can birds smell peppermint oil

From common birds like robins and pigeons to large ones like hawks and eagles, all birds are essential parts of our ecosystem and are also extremely fascinating to observe up close. However, there are some instances where homeowners would rather watch their feathered friends from afar. Many turn to peppermint oil in these situations, as it is commonly known to repel birds — and, we are happy to confirm that, with a bit of dedication and upkeep, this method does work, and is a great do-it-yourself hack to keep birds flying far away from your home.

There are many reasons why you may want to deter birds away from your property, but their choice of food is a big one. Many small birds, like songbirds, enjoy munching on fruits, berries, seeds, and insects. So, while they might help control the pest population in your garden, they could do more harm than good by destroying plants and snatching newly planted seeds. While they dont have noses and the advanced sense of smell that humans and other animals do, birds are capable of picking up scents. They do not like the smell of peppermint, making the strong scent from highly concentrated peppermint oil an effective way to keep them away.

Using peppermint oil as a bird deterrent does work, but this do-it-yourself hack is rather demanding. If you have the time and dedication and execute it properly, peppermint oil bird repellent is highly effective. There are a few ways to initiate this hack including a homemade spray and the use of cotton balls. To make the spray, add 14 drops of peppermint oil, 14 drops of lemon oil, half a cup of white vinegar, and half a cup of water to a bowl. Stir the ingredients, add the mixture to an empty spray bottle, and spray the area daily.

You can also opt for the cotton ball method, which requires a lot less ingredients. Put a half cup of peppermint oil in a small bowl, and then put a handful of cotton balls in the oil. Once they have absorbed the liquid completely, simply put the bowl of cotton balls in the area youd like to keep bird-free. However, think about which form is best for you, as peppermint oil sprayed directly on a plants leaves is going to be much more effective than a bowl of peppermint oil-soaked cotton balls placed next to the plant.

While peppermint oil can be effective, it doesnt come without a few faults — both methods mentioned above require high concentrations of peppermint oil, in addition, you will need to check up on your deterrent daily and reapply the oil on an as-needed basis. Along with the large amount of maintenance it requires, peppermint oil can also cause rashes and irritation if it comes in contact with the skin. Its best to wear gloves when executing any hacks involving essential oils.

This hack works when executed properly, but it isnt the only method to keep birds away. Another good option in a pinch is Kool-Aid — specifically grape-flavored. It contains an ingredient called methyl anthranilate, which mimics the smell and taste of grapes and, more importantly, repels birds. Methyl anthranilate is highly irritative to birds throats and nostrils, making it a readily available alternative to peppermint oil.

The cotton ball method is an additional option that uses a lot less ingredients. A small bowl should be filled with half a cup of peppermint oil. Next, several cotton balls should be submerged in the oil. After they have fully absorbed the liquid, just place the bowl of cotton balls in the area you wish to keep free of birds. But consider which form works best for you; sprinkling peppermint oil directly on a plant’s leaves will work far better than placing a bowl of cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil next to the plant.

Although there are various reasons to discourage birds from visiting your property, one important one is their preference for certain foods. A lot of small birds, such as songbirds, like to eat fruits, berries, seeds, and insects. Therefore, by destroying plants and stealing freshly planted seeds, they could cause more harm than good even though they might help control the population of pests in your garden. Birds can detect scents even though they don’t have noses or the same keen sense of smell as people or other animals. Since they dislike the smell of peppermint, the potent aroma of highly concentrated peppermint oil works well to keep them at bay.

While peppermint oil can be useful, it is not without drawbacks. For one thing, both of the above methods call for high concentrations of peppermint oil; additionally, you will need to monitor your deterrent every day and reapply the oil as needed. In addition to being very maintenance-intensive, peppermint oil can irritate skin and cause rashes when it comes into contact with it. When performing any hacks involving essential oils, it’s best to wear gloves.

Although using peppermint oil as a bird deterrent does work, it’s a fairly labor-intensive do-it-yourself method. When applied correctly and with sufficient time and effort, peppermint oil works wonders as a bird repellent. There are several methods to start this hack, such as using cotton balls and a homemade spray. To make the spray, fill a bowl with half a cup of white vinegar, half a cup of water, 14 drops each of peppermint and lemon oils, and white vinegar. Mix the components, fill a spray bottle with the mixture, and mist the area once a day.

When used correctly, this hack is effective, but it’s not the only way to deter birds. When times are tight, Kool-Aid, particularly the grape flavor, is a great substitute. Methyl anthranilate, one of its ingredients, tastes and smells like grapes but, more significantly, keeps birds away. Since methyl anthranilate irritates birds’ throats and nostrils greatly, it’s a convenient substitute for peppermint oil.

What Smells Do Birds Hate?

For various reasons, some natural products emit an odor that deters birds. Consider using these items, if you already have them at home, to deter birds. Some of these are simple to locate and use as a bird deterrent if you don’t already have them. Some smells birds hate include:

  • Essential oils. These scents are overpowering to birds, especially peppermint oil. Even by itself, the potent scent of peppermint deters birds.
  • Peppers. Since most peppers are hot, their aroma frequently causes a burning feeling. Cayenne and chili peppers are two particular pepper varieties that have the ability to repel birds.
  • Garlic. Garlic’s potent, natural odor and allicin content deter birds from eating it.
  • Cinnamon. The aromatic scent of cinnamon is irritating to most birds.
  • Vinegar. The strong, disagreeable smell of vinegar can agitate birds, so they will avoid it.
  • Citrus oil. Because they dislike the scent of citrus, birds typically stay away from it. But, for citrus oil to be effective as a deterrent, it needs to come into direct contact with the bird.

How To Make Homemade Bird Repellent

Select a base scent from the list above to use as your homemade repellent against birds. Any of these aromas can be the primary component of a spray designed to deter birds. You can combine liquid dish soap, apple cider vinegar, and water with these fragrances. Some recipes to try are:

  • 14 drops of peppermint oil
  • 14 drops of lemon oil
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • ½ cup of water
  • 6 drops of liquid dish soap
  • 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of olive oil
  • 3 parts water
  • 1 part cinnamon


Is peppermint oil safe around birds?

Avoid using these essential oils around your bird: Tea tree. Peppermint. Tree oils such as – Eucalyptus, Arborvitae, Pine.

What essential oil smell do birds hate?

Birds have ultraviolet receptors that see fire or smoke, even though there isn’t any with Optical Gel. Humans, meanwhile, see nothing at all. Smell. A blend of peppermint oil and citronella is proven to emit a smell that is offensive to birds but quite pleasant to humans.

Does the smell of peppermint keep birds away?

The strong smell of peppermint is enough to repel birds on its own. Peppers. With most peppers being spicy, their smell often creates a burning sensation.

Are essential oils safe for birds to breathe?

Veterinarians don’t have enough studies or evidence on the safeties of using aerolized essential oils around birds, especially when using diffusers and warmers, and the damage it could do to birds can be high which is why most veterinarians advise against it.