Squirrels are pesky critters and they can eat almost everything they find in their way. While they inspire laughter and smiles because of their feisty chattering and acrobatic maneuvers, they can be a source of frustration for gardeners.
I have mixed feelings about them myself. I do enjoy watching them dashing around the garden and running up and down the trees but they can also be rather destructive digging up my bulbs.
There’s a range of things, like birdseed, vegetables, freshly planted bulbs, and flowers, you have in your garden that can attract squirrels. That’s why it’s important to know how to keep squirrels away from garden boundaries.
In this article, I’ll discuss several methods that will help you deter these rodents and prevent squirrel damage.
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Keeping Squirrels Away from Your Garden: Easy Methods
If you have a squirrel problem in your garden, consider using one or more of the methods listed below. It’ll allow you to keep these notorious eaters at bay to protect your flowers, vegetables, and everything else that can attract squirrels.
1. Scare them Away
One of the most effective and humane ways to discourage squirrels from entering your garden is to scare them away. Your dog or cat can help you a great deal with this problem, as they’re excellent squirrel chasers.
Both dogs and cats have a curious nature and they’ll scare these pesky creatures away. Another great benefit of getting a cat or dog is that you can use its hair to repel squirrels as well. All you need is to save the hair when your groom or brush your pet, and place it around garden beds. You could ask a friend or neighbour for some off their pet if you do not have one of your own.
If you don’t have a pet you can buy predator (a wolf or tiger) urine and spread it on your garden soil. The predator urine has a smell that squirrels and other small rodents can’t stand, which means it’ll work as a squirrel repellent.
Another technique that you can use to repel squirrels is to install water sprinklers with motion sensors around your garden. They’ll start throwing water in all directions to scare the squirrels away. You can also place pinwheels and hang old CDs, if you have any, in your garden for the same purpose.
2. Plant Repelling Flowers
Another easy way to repel squirrels is to plant squirrel repelling flowers in your garden. These little rodents don’t like allium plants, such as hyacinths, snowdrops, and daffodils, and you can plant them around your garden’s perimeter.
Additionally, you’ll also need to steer clear of the plants, such as geraniums, crocuses, and tulips, that squirrels like. I must say that tulip and crocus bulbs are the main casualties in my garden.
3. Use Hot Peppers
Squirrels hate the taste and smell of the capsaicin compound found in almost all types of peppers. It’s a natural squirrel repellent that you can use to keep squirrels and other rodents away. All you need is to sprinkle some chili pepper flakes, hot sauce or cayenne pepper on top of your garden soil in different places.
If you choose this method, you’ll need to make sure that you sprinkle the pepper again in your garden from time to time, especially after rainfall. Additionally, if you have a vegetable garden in your outdoor space, you can also grow hot chili peppers to go one step further. Of course, this relies on you having the right temperatures. Here in the UK certainly you need to grow chili pepper plants under glass for most of the year.
4. Use a DIY Repellant
You can make your own squirrel repellent at home using peppermint oil and apple cider vinegar. Add two cups of apple cider vinegar and one cup of peppermint oil to a spray bottle and mix the two ingredients thoroughly.
To make it more effective, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of powdered cayenne pepper to it. After that, spray it around the perimeter of your garden. The squirrels hate the smell of this mixture and it’ll keep them away.
If you use this method, make sure that you don’t spray it on anything that you intend to eat. That’s because the mixture of apple cider vinegar and peppermint oil can alter the smell and taste.
5. Remove Everything that Attracts Squirrels
Removing things that attract squirrels from your garden is an obvious and effective way to repel these little animals. Keep in mind that both the smell and sight of food, such as fallen nuts and seeds from bird feeders, bulb debris, and fruit, can attract these rodents.
So, you’ll need to remove these items from your garden as quickly as possible. If you like to keep a bird feeder in your garden, consider using the one that’s specially designed to repel squirrels and keep the area underneath it clean.
Additionally, if you have trash cans in your outdoor space, make sure that you use the ones that come with lids. That’s because they’ll have a ton of things that squirrels like to eat. Having to chase squirrels away from your trash cans is the last thing that you want.
6. Cover Your Garden
You can make your garden squirrel-proof by installing chicken wire, bird netting, or row covers. It’s also possible to line the bottom soil using the hardware cloth, especially if you have a problem with squirrels digging.
This may be particularly useful if you have a certain area you want to protect eg a raised vegetable bed.
It’ll allow you to keep the squirrels away and protect your plants. Another benefit of using this method is that it’ll keep other animals from entering your garden.
7. Use Sunflower Seeds
Another great way to deter squirrels from your vegetable garden (or anything else that you want to protect) is to use sunflower or safflower seeds, corn, or peanuts. These are all items that squirrels eat and you’ll need to place them in a place that is far from your precious planting beds.
These food sources will attract squirrels to keep them busy and they won’t go near the area of the garden you want to protect. Make sure that you also place a source of water along with seeds so that squirrels can find everything in one place.
Squirrels are notorious eaters and they can eat pretty much everything they can find. They can wreak havoc in your garden, especially if you have vegetables, fruits, and flower bulbs.
I hope this guide will help you find the methods that suit you best for keeping squirrels away from your garden.
Please let me and your fellow gardeners know in the comments below if you have any tried and tested methods for deterring squirrels from your garden.
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