You’ve spent years developing your green thumb. But it is all for naught if squirrels keep infiltrating your garden and eating everything you grow.
Squirrels are cute, but they can be bullies. They dig up your bulbs, eat your produce, and harass birds at your birdfeeders. What you need are solid solutions for keeping squirrels out of your garden for good.
Keep reading for the seven best tips for how to keep squirrels away.
1. Infuse Your Garden with Scents Squirrels Hate
Squirrels go nuts for some seeds, berries, and bulbs. But as much as they love those things, there are some scents that they hate just as much. By infusing your garden or yard with these scents, you’ll be able to consistently deter squirrels.
So what scents really drive squirrels up the wall? Here’s a list:
- Black Pepper
But on top of those things, squirrels are also automatically deterred by the scent of their predator’s urine. You may be thinking, how am I going to get ahold of that?
But actually, many over-the-counter repellents use predator urine as an ingredient. While the smell won’t be as noticeable to you, it will send squirrels running for the hills. Just be sure to reapply after every rainfall.
2. Arm Your Birdfeeder
It’s no secret that squirrels love birdseed. But when squirrels go for a birdfeeder, they chase away the intended guests: the birds themselves.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to arm your birdfeeder to deter squirrels.
First, hang your birdfeeder on an independent pole, not a tree branch. Tree branches are too easy for the squirrel to climb.
You can purchase specialty bird feeders that close automatically when they detect the weight of a squirrel. But you can also buy a squirrel guard to block a squirrel’s access to your feeder. Nature Niche makes some that cannot be chewed through by ambitious squirrels.
Another tip is to rub some Crisco on the hanging pole. Birds can still alight on the feeder, but squirrels will slide right off.
3. Keep Squirrels Away by Getting a Pet
Remember when we said that squirrels are deterred by the urine of their predators? Getting the actual predator into your yard works pretty well too. Both cats and dogs can do a lot to chase squirrels away.
It’s true that cats often hunt squirrels. But that isn’t really why they are helpful in this scenario. Any approach that tries to exterminate squirrels is a dead end.
This is because squirrels are a persistent breed. You will never be able to put a dent in the local squirrel population, so it is better to focus on simply scaring them away. Just the smell and presence of a cat or dog in an area will make squirrels cautious to set foot into your yard.
To up the ante, take some of your dog’s fur and tuck it around your most precious plants or bulbs. Squirrels will think twice before digging them up.
4. Install Automatic Water Sprinklers
Like most animals and people, squirrels aren’t fond of being squirted with jets of water. Installing sprinklers in your yard will deter squirrels without actually harming them.
Look for motion sensor sprinklers that will only be triggered when an animal approaches. In addition to squirrels, this method can also help deter rabbits and deer. As a bonus, sprinklers help water your plants.
Just make sure they are easy to turn off so that you can garden without getting blasted with a water jet.
5. Scare Them Away with Predator Decoys
Squirrels instinctually look out for predators. But all you have to do is create the illusion of a predator in order to scare squirrels away.
At most garden stores, you can find owl decoys that you can perch in a tree or on a garden stake. Similar to a scarecrow, these decoys will frighten squirrels away from your yard.
It’s also possible to find recordings of owl sounds. Playing these recordings on a loop will make squirrels think there are predatory birds in your yard. Plus, bird sounds are always pleasant to listen to.
If these illusions don’t cut it for you, you can always try attracting the real deal. But remember that large predatory birds in your yard may pose issues for small children or pets.
6. Feed Them
This may go against your instincts as a gardener. But think of it as a decoy meal. Installing a designated squirrel feeder with some of their favorite treats may distract them from digging up your bulbs and other plants.
Remember, eliminating the squirrel population just isn’t possible. So it’s best to learn how to work around them if you really want to protect your plants. Offering them some treats may protect your garden bed in the long haul.
7. Plant Your Garden Strategically
It probably seems like squirrels tear up your garden with reckless abandon. But believe it or not, there are a lot of plants that keep squirrels away.
However, that doesn’t mean they are not good plants. In fact, some of the ones the squirrels hate might be your favorite herbs and flowers. By planting these plants around your more vulnerable ones, you can protect your whole garden from squirrels.
Here is a list of some plants squirrels detest:
Protect Your Garden Today
When you’ve spent countless hours cultivating your garden, you don’t want it to be torn up by the neighborhood squirrels. Figuring out how to keep squirrels away can be an arduous task. But by following these tips, you’ll be able to safeguard your precious garden from these pesky intruders.
For more easy garden hacks, read our Landscaping & Gardening section.