When you describe a pig, one of the first adjectives that might come to mind might be “smelly.” And, although pigs do keep themselves remarkably clean, those who are around pigs will admit their waste does have an unpleasant smell. It’s true: the smell of pig manure is not pleasant. But, did you ever wonder about smells that pigs don’t like?
Pigs are blessed with a very keen sense of smell. They have over 1,000 genes related to their sense of smell.
Their ability to smell helps them find food when they are rooting through the woods. It helps them find truffles, which both humans and pigs enjoy. But it also causes them to avoid certain smells.
What Smells Do Pigs Hate?
Here are nine smells pigs especially stay away from:
1. Avocados, perhaps the pig dislikes an avocado’s leathery skin. It isn’t clear why, but some pigs will not go near or eat avocados. This is a good thing, because there is a chemical in avocados, called persin, which is toxic to pigs. If pigs were to eat avocados, their systems would be flooded with fatty acid.
Smaller animals like dogs and cats are not negatively affected by persin. Pigs, however, should avoid them.
2. Peppers, pigs love to eat almost all the vegetables in your garden but they steer clear of peppers. Peppers get their “kick” from a chemical called capsaicin and it’s possible pigs detect that spicy substance in order to walk away from peppers. They will not eat peppers; whether raw or cooked.
3. Tomato plants, pigs do not seem to like the smell of tomato plants, especially their vines and leaves. Although they can and do eat the tomato fruit, they do not eat the vines or leaves. Tomato greens have a chemical called solanine, which is toxic to pigs.
4. Daffodils are beautiful bright yellow in color, so how could any creature disdain them? Pigs don’t go near daffodils, although there is no known reason why.
However, pig handlers need to be careful. If they have daffodils growing in their garden, the pig might try rooting under the flowers to get grasses or roots. So, daffodils should be repotted and brought inside.
5. Almonds, contain the fatal substance of cyanide. (They don’t contain enough cyanide to kill or harm humans, but they can build up to a toxic level if pigs eat them, so it is good that they avoid them.) Pigs can detect the odor of almonds, and somehow know it is toxic.
6. Garlic, pigs do not like the strong smell of garlic, and they walk right by it. If they get near garlic, they may become agitated. That’s too bad, because garlic is a natural dewormer for pigs.
7. Onions, may not have as strong a smell as garlic, but their smell is recognizable. Pigs definitely recognize it, and they will not eat onions. Onions have not been shown to be toxic to pigs, but if they are eaten incorrectly they could cause harm.
8. Nail polish – Some smells other than food will keep pigs away, and nail polish is not attractive to pigs. I guess they won’t be visiting a nail spa!
9. Other Dirty Pigs, pigs are territorial. Although pigs wallow (roll in mud) with other pigs, if another pig wanders into a pig’s territory, they can get aggressive. Whether out of a desire to keep their home clean or just wanting to be alone, pigs will not be happy if other pigs are in their home area.
What Smells Do Pigs Like?
Pigs love most vegetables, and the smell of vegetables will attract pigs, every time. Some of their favorites include broccoli, sweet potatoes, lettuce and kale.
They also love fruits like apricots and apples. It’s great to know they are drawn to these nutritious plants.
Basically all types of foods they’re familiar with and in some cases not, will attract a pig.
What Are Some Natural Pig Repellents?
Pigs are repelled by the human scent, so any easy repellent for pigs would be to go to a barbershop or just collect a lot of your own hair and scatter the hair through the area you don’t want them to go.
Pigs also dislike the smells of dogs and wolves. If a pig handler has a dog, allowing the dog to urinate in the area you are protecting will keep the pigs from going there.
Another easy-to-make homemade repellent would be to mix some cereal with fish oil or any other oil. Spread that mixture across the area you want the pigs to avoid, and they will stay away.
In addition to smells to repel pigs, there are other ways shown to be effective in keeping them away. They have a keen sense of hearing. Playing very loud sounds, or using instruments with ultrasound have been shown to keep pigs away from crops. However, ultrasound equipment is expensive.
If all else fails, scarecrows have been found to scare pigs away from protected areas.
There are also pig repellents that are sold online.
Will Human Urine Keep Wild Hogs Away?
A military unit trying to dispel a herd of wild hogs from their golf courses discovered that, by hanging a bottle of urine from a golf stick, the hogs would avoid the course.
Boars that had previously dug up the grounds and the courses apparently associated the smell of human urine with the scent of humans. The hogs avoided the golf course after the urine was used.
Conclusion: What Smells Do Pigs Hate?
Pigs have a very powerful sense of smell. They use their smell to find things they want to eat, but also use smell to avoid things they don’t like. There are several fruits and vegetables they avoid due to their smell; and they also avoid nail polish, and other pigs.
Pigs are repelled by human scent and will stay away from areas with human hair. One natural repellent would be a mix of cereal and fish oil.
Loud sounds, ultrasound and scarecrows also keep pigs away. Human urine was also found to keep pigs away from areas they are not meant to go.