7 Tips To Get Rid of Squirrels In The Garden

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For the past few weeks, we notice that the squirrels in the garden are feasting on everything just when the garden crops are ready for picking. The squirrels know just when the best time for eating is – right at harvest time.

Many people are looking for tips on how to get rid of squirrels in the garden. I’ve had to laugh out loud at some comments I read which show how totally exasperated people are due to these critters. The squirrels are decimating their hard work of putting in a vegetable garden only to have it destroyed at the peak season. (I know, that’s mean to laugh, isn’t it?) The squirrels are obviously watching and waiting and know just the right time to start munching down.

These Garden Pests Can Cause Damage

In spite of funny stories about these cute-looking furry guys with the big black eyes, there are some terrible experiences of squirrels gnawing wiring in vehicles causing expensive repairs. Squirrels will also invade homes and chew on wires causing fires, too. So, there’s a very serious side to this problem besides losing the battle of being able to enjoy your own fruits of your labor in the Fall.

In our neighborhood where the climate is very conducive to gardens and fruit trees, the squirrels here are very healthy little guys. They hop from yard to yard, tree to tree enjoying nuts, vegetable gardens with all sorts of plants, and loads of fruit trees of all kinds. There isn’t a season here where they are deprived as we hardly ever get snow or even much rain to make life hard for them.

So flourish they do. We often see many squirrels in our yard at the same time just having lots of fun chasing each other around a huge Redwood tree or along the fence. After playtime, it’s eating time when they chow down on whatever happens to be closest to them at the time.

I see that they love corn! Squirrels in the garden corn cob

Squirrels in the garden corn eaten

And I know they love squash! Squirrels in the garden squash

7 Tips How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In The Garden

  1. The first remedy that comes to mind is the use of cayenne pepper or Chile powder sprinkled around your flower plants. Squirrels do not like the strong taste and will move away. This is not a good solution, however, for your edible garden plants. Remember to sprinkle more after each rain.
  2. Another home remedy is to put moth balls in a wire mesh ball or in nylon stockings and placing them around your plants. The squirrels will not like this strong smell.
  3. Covering your individual fruit, such as pears or persimmons, with a wire mesh wrapping. We have two kinds of persimmon trees in our yard – the soft kind and the hard, apple-like kind. They love both of them!  🙁 Squirrels in the garden persimmon Squirrels in the garden persimmon eatingShould you Actually Try Feeding Squirrels In Your Garden?

  4.  Some homeowners have found that providing the squirrels’ own feeding corner in the yard works for them. They put out corn, nuts and/or bird seed, which they love, in a little place that is just for them. Remember to keep water there, too.
  5. Pungent oils with a very strong aroma such as peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, etc. can be effective in repelling the squirrels in your yard. You can dowse a cotton ball with any of these strong oils and place them around in your garden. This should get rid of the squirrels in this part of your garden. You will need to reapply or freshen the cotton balls after each rain.
  6. Place mouse traps in the area that you are trying to protect. You can place the set mouse traps just a little below the surface and cover with mulch to camouflage. When a squirrel comes near and trips the trap, the noise and snapping movement of the trap going off will scare the squirrel away, hopefully for good.Squirrels in the Garden Bird Feeder Squirrels in the Garden BirdFeeder
  7. If squirrels are a menace to your bird feeders, which they were to ours, several readers have shared that they solved this problem this way: coat the metal shaft of your feeder with olive oil, vaseline, or some other slippery material. The squirrels cannot climb up a metal rod when it’s coated this way. Make sure that your feeder is not under or close enough to any tree or rooftop that these agile critters can use to get to your feeder.

Check Out Commercial Products To Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

There are commercial squirrel repellent products available that you can check out, too. Be sure to check that they are not harmful to any domestic animals that might get near it.

Of course, if you are fortunate enough to have a dog or cat in your family, they are excellent squirrel repellers. Squirrels are lots of fun for dogs and cats to chase while hardly ever really catching one. But they will be good protectors of your garden crop.

A Precaution for Getting Squirrels Out Of Your Yard

Be careful with putting out live traps – or any other kind of traps –  to catch the squirrels in your yard. You may think that this is a humane way to catch and relocate these pests, but you can get yourself in serious trouble. In many States and counties, this would be against the Fish and Wildlife laws. Check this out in your local area to be sure you’re OK with this before taking this step.

Squirrels Have To Chew

A peculiarity of Nature is that squirrels have front teeth that constantly grow. They must eat and gnaw on things in order to keep their teeth from getting so huge that they wouldn’t be able to use them. Their teeth are incredibly strong and are capable of chewing through aluminum flashing on rooftops. As mentioned earlier, they chew through heavy wiring.

An Ounce of Prevention. . .

A good practice to keep the squirrels out of your garden is to remove all temptation that is easy-to-eat food in your yard. For instance, if you have nut trees, rake up any nuts that fall from the tree and keep the area clean. Same with fruit trees: rake up any fallen fruit that will have your squirrels’ names on them.

I have watched our squirrels run off with whole apples in their mouth as they scamper to the fence with their prize. We have to do a better job, too, with keeping the grounds as clear of food to minimize the problem of squirrels in the garden.

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