Truth be told, some of us enjoy watching squirrels, isn’t it? I mean, their acrobatic movements and feisty chattering can easily inspire a smile. However, this isn’t the case for those gardeners who find their crops chewed up. For such, these bushy creatures are a pure source of frustration and untold desire to keep squirrels out of the garden. However, as you figure out ways to get rid of squirrels, here is a secret you better know about these thick tailed critters.
Squirrels are very crafty, thanks to their high intelligence. They’re also great learners. Squirrels learn from one another, human beings and believe you me, they do that very fast. They also reproduce very fast. So, if you have sighted one around, stay ensured that sooner or later, you’ll have a whole family of enthusiastic burglars. As such, it’s wise to know how you can keep squirrels out of garden, but first things first.
Signs of Squirrels Activity in the Garden
Undoubtedly, the best way to prove the presence of squirrels in the garden is to catch the little rodent in the act. Most of them are active during the daylight hours. So, if you spot any of these signs, keep any eye on your garden, these uninvited guests could be around.
- Shallow holes in planting beds, especially on freshly planted seedlings.
- Bite marks on your vegetables or signs of missing fruits. At times they do half-eating and other times, they can eat the entire fruit especially if it’s their favorite.
- Dug up plants bulbs and presence of their remnants on the soil.
- Unearthed newly potted plants and container digging. Squirrels normally do this in a bid to find hideouts for nuts.
- Nibbled nuts and seed-heads.
- Half-eaten flowers.
- Gobbled birdseeds.
- If you have bird feeders in the garden and you start noticing unusual disappearance of food, you could be having squirrel problem.
There you go. If you’ve observed any of the above signs, it’s probably caused by squirrels. Just like other rodents, their scissors are always growing. Unfortunately, if they’re there, they aren’t going anywhere. Better be creative in eradicating them, else, they’ll soon be rummaging in full swing.
How to Keep Squirrels Out Of Garden
Chances are you’ve been nodding your head with steam literally escaping though your ears, all that in a bid to get rid of squirrels. Fret not. Here are a few ways to help you fight these pesky, athletic and persistent creatures.
1. Relocate their source of food. Find out if there are fallen berries and nuts in your garden that they could be feasting on. These foodstuffs attract squirrels. Act quickly and relocate such to an area that they aren’t welcome. Essentially, keeping your garden clean can deter squirrels from gathering.
2. Use of cats and dogs.
These pets can help get rid of squirrels by putting them on patrol, scaring and even chasing after them. Their sight can temporarily scare away the squirrels. Unfortunately, these pets often need to catch a sleep. This leaves space for these quick rodents to continue their damage.
3. Squirrel repellent.
Just like deer, there are some scents that really offend squirrels. Fortunately, there are a number of squirrel repellants in the market. Most of these repellents are made of predator urine or hot pepper. An example of such repellents is the plantskydd deer repellent. Their effectiveness is, however, affected by water, wind and sunlight. They cause them to break down fast. They can also repel the gardener but despite that, squirrel repellents are one of the most effective ways to get the opportunistic animals out of garden. A layer of coffee grounds or dog hair around and under your newly planted seedlings can work wonders in getting rid of squirrels.
4. Scare them with a sudden spray of water.
Purpose to surprise the squirrels from your garden using a motion activated sprinkler often. Their ultrasounds and noise also helps give squirrels a startle. With time, they could get agitated and leave your garden. Unfortunately, this may decrease effectiveness against these crafty creatures over time as they get adapted to the noises and other surprises.
5. Use natural predators. These include hawks or owls. Attracting them by placing perches or owl nests in the garden can act to your advantage. However, we don’t recommend them especially if you have small pets in your garden.
6. Companion plants. Get rid of squirrels by inter-planting your garden. Discourage them by using companion plants variety with smells that irritates them. These include mint, mustard, marigolds, nasturtiums and imperial bulbs. However, use the latter away from inhabited areas because of their strong awful smell.
7. Squirrel deterrents. DIY recipes such as garlic, peppermint oils and vinegar can have success in keeping squirrels out of garden. As a matter of fact, the aforementioned repellants usually have more success when used together with squirrel deterrents. However, the gardener must be keen to avoid reapplication.
8. Use of mulch.
Squirrels dislike the feel of gravel mulch under their feet. You might need to add cover your garden bed with it. Covering the ground of newly planted bulbs also helps disguise the smell of their fresh bulbs which are a great target for squirrels.
9. Use of a barrier.
For instance, if you have a garden with fruits or berries, bird-netting may come in handy. For row-cover crops, enclosing their space with chicken wire will help. Greenhouses also discourage the threat of squirrels.
Tip: Place the fencing at least one foot underground in order to deter the squirrels from digging under.
10. Feed them with their favorite food. Your guess is right, this is a highly contradictive method. Doing it may end up attracting more of these unwelcomed guys. However, some gardeners spare some part of their garden and make it squirrels’ feeding ground, at times they get satisfied and minimize/stop their habits. If you give this a try, ensure their feeding ground is far from your garden bed. Give them their own sunflower seeds, feed corn and peanuts. It’s advisable to do this alongside some of the above methods, just in case.
11. Supply them with a drink. Squirrels could be munching the plants in your garden to satisfy their thirst. If so, during the planning season, quench their thirst by giving them a drink. They will probably let your plants grow in peace for you to harvest.
12. Spice them. Hot spices usually do the trick. Just like some of us, squirrels have burn sensation on their lips and mouths. As such, some experiences gardeners sprinkle hot pepper around their garden plants’. The spices should be applied again after the rains.
13. Terrify them with predator urine. For instance, wolf urine creates an illusion that the predator is around which might cause them to run in fear, never to come back again. Spraying such predator’s pee around your garden is another option. Sprinkling blood meal around the garden soil can also work.
14. Use of aluminum foil. Though expensive, laying the aluminum foil over your potted veggies and then poking holes for water can deter squirrels. They hate the shiny reflection from the foil.
15. Trap them.
For me, this has been a losing battle, especially after they have reproduced and become a high population. However, you can still try and get rid of squirrels temporarily by using live traps. Be keen to check your states regulations on games species. Some states regard squirrels as game species thus protecting them by law.
Evidently, squirrels are cute and it’s fun seeing their zoom around the garden as they jump from tree to tree. But, a thought of the amount of damage that they can do to our gardens is never appealing. It takes approximately one and half minute for a squirrel to attend to its biological needs and render your plant useless. We believe that’s not something you wish to happen. That’s why you shouldn’t let squirrels run their course in your garden. They can drive you crazy. Hopefully, the above methods on how keep squirrels out of garden will serve the miracle you’ve been waiting for.