6 Tips for Keeping Squirrels Out of Your Garden

Though the squirrels display an exterior of innocence they can be quite a nuisance around the garden. Ask a frustrated gardener whose strawberries and tomatoes are nibbled at by these hairy raiders. You will need some grim determination to control the problem of squirrels in your garden because these fellows are smart and resourceful.

In America the three most prevalent types of squirrels are gray squirrel, fox squirrel and red squirrel. You might enjoy their antics for a while but it won't be long before you start wondering how to keep squirrels out of garden.

What harm do these squirrels do in your garden?

  • Any fruiting plant is at their mercy
  • They nibble at the seeds and bulbs you plant in the ground
  • Squirrels tend to poop and urinate in the garden (and that's a big nuisance)
  • They eat up all the food in the bird feeders
  • From the garden they can even enter your attic and mess things around there

If you've tried your hand at ridding the squirrels in your garden, you know it's not an easy task. Few gardeners have tried and tested techniques that have proven their credibility at controlling and keeping squirrels out of the garden. In this article we will illustrated a few successful techniques to prevent squirrels from eating away at your plants and fruits.

1. Using Squirrel Repellant Sprays

A simple technique to keep squirrels out of your garden beds is to use squirrel repellant sprays made out the urine of predators like foxes and bobcats. This will keep the squirrels instinctively away from your garden as they will fear the presence of predators nearby. Commercially available sprays that contain predator urine are "Squirrel B gone" and "Shake Away".

2. A wire mesh to keep out squirrels from the garden beds

Fencing your garden beds is a good idea especially when you are seeding them or when its time for fruits. You will need to use a wire mesh so the squirrels can't nibble through them. Tightly woven wire mesh netting can be used around the flower beds to a height of around 10 inches; you can also use squirrel netting for this purpose.

3. Place a tray of water to quench their thirst

Squirrels attack fruiting plants and bulbs to quench their thirst, rather than hunger, quite frequently. If you place a source of water near the flower beds and trees, the squirrels are less likely to nibble up the fruits for liquid. Of course this method does not guarantee a 100% nibble free garden, but it does reduce the onslaught.

4. Just feed the squirrels

Keeping the squirrels out

If you can't beat em just join em. Help them quench their hunger by placing a bird feeder full of sunflower seeds and peanuts. The squirrels will avoid eating up your garden bulbs and fruits if they can quench their hunger with the seeds from the birdfeeder. Sunflower seeds can be bought for cheap and so you will be faced with lesser of the evil. The birdfeeders can be hung atop the fruit trees also, so that the squirrel don't attack the ripe fruits on the tree.

5. Using Cayenne Pepper or garlic as a repellant

Ground and mashed garlic mixed with vinegar can be sprayed around the plants to repel squirrels from attacking the flower and vegetable beds. You can even mix this solution into the watering can so that it gets infiltrated while you water the plants. Several home gardeners use this as a technique to ward off squirrels from their vegetable beds.

Another organic technique is to use cayenne Pepper. You can either purchase squirrel repellants that contain a hot pepper solution or make one at home. Just mix cayenne pepper amply with water and spray it on and around your plants. Commercially available products are "Scoot squirrel" and "Squirrel Away". Don't worry, this technique is completely organic and won't harm your plants. Squirrels are known to have a very sensitive sense of smell and they feel repulsed by the presence of pepper.

Please Note: Cayenne pepper and garlic is NOT healthy for squirrels and can cause damage to their eyes, nose and throat.

6. Trap the squirrels and release them afar

If a squirrel become too pesky you will have to revert to the crude means. Just lay out the good old squirrel trap, trap the pest and leave it far away from your home. Drive at least 10 miles away from your garden before you release the critter. The only problem with using traps is that you might end up trapping a skunk which can be problem to deal with.

A few methods that don't work

If you are trying to get rid of squirrels using the below methods then you will not have much of a success.

1. Using moth balls - A few gardeners practice this technique but to no avail. Squirrels are not as repelled by moth balls as they are by pepper or garlic.

2. A chicken wire fencing - Squirrels are known to squeeze through this fencing and they also nibble away at the netting.

3. A plastic netting - These critters can nibble their way through plastic quite easily.

Just remember that squirrels can also burrow through the netting, so if you are placing a fencing make sure it is dug into the ground by at least 2 inches.

We hope you learnt some useful techniques on how to keep squirrels out of garden for good. As far as possible keep it organic and be sure not to harm these furry creatures, they are after all a useful link in our eco-system.