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How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

Squirrels seem to be really cute, but are known to be a nuisance to gardeners. If you are one of those gardeners that need respite from these rodents as well, then I have a few useful suggestions to help you...
Anuja Marathe Kanhere
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
Some of you might have always dreamt of a lovely kitchen garden in your backyard. Imagine all the effort that you might have taken to make this garden perfect, planting various vegetable and fruit varieties, watering them, and tending to them, all so that you could show off your garden to everyone. Then suddenly your garden gets recklessly ruined. And who are the culprits? Squirrels! Well, there is no need to worry, for here are some useful tips to keep away squirrels from your garden.

Squirrels are the hairy adorable looking rodents with blown-up bottle-brush tails that make all kids laugh when watching the cartoon characters Chip and Dale. These creatures are, however, not as innocent as they look. Some of the common American species such as the gray squirrel, the fox squirrel, and the red squirrel have always been a gardener's nightmare. They love to feast on ripe fruits such as tomatoes and strawberries each time they are thirsty, they nibble on all the bird seed and plant bulbs when out searching for their feed, and they destroy tree barks with their razor-sharp nails.

How to Get Rid of Squirrels in your Garden

Pesky and troublesome as these rodents might be, thankfully, it is not all that difficult to keep them at bay. Given below are some easy and safe solutions to get rid of squirrels from your garden.
  • Squirrels just cannot stand the smell of mothballs or the fragrance of marigold flowers. So one can start by ample plantation of marigold plants and generously spreading mothballs around the garden.
  • One can use hot pepper wax spray or Cayenne pepper powder which is available quite easily at any of the gardening utility stores in your vicinity. The use of red fox or bobcat urine and/or used cat litter around the garden makes the squirrels stay away from the garden fearing that a predator might be close by.
  • A spray of ground and mashed garlic mixed with vinegar is the best organic 'rodenticide' to protect your fruit trees from squirrels.
  • One traditional formula requires one to place a mixture of whole and ground peppercorns at different locations around the garden. The squirrels are bound to run away as soon as they sniff at the peppercorn smell. However, you need to replace the mixture regularly as the intensity of peppercorn smell is bound to reduce over a period of 3 days.
  • Tomato farmers can start by placing generously filled water bowls at various visible locations on their farms. Squirrels are more likely to satiate their thirst by sipping water from these bowls than by destroying tomatoes.
  • Building a wire mesh (minimum height of 10 inches) around the garden can do wonders. Similarly, using squirrel traps is a popular way of barring their entry into the flower and fruit beds . You may also wrap aluminum flashing of a considerable height around the base of the trees in your garden if you find that squirrels have been destroying tree barks.
  • An age-old technique involves laying out squirrels traps around the garden and releasing the caught creatures miles away from your farms.
  • A new technique of motion detection sprinklers are very effective. These sprinklers are sensitive to movements around them and start sprinkling water. This helps to frighten away the squirrels.
  • Squirrels love to feast on bird seeds. An effective method is to modify the shape of the bird feeder into a cone shaped one. This will restrict their movement down the wire to the bird feed. Similarly placing of bird feeds at the highest tip of the tree makes it difficult for them to reach the bird feed. One can also start by reducing the tree canopy regularly to hinder their easy movement from one tree to the next. In case a bird feed is placed on a high pole, one may just apply lubricant, or any slippery material, on the pole's surface to stop the squirrels from climbing up.
  • An inhuman permanent way to get rid of these creatures is to use a food bait mixed with a chemical called anticoagulant or an acute toxin. This method is popularly used during the period of squirrels' hibernation. The food available at this time of the year is so scarce that the squirrels are likely to take this bait. However, this method should be carefully used as the bait might be innocently consumed by some unintended farm or pet creature.
All the above tips have been tried and tested and have proven to be very effective for getting rid of squirrels from gardens. Do try any one or all of them to protect your garden from these hairy rodents.