3 Scents That Pigs Hate (And How to Use Them)

Wild pigs Sus scrofa forage for food outside

Pigs are well-known for their incredible sense of smell. They are also known for their intelligence and even as pets in certain instances. But if you have a garden or other animals, you probably don’t want wild pigs/hogs hanging around your house!

In truth, pigs have a very strong sense of smell, which you can use to your advantage to deter them.

Wild pigs cannot stand the smell of garlic, onions, and cayenne pepper.

You can place these scents in areas where pigs frequent to deter them from the area.

Continue reading to discover the many methods you can use to repel pigs from your yard! We’ll go over their sense of smell in-depth, and what kinds of smells pigs hate.

Let’s get to it.

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You’d Be Surprised – Wild Pigs Have An Excellent Sense Of Smell

Pigs can smell almost everything. According to research published by Oxford University, they have some of the most developed olfactory glands on the planet. It is no surprise pigs are used to sniff out truffles and other delicacies.

Along with having a great range of smell, pigs have a remarkable ability to distinguish between scents. While other animals might just smell a pile of dirt, pigs can identify almost all the different ingredients in their food.

It is surprising pigs will eat just about anything. Apparently, they just are not as picky as we are.

There are lots of different species of pigs in the world, and some are specially trained for searching out different scents, such as the famous truffle-hunting pigs. Some pigs might be more sensitive to certain scents than others.

The scents we have listed here should do a good job of repelling most species of pigs if used correctly. Keep in mind however, there’s a ton of variability in scents. The best way to repel pigs is to use physical deterrents and remove pig attractants from your property.

Cayenne Pepper Repels Wild Pigs

Pigs will eat about anything in your garden except for cayenne peppers. Specifically, the main active ingredient in cayenne peppers

One of the easiest ways to use pepper to repel pigs is to leave them out for sun-drying. This is great if you want to make homemade salsa or other delicious dishes and need some dried peppers. It is much cheaper than buying them at the store, and you will notice the flavor difference.

To repel pigs with cayenne pepper, your best option is to purchase ground bulk cayenne pepper and place it in areas where it’s important to keep pigs away from. You can also create your own cayenne pepper spray using water and ground cayenne pepper and spray it in areas where pigs frequent.

The great thing about cayenne pepper is that it can be a deterrent for other animals. Most animals cannot tolerate hot peppers and they can keep other pests like deer away from your house.

For more information on that, check out our article on using cayenne pepper to repel deer. Almost all of the tips we have in this article can be applied to repelling those hogs that you don’t want hanging around your property.

Garlic And Onions Can Repel Wild Pigs

onion and garlic on table to repel hogs, pigs and boar

Like peppers, garlic and onions contain compounds that can upset a pigs stomach. You should not be throwing any out in your slops if you have pet pigs.

If you do not want to line your garden with peppers, you could simply swap out the peppers for garlic or onion plants. Another option is to hang garlic from your porch. This will also ward off other animals and insects like ducks and mosquitos.

Ideally, however, you’ll want to make a garlic and onion spray as it will be of much stronger scent, and then spray that mixture in an area where you want to repel pigs.

Thankfully for us, garlic is one of the key ingredients in many animal repellents. If you do not want to waste your garlic by leaving it out to hang, you could look into something like the Repells-All Animal Repellent.

Garlic is one of the main ingredients along with some of the other scents we have listed here, but there is no need to worry about the garlic scent being too strong for human noses.

Is There Any Tastes That Pigs Hate?

Pigs hate the taste of everything we have mentioned here since they contain harmful materials. If you are wondering why a pig is not eating the slops you set out, check and make sure there are not any peppers, garlic, or almonds mixed in there.

Other tastes that pigs dislike are peppermint, daffodils, and tomato leaves. Peppermint is not necessarily toxic to pigs, but the scent is so powerful they will avoid it.

Daffodils and tomato leaves contain chemicals that pigs cannot digest. Pigs will, however, eat tomatoes since they contain nothing dangerous.

Pigs also dislike citrus or vinegar-tasting things, so your leftover salad or lemon cakes are probably not going to be their favorite foods.

Are There Specific Scents That Pigs Like?

If you’re trying to keep feral hogs/pigs away, you might wonder what scents they actually do like.

Once scent that pigs love the is corn oil. The sweetness attracts pigs because they think it will lead them to yummy food (aka, corn!)

In reality, the scent of just about anything they can eat will attract pigs and hogs. If your compost pile or garden has things pigs munch on, remove them from your property or put them in areas where you do not mind the pigs hanging out.

Things Pigs Hate Besides Scents

Wild hogs do not have many natural predators and will not be afraid of much. More mild types of pigs are less confident and will be afraid of aggressive animals such as dogs.

Having a dog is a great way to keep your property free of pigs and other animals that might start nibbling your garden.

Of course, not everyone wants the responsibility of owning a dog. There are plenty of other ways to scare away pigs, including sound machines and lights.

It is fairly easy to find light our sound machines at your local hardware or outdoor store. Some of them need to be plugged in, but you can easily place others at the edge of your property since they are powered by batteries or solar power. They are motion-activated, so they will not be on all the time.

The downside with sound makers and lights is that they can annoy your neighbors. They can also be a nuisance if you like to go for walks at night. To avoid these issues, ultrasonic technology is a good option.

Animals have a different hearing range than humans. Most animals, such as pigs, can register sounds at a higher frequency than people. Most of these machines are motion-activated and will set off an ultrasonic sound that is annoying for animals, but humans cannot even hear.

If you want to go with the motion sensor option, take a look at our guide on using motion sensor lights to deter wildlife!

How To Keep Pigs Off Your Property Long-Term

There are plenty of ways to keep pigs off of your property. The ways we have mentioned are only some tricks to keeping your house a pig-free zone. No single method is going to be 100% effective, so the more tricks you try, the more successful you should be at keeping pigs away.

Another simple way to keep pigs off your property is to ensure your property is well-secured. Sturdy and wired fences should be effective in keeping pigs out and will protect you from other predators. However, depending on the size of your property, this might be impractical.

If you only want to keep pigs out of certain areas, consider setting up some fencing in particular areas like around your garden. If you have a pigpen, make sure there are not any weak spots in the fencing.

You’ll also want to be extremely mindful of keeping your property well maintained and clean. Keep your grass trimmed, and make sure that you don’t have other animals and plants nearby that are attracting hogs/pigs. If you get rid of those, then you’ll ultimately begin to have less and less pigs on your property.

For the best results, talk to a professional wildlife control company or the local authorities. Feral hogs can be quite problematic and should be handled by professionals. If you see some of these hanging around your property, letting the pros take care of it is probably the best idea.

Pigs Are Never Boar-ing

Pigs are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet. Some people even claim they are smarter than people. They also have one of the most developed senses of smell on the planet.

This means scents are a great way to repel them. If you follow the instructions we have given in this article, you should not see any pigs wandering around your property. Of course, none of these tips are a guarantee.

If you spot feral hogs or have a serious problem, contact a professional. Otherwise, good luck in the meantime keeping pigs out!


Brunjes, Peter C., Sanford Feldman, and Stephen K. Osterberg. “The pig olfactory brain: A primer.” Chemical senses 41.5 (2016): 415-425. 

Lavelle, Michael J., et al. “Attractants for wild pigs: current use, availability, needs, and future potential.” European Journal of Wildlife Research 63.6 (2017): 1-14.

Maugh, Thomas H. “The scent makes sense.” Science 215.4537 (1982): 1224-1224.

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