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Does Cayenne Pepper Keep Groundhogs Away? (Answered)

Groundhogs are not welcomed by anyone because of their destructive nature. They are very good at digging which results in holes and tunnels all over your yard and garden. 

By making random deep holes groundhogs damage fields, gardens as well underground projects such as pipelines, foundations, etc. They also damage grains, vegetables, and flower beds repeatedly if not stopped. 

To stop their destruction, you must use a repellent that will make sure the groundhogs don’t think about this area again. If you’re into something natural that will not poison your garden and only repel the groundhogs, cayenne pepper might be an option.

Cayenne pepper is used for cooking but many use this as a rodent repellent too. Now lets’ see if it can keep groundhogs away from your garden or not.

Cayenne pepper to keep groundhogs away

Cayenne pepper can keep groundhogs away from an area where it is used. It has a spicy, strong scent that groundhogs don’t like to tolerate. It hits their sensitive nose thus they try to maintain a distance from the cayenne pepper scent. Cayenne pepper is very effective against these rodents. 

If you’re tired of deterring groundhogs and can’t find any easy-to-apply deterrent, we’d say take a look at your spice rack. Because if you have some cayenne pepper, you can strongly fight against those rodents that are not stopping. 

Cayenne pepper is a spicy chili pepper that’s used a lot to add some different tastes in many cuisines. But apart from that role in cooking, this chili is used for deterring rodents such as groundhogs too.

Groundhogs can be driven away by the smell of cayenne pepper. It can even keep groundhogs away for good if applied correctly. Here’s why cayenne pepper can keep groundhogs away from your area:

Groundhogs are smell sensitive: 

Groundhogs have a sensitive nose. They don’t like all types of scents nor can they handle them. There are certain smells that groundhogs find unpleasant and so intentionally avoid going to that area smelling unpleasant. 

The sensitive nose of groundhogs can’t tolerate the smell they find foul, spicy, pungent, and too strong. It hits their sinus chambers and thus makes them dizzy, weak, and sick. 

Groundhogs’ smell sense is so sharp that they can sniff any smell from a long distance and identify it. 

Whenever a groundhog finds out the specific scent they dislike, they remember their bad experience, the discomfort and so maintain a distance from the area. Even if they enter that scented area the rodents leave the place as soon as they can. 

That’s why to deter groundhogs, various scents are used as repellents. 

Cayenne pepper has a strong scent: 

Cayenne pepper is a chili that has a moderate spice level and is strong. The smell of cayenne pepper can be described as too intense, sharp, spicy, and fiery. The scent actually reflects the taste and flavor of cayenne pepper.

Cayenne pepper, whether it’s fresh and green or dried, smells too strong. Due to its flavored scent, many can even get a runny nose or watery eyes. It’s for a reason listed on the top of groundhog’s disliked smell list.

Groundhogs can’t tolerate the pungent and powerful scent of cayenne pepper. It makes them uncomfortable and scares off the place.

Cayenne pepper when used accordingly around groundhog’s tunnels and holes, makes the whole area scented with its strong smell. 

Since groundhogs can’t stand a strong, pungent scent and cayenne pepper smells the same, it can repel groundhogs and keep them away. 

How effective is cayenne pepper in keeping groundhogs away?

Cayenne pepper is very effective against groundhogs and can repel them with its scent

Cayenne pepper has a hot and spicy taste. Its taste has an effect on its smell thus it smells very strong and spicy. Though this spice is mostly known for adding spice to a dish, it can be used against those mischievous rodents, groundhogs.

Groundhogs are sensitive about fragrances. They have a sensitive nose so can’t go with all types of smell. A few scents bother groundhogs and make them shift from where the scent is found. 

Cayenne pepper is one of those spices groundhogs dislike. It’s because of its spicy and hot scent that feels unpleasant to them.

When kept near their visited areas, the pungent and spicy flavored smell of cayenne pepper makes groundhogs uncomfortable and leave. Cayenne pepper won’t harm the rodents physically but make sure they don’t come.

How long will cayenne pepper keep groundhogs away?

Cayenne pepper will keep groundhogs away forever if used frequently and the right way. However, it repels groundhogs from an area as long as it smells strong

Cayenne pepper has a pungent spice smell the groundhogs dislike. Groundhogs have a sensitive smelling sense so they cannot tolerate the fiery scent of cayenne pepper. That’s why wherever they trace this particular scent, groundhogs try to keep a distance from that area.

How long it can keep groundhogs away from your property depends on how you use the spice.

Cayenne pepper is an effective groundhog deterrent. But since it’s a natural repellent and used in the open area, the power of its smell fades after some time.

But if you use fresh peppers frequently in all the groundhogs’ holes and re-apply them after some time, it can stop groundhogs from coming at all.   

How to get rid of groundhogs with cayenne pepper?

Groundhogs cannot tolerate spicy and strong pungent scents. These types of smells keep them away from their target when applied near the area. That’s why cayenne pepper is a good groundhog repellent. Here’s how you can use cayenne pepper to get rid of groundhogs:

Take fresh cayenne pepper: 

Take garden fresh cayenne pepper as it will smell really strong. Clean them properly and slice the cayenne peppers into pieces.

Let them dry: 

It’s necessary to dry the peppers properly before grounding to make fine strong scented cayenne pepper groundhog repellent. 

You can sundry the cayenne peppers by placing them on a paper sheet and keeping them in the sun every day for 6-8 hours at least.

If you’re using a dehydrator to dry these peppers make sure the temperature is not below 135 degrees for perfectly dried cayenne peppers.

Ground the cayenne peppers: 

when the peppers are completely dried ground them using a spice grinder or a mortar. Grind until it turns into a fine smooth powder.

Sprinkle the powder: 

Wearing a mask and gloves, put the powder into the holes and tunnels the groundhogs made. Mix the powder into the soil near the tunnels. Re-apply if there has been a storm or rain. 

Make sure you’ve spotted all the holes so the groundhogs find a place to hide.

Or make a pepper-water solution: 

If you don’t want to sprinkle the powder, you can mix 2 parts of water with one part of cayenne pepper powder and spray it in your garden to deter groundhogs.   

If you continue doing this at least for a week then often, the spicy and strong will keep groundhogs away from your area for some time.

What other spice keeps groundhogs away?

Cayenne pepper is not the only spice groundhogs dislike the smell of. These rodents are sensitive to many spice scents and so those too can be used as effective groundhog repellents. 

Here we have listed a few spices that can keep groundhogs away: 


You might like the touch of flavor garlic adds to any dish but groundhogs are on the opposite side. They cannot tolerate the smell of garlic which makes it a strong groundhog repellent spice. 

Garlic cloves can be kept near the groundhog’s tunnel to deter them.  

Red pepper: 

Red pepper flakes or dried red pepper is another option to defeat groundhogs. Groundhogs don’t like this spice as its scent has a spicy note. 

The spicy and strong scent of pepper can cover a large area. And that’s how red pepper keeps these rodents from coming to your garden.  

Black pepper: 

Black pepper is a hot and spicy flavored spice. Groundhogs’ sensitive smelling sense gets hit by the sharp scent of black pepper and so they avoid the area.


Clove too has a pungent scent that groundhogs find unpleasant. Cloves can keep these destroyers at bay if scattered in their visited areas. 

Final Thoughts

Cayenne pepper does repel groundhog with its smell. It can be used as ground and whole. Cayenne pepper has a pungent, spicy, and strong smell that groundhogs don’t like at all. It’s very unpleasant to them. Groundhogs feel uncomfortable around the cayenne pepper scent so leave the area immediately.