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Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Groundhogs Away?

Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Groundhogs Away?

When you were playing soccer with your kids yesterday, you almost fell into a hole in the ground. Sadly, you’ve also seen a few more holes a foot across and surrounded by grass mounds. You have a few groundhog guests, my friend. You’ve been advised by a friend to use Irish Spring soap, but you’re curious if Irish spring soap keeps groundhogs away?

This in-depth article provides a thorough response to that question. We discuss several additional ways to repel groundhogs and why other rodents can’t handle Irish soap. We also inform you whether Irish soap affects groundhogs and your garden soil. 

Does Irish Spring Repel Groundhogs?

Irish soap is among the best groundhog repellents. You can drill holes in the soap and run a string through it so that you can hang them from trees. If you have built a fence to keep the groundhogs out, hang the Irish spring on it.

To stop the soap from being quickly washed away by rain, you should always leave the soap in its packaging.

Alternatively, you can cut the soap into 1/2-inch cubes and put them in drawstring pouches that you can hang from trees or spread about your yard or garden. The scent of the soap is kept strong enough to repel groundhogs by replacing it every few weeks. It’s also a good idea to change the soap after heavy rainfall.

Groundhogs, which are members of the squirrel family, have enormous appetites. They will burrow in your yard during the summer and come out during the cooler hours of the day to eat your fruits and vegetables. Additionally, you can grate Irish spring around your plants to repel the groundhogs from attacking your plants. 

Reasons Why Irish Spring Soap Repel Groundhogs

Although most individuals claim that any soap bar will work, you must consider how well the soap deters groundhogs. However, most animals, especially groundhogs, hate the specific smell of Irish Spring Deodorant Soap. What, then, is added in the soap that repels the groundhogs? 

Here are the reasons why: 

  1. The groundhogs can’t stand the soap’s smell since it’s too strong.
  2. Tallow, an animal-based substance found in Irish Spring, has a somewhat fatty smell that deters groundhogs.

Is Irish Spring Safe For Groundhogs?

It depends on whether the groundhog smells the Irish Spring soap and moves on or ignores the smell and chooses to eat the soap.  The Irish spring is made from non-toxic materials, so it is safe if the groundhogs simply smell the soap and flee.

However, if the groundhog decides to eat the soap, it will experience stomach upsets resulting in diarrhea and vomiting, and it might lose its appetite.

Only if the groundhog does not eat the soap is it safe for the groundhog.

Will Epsom Salt Keep Groundhogs Away?

If you sprinkle Epsom salt, it will keep groundhogs away. The groundhog does not like the taste or smell of Epsom Salt; therefore, it will not go where it is sprinkled. You can scatter Epsom salt around the holes where groundhogs reside or place bowls filled with salt around your garden. You need to replace  Epsom salt frequently because it tends to wash away in the rain.

Watch this video if you’re unsure how to use Epsom salts to deter groundhogs:

How Can You Keep Groundhogs Out Of Your Yard?

Your fruit and vegetable gardens are especially vulnerable to damage from groundhogs. The holes they dig up will ruin your lovely yard. You can keep groundhogs out of your yard in a variety of ways. Let’s review the most natural ways to do this as your goal is to prevent groundhogs from entering your yard rather than  killing them:


Installing a deterrent fence is one of the best ways to keep groundhogs out of your yard. Keep in mind that groundhogs can climb and burrow. Four feet tall, floppy, and facing away from the yard is the ideal height for the fence above the ground. A groundhog attempting to climb this type of fence, its weight will flip it back.

The depth of the underground should be 12 inches, with two feet forming an L-shape. You should bend the 12 inches facing away from the garden. To prevent persistent groundhogs from digging along the fence, you can add a layer of black plastic that is heavily weighted.

Remember to keep the gate protected; for further fortification, you can have an electric fence 4-6 inches outside the woven wire fence. 

Traps and baits

The ideal solution occasionally involves human traps and relocation. Traps can be set up in front of gardens or burrow entrances. Groundhogs are attracted to the traps by baits such as sweet corn, carrots, broccoli, or apple slices.

The ground should be the bottom of the trap, and daily checks will help you identify any injured groundhogs so you may have them treated before relocating them.

You can calm the captive groundhog by covering it with an old blanket before moving it. Additionally, you must first ascertain whether moving is permitted in your state. Consult a wildlife expert to relocate the groundhog if you are not confident doing it yourself.

Motion Activated Devices

You can also use motion-activated devices like sprinklers or flashing lights. If you can find flashing lights that can resemble a predator’s eyes, that would be perfect. You can also prevent the groundhogs from entering your yard by buying a sonic vibration gadget that can produce vibrations to disturb their underground hideouts.

What Smell Do Groundhogs Hate the Most?

Groundhogs hate strong scents and will keep off them. They have more smell receptors than yours, making any smeller stronger for them.  If you don’t want groundhogs destroying your yard or garden, you can use the following scents that groundhogs hate the most;

1. Blood meal

A blood meal is dried animal blood with a strong tangy, metallic scent, according to the groundhogs. According to the groundhogs, a blood meal is dried animal blood with a potent sour, metallic scent. The stench is not as overpowering to a human. 

Groundhogs avoid interactions with other animals and are not particularly interested in making new animal friends. Hence the hate for blood meal scent.

2. Strong smelling herbs

Strong-smelling herbs, including chives, mint, basil, lemon balm, lavender, and thyme, are repellent to groundhogs. You can eliminate groundhogs by planting the herbs all over your garden, especially if you notice any holes in your yard.

The herbs can also be placed within the burrow or scattered across your yard. By carefully covering the burrow opening, you can ensure that the stench is contained there, making the groundhogs unable to live there.

3. Hot peppers and Garlic

These two food items have a strong scent and an even stronger taste. Cayenne pepper is the most effective. They can be pureed, diluted in water, and sprayed around the yard, particularly on plants that groundhogs like to eat.

You can also grind the garlic into a paste and spread it on the ground, the fence, and the area surrounding the burrow.

4. Kitty litter soaked in urine

If you have a cat, now is the time to use its litter, even though it is a tiresome task. The litter’s strong smell will repel groundhogs if you place it at the entrance to their burrows.

5. Castor oil

Another scent that repels groundhogs is castor oil. They will leave their homes if you spray the oil around their burrows. Do not spray the oil at the entrance to prevent them from never leaving their burrows and possibly starving.

Does Irish Spring Soap Repel Other Rodents?

Irish spring soap can repel other rodents like raccoons, chipmunks,  squirrels, beavers, and voles. The majority of gnawing animals will not enjoy the scent of Irish spring. Most animals avoid areas where the soap is present because of its overpowering smell, which makes them nauseous and sick.

Grate some soap first, then check to see if it deters rodents. Only then will you be sure that the soap is effective.

Here is a simple procedure you can use with Irish soap to keep off rodents:

  1. Use a cheese grater (you can buy a new one if you are not comfortable using the one in the kitchen). To soften the soap, put it next to a warm area.
  2. As you shave, place the grater in a plastic bag so that the bag will capture all the shavings.
  3. Spread them all over your garden or yard.

Does Irish Spring Soap Hurt The Soil?

Irish spring soap won’t damage your soil, to be honest. The soap’s component ingredients are non-toxic. Irish Spring soap will repel insects from the soil where you’ve scattered the shavings, although it won’t necessarily kill insect pests.

Garden pests like aphids, snails, and earwigs will be kept out of the soil by this method. Since the soap is made from plant oils, it won’t harm your soil.

Don’t be surprised to learn that you can use the Irish Spring soap to make your soil weed free. Simply scatter some soap shavings over the soil where you’ve noticed some new weeds emerging. Irish soap kills weeds naturally by acting as a herbicide. The soap suffocates the weeds by clogging their pores.

The Irish Spring soap is also a great source of nitrogen for the soil. Adding it to your compost breaks down fast, creating the perfect balance of nutrients for your soap. 


For repelling groundhogs, beavers, raccoons, chipmunks, and other rodents, use Irish soap. It is safe if the rodents don’t eat the soap. Since groundhogs don’t like the smell of castor oil, blood meal, hot peppers, garlic, kitten litter, and Epsom salt can also deter them.

Traps, motion-activated devices, or fencing are some ways to deter groundhogs from visiting your garden. Irish soap can serve as a weed killer and a nitrogen source without harming your soil.