  3. Jean on May 23, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Will the spray work without the dish soap? Want to spray on and around my bird feeder and concerned about the soap hurting the birds.

    • Amber Bradshaw on May 23, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      The soap helps it adhere what you spray it on, however, if you are concerned, you can omit it. We use Dr. Bronners Soap which is biodegradable and natural. You can purchase it from Amazon, Target and many stores carry it as well.

  4. Michelle Hedgcock on June 12, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Is there an alternate to using the black pepper oil? I don’t have any and I need to protect the beans that I have remaining. 🙁

    • Amber Bradshaw on June 12, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      I would add regular black pepper. You can try warming the recipe a little to help release the oils and infuse the peppers really well into the spray. If you don’t have any black pepper, increase the hot pepper or tobasco.
      I hate it when critters eat more of my garden than I do- best of luck.

      • George Craig on June 16, 2019 at 2:38 pm

        Make your own pepper oil. It’s easy but takes time. Buy a container of pepper corns. Get a small container with a sealable lid. (4-6 oz is good) Fill container with pepper corns, then fill with vegetable oil. Screw lid down tight. Turn container upside down weekly for two months. Strain out the oil and use per recipe.

        • Amber Bradshaw on June 17, 2019 at 11:10 am

          Great tip and thanks for sharing!!

  5. Carol on June 13, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Just so you know, raccoons are not rodents. They are procyonids. More closely related to bears than any sort of a rodent.

  6. Margit Maman on June 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    I have a major chipmunk problem, I have tried all, from the above to traps nothing works they keep digging in my veg. pots and killing everything from tomatoes to peppers parsley etc. Can you advise against the little buggers
    Thank you
    Margit Maman

    • Amber Bradshaw on June 16, 2018 at 11:50 am

      I have not had to deal with chipmunks in our area so I can not offer advice from experience. But I’ve heard using predator urine may help such as, bobcat or coyote- you should be able to find these at your local outdoors store.
      Hope this helps

  7. […] so, you can make our DIY Critter Ridder recipe to stop critters from eating your house and garden […]

  8. […] Apart from this, if critters Do find your woodpile, try making your own Critter Ridder recipe here.  […]

  9. koa on January 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm

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

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