How to Keep Squirrels Out of Garden

Squirrels can be delightful creatures to observe in the wild, but when they invade your garden, they can cause a lot of damage. From munching on your plants to raiding bird feeders, squirrels can quickly become a nuisance. However, there are several effective methods you can employ to keep squirrels out of your garden and protect your hard work. In this article, we will explore various strategies to keep garden pests and deter squirrels, including natural remedies and physical barriers.

Protecting Bird Feeders

Squirrel-resistant bird feeders

Bird feeders often attract squirrels, who are skilled climbers and jumpers. To deter squirrels from raiding your bird feeders, try the following tips:

Use squirrel-resistant bird feeders

Look for bird feeders specifically designed to prevent squirrels from accessing the food. These feeders often have mechanisms that close off the feeding ports when the weight of a squirrel is detected.

Opt for safflower seeds

Squirrels are not particularly fond of safflower seeds in bird seed part, while many birds enjoy them. By using safflower seeds in your bird feeders, you can attract birds and discourage squirrels.

Install a squirrel baffle

A squirrel proof baffle is a dome-shaped device that can be placed above or below your bird feeder to prevent squirrels from reaching it. The smooth surface of the baffle makes it difficult for squirrels to gain a foothold.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers can be highly effective in keeping squirrels out of specific areas of your garden. Consider the following measures:

Install chicken wire or hardware cloth:

Surrounding your garden beds or individual plants with chicken wire or hardware cloth can create a barrier that squirrels cannot penetrate. Ensure that the wire or cloth is buried a few inches into the ground to prevent squirrels from digging underneath garden plants.

Utilize bird netting

Utilize bird netting

If squirrels are damaging your fruit trees or vegetable garden, consider covering them with bird netting. This protective barrier allows sunlight and rain to reach your plants while keeping squirrels at bay.

Protect flower bulbs and plants:

To safeguard your flower bulbs and young plants, place wire mesh or plastic netting over the planting hole. This will prevent squirrels from the plant bulbs, digging them up or nibbling on the foliage.

Natural Remedies

Certain scents and substances are known to deter squirrels due to their strong odor or taste. Consider the following natural remedies:

Apple cider vinegar spray

apple cider vinegar

Mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply the solution to your plants, bird feeders, and other areas frequented by squirrels. The scent of the vinegar is repulsive to squirrels and can discourage them from visiting.

Cayenne pepper and hot peppers

Cayenne pepper and hot peppers

Squirrels dislike the strong and spicy flavor of cayenne pepper and hot peppers. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper or place hot pepper flakes around your garden, flower beds, bird feeders, or other areas you want to protect.

Peppermint oil

moroccan mint, teeminze, peppermint

Squirrels have an aversion to the smell of peppermint. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them strategically around your garden to repel squirrels. Remember to replace the cotton balls regularly to maintain the scent.

Other Strategies

In addition to the methods mentioned above, consider these additional strategies to deter squirrels:

a) Remove food sources: Squirrels are attracted to easily accessible food sources. Keep your garden free of fallen nuts, fruit debris, and bird food that may attract squirrels.

b) Utilize natural predators: Encouraging the presence of natural predators, such as owls or hawks, can help keep squirrels away. Installing owl or hawk nestingboxes or perches in your garden can attract these predators and create a natural deterrent for squirrels.

c) Create distractions: To divert squirrels’ attention away from your garden, provide them with alternative food sources. Set up a feeding station stocked with sunflower seeds or feed corn away from your garden. This can help satisfy clever squirrels in their hunger and reduce their interest in your plants.

d) Employ motion-activated sprinklers: Motion-activated sprinklers are an effective way to startle squirrels and discourage them from entering your garden. These devices detect movement and spray water, creating an unpleasant surprise for the squirrels inside, without causing any harm.

e) Use live traps: If all else fails and you have a persistent squirrel problem, you can consider using live squirrel traps too. These traps allow you to capture squirrels unharmed and relocate them to a more suitable environment. Consult local regulations and guidelines before using traps to ensure proper and humane handling.

f) Maintain garden cleanliness: Keep your garden clean and tidy to discourage squirrels from taking up residence. Remove any fallen fruit or vegetable debris, as these can attract squirrels and other critters. Secure trash cans tightly to prevent squirrels from scavenging for food.

Additional Tips to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

1. Incorporate squirrel-repelling flowers: Some flowers have natural properties that repel squirrels. Planting bulbs or flowers such as daffodils, hyacinths, alliums, or marigolds around the perimeter of your garden or in pots can help deter squirrels from entering. These flowers have scents or tastes that squirrels tend to avoid.

2. Use hot chili peppers or hot sauce: Squirrels have a strong aversion to spicy flavors. Mix hot chili powder or hot sauce with water and spray it on your plants or around the garden area to discourage squirrels from nibbling on them. Make sure to reapply after rain or watering.

3. Utilize aluminum foil: Squirrels are startled by the sound and reflection of aluminum foil. Hang strips of aluminum foil or place shiny pie plates around your garden and flower pots to create noise and movement that can scare squirrels away.

4. Utilize essential oils: Certain essential oils have strong scents that repel squirrels. Peppermint, citrus, and lavender oils are particularly effective. Dilute a few drops of these oils in water and spray the solution around your garden to create a scent barrier that squirrels dislike.

5. Scatter dog hair or human hair: The smell of predators can deter squirrels. Collect dog hair from grooming sessions or human hair from hairbrushes and scatter it around your garden to chase squirrels. The scent of predators can make squirrels think twice before venturing into your garden.

6. Coffee grounds as a deterrent: Spread used coffee grounds around the base of your potted plants, or sprinkle them in areas where squirrels frequent. Coffee grounds have a strong scent that can repel squirrels and act as a natural barrier.

7. Keep your garden soil healthy: Healthy plants are less likely to attract pests, including squirrels. Ensure that your garden soil is fertile and well-maintained. Healthy plants are more resilient and can recover faster from any damage caused by squirrels.

8. Seek advice from garden centers: Visit your local garden centers or nurseries to seek advice on squirrel deterrents. They can provide valuable insights and recommend specific products or techniques that have been effective in your area.

9. Regularly check for and address squirrel damage: Inspect your garden regularly for any signs of squirrel damage. If you notice chewed leaves or nibbled plants, take immediate action to deter squirrels and protect your garden from further damage.

10. Encourage natural predators: Besides birds of prey, other natural predators like domestic cats or certain snakes can help keep the squirrel population in check. Consider allowing these predators access to your garden, but ensure they do not pose a threat to other wildlife or pets.

Remember, each garden and squirrel problem is unique, so it may take some experimentation to find the most effective methods for your situation. By combining various techniques and staying consistent with your deterrent efforts, you can successfully keep squirrels out of your garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor without the furry intruders.

Conclusion

Protecting your garden from squirrels requires a combination of strategies, including physical barriers, natural remedies, and creating a less appealing environment for these furry creatures. By implementing the tips mentioned in this article, you can keep squirrels out of your garden and preserve the beauty and productivity of your plants. Remember to be persistent and try different methods until you find the ones that work best for your specific situation. With a little effort and creativity, you can enjoy a back yard squirrels-free garden and the fruits of your labor.