What smells repel birds?


Birds are beautiful creatures, but they can often be a nuisance and even a danger around your home or yard. Keeping birds away usually starts with a physical barrier or decoys such as fake owls that drive away from most birds. However, sometimes such methods are not possible or practical for your needs. This is where having the right odor can help repel birds day or night. 

Why would you want to scare birds away with smell? 

Many bird deterrents can affect the aesthetics of your house and many consider them to not be worth it. Spikes, netting and dangling CD’s are all great deterrents however they can be spotted by neighbors and passers-by. By using smell as a deterrent, you do not need to change the look of your house or create any artificial sounds to scare birds away. In addition, using smells can allow you to keep birds out of harder to reach places where conventional deterrents could not reach. 


 The trick is to choose the right type of smell or odor that can successfully repel the birds while not causing any disruption to your home, office, or facility. While birds generally rely on their sight instead of their sense of smell, there are a few things that will repel them from the area. What follows are a few items and ingredients that may help you keep away those pesky birds.

Does peppermint oil deter birds?

Yes. Peppermint oil is offensive to most birds and it will effectively deter birds away. Peppermint oil is a great solution to deter birds as it smells great to most people.


Keeping sources of peppermint oil pungent for long durations can be challenging however, especially in difficult to reach places. Follow this article for products and tips that will help you deter birds with smell. 

What smells repel birds?

1. Bird Gel

One product that plays with a birds’ sense of smell is this bird repellent gel. Smelling of peppermint oil, this product also plays with their sense of touch and sight. It emits ultraviolet light which in combination with its smell and gel texture will give birds the sensation of fire. 

The bird gel is an interesting product that is known to be very effective at deterring birds and will last for up to 4 years – the only downside it its expensive price tag.  

 2. Garlic 


Perhaps the most natural way to keep birds away from your garden or yard is by growing garlic. If you are growing fruits and vegetables in your garden, add some garlic in various places to help keep the birds from gathering. The odor it emits will repel most, but not all birds. It is rumored to keep vampires away as well, which is a bonus I guess. 

You can try garlic oil which is non-toxic around your home if you want to keep them away from windows and the like. However, the oil wears off quickly and will also repel beneficial insects that you’ll want to have around your garden. So, stick to natural garlic if you want to keep the birds at bay.

3. Cayenne Pepper 

It’s interesting that so many different birds and animals can’t stand the smell of cayenne pepper, yet it seems to be a part of so many recipes. Cayenne pepper hits the olfactory senses pretty hard, which is why birds want to avoid it. In addition to birds, skunks also cannot stand the odor that comes from this product, which means that you have two reasons to use it around the home.

4. Chili Pepper Mix 

While chili pepper alone may not be enough, mixing it with water and apple cider vinegar offers a simple, natural, and most importantly cheap way to repel birds. You can pour a mixture of two dozen chili peppers into a half-gallon of water and a quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar into a spray container. This will allow you to spray areas that you want to keep the birds away. Like any mixture of this nature, it will fade quickly, so you will need to reapply it often.

5. Professional Products 

In addition to natural ingredients, there are professional products designed to keep birds away that often combine odor with light or other sensory disruptions which can repel birds. They are more expensive, but often more effective in the long run since they are designed to last a long time compared to sprays made from natural ingredients.


One of the most effective products that I have used is this Bondie Repel-All spray. It’s bio-degradable, won’t harm your lawn/garden and lasts up to 2 months once sprayed!

6. Peppermint Oil

Essential oils or peppermint oil have become very popular for a wide range of uses. None more so than to deter birds. Birds find peppermint oil to be highly offensive and therefore makes this a great solution as it smells great to most humans. 


A famous recipe has been circulating our family and friends for some years now and it goes like this – 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 7 drops of lemon oil and 7 drops of peppermint oil. Now, this might seem like an odd cocktail of things but It has generated great results for many people I know. Soak cotton balls in this mixture and scatter them across the location where birds are being a nuisance! 


Making a natural bird repellent is simple, inexpensive, and effective if you use the right ingredients and reapply frequently. If you develop a taste for garlic, then you can grow it in your garden and around your home to help keep birds away


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About Us

We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!