Does Hot Pepper Suet Deter Squirrels?

Last Updated on June 9, 2021 by Nancie

Hot Pepper Suet
Hot Pepper Suet

Does hot pepper suet really keep squirrels away? The idea of suet flavored with hot peppers has always sounded pretty nasty to me. But when squirrels start driving you crazy, your views can change.

Trying Hot Pepper Suet

Before I finally put all my suet up on poles, I had seven suet cage feeders up around my house, most within squirrel reach. During warmer months and even into the cool days of fall, squirrels left them mostly alone, only occasionally taking a nibble.

But when temperatures dropped into the teens and twenties, squirrels started getting more desperate. Suet feeders suddenly got attractive to them.

Suet Feeders
Suet Feeders

So I decided to give Hot Pepper Suet a try, gradually shifting blocks of this flavor in place of the almond flavored suet I had been using. Supposedly birds have a weaker sense of taste than squirrels and don’t mind the added spicy flavor, while squirrels do.

Squirrel Eating Hot Pepper Suet
Squirrel Eating Hot Pepper Suet

So Does Hot Pepper Suet Deter Squirrels?

My findings? So-so. Squirrels do seem to much prefer more usual suet flavorings. But a really hungry squirrel will still eat the spicy suet.

The first day I had this suet on offer, I saw a squirrel take a bite, turn up its nose and leave. But fairly soon, I saw squirrels munching on the spicy suet for long periods of time. So this solution didn’t work for me during cold winter months when squirrels were very hungry.

But over time, I found that hot pepper suet DOES seem to deter squirrels the rest of the year. Most of the time, they won’t eat it. It seems to be only when they are REALLY hungry that they will bother it.

A Better Solution to Squirrels

Personally, I have found that hanging suet out of a squirrel’s reach is a more sure-fire way to keep them away from suet. Then you can offer whatever type of suet you like. Check my post on the Best Way to Hang a Suet Feeder for more on that. Also see Keep Squirrels Out of Feeders.


Solving Suet & Suet Feeder Problems

Best Way to Hang a Suet Feeder

Acrobatic Grackles At My Suet Feeders

Birds Choice Upside Down Suet Feeder Review

How to Baffle Suet Hung on a Branch

Where to Hang a Suet Feeder

Starling Proofing the Suet

A Raccoon is Eating My Suet!

Bird Feeder Baffles in the Wind & Suet

Erva Starling-Proof Suet Feeder Review

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2 thoughts on “Does Hot Pepper Suet Deter Squirrels?

  1. For about five years hot pepper suet completely solved my squirrel and racoon problem. But they must somehow have gotten used to it over time. This year I am back to square one, and they eat every bit of suet left at dusk overnight.

    1. Hi David, Because it is disappearing overnight, it sounds like the raccoons have made the switch to eating it. If you can, try hanging the suet on a pole with a good raccoon baffle. That might do the trick for you. Once you get the suet someplace that neither critter can get to, it also lets you experiment with offering different types of suet, which can be fun.

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