Whether you live in the middle of the city or out in the country, chances are you’ve had to deal with squirrels. From eating fruit and vegetables, and the bird seed in your bird feeder, to destroying your trees by chewing on the bark, squirrels can be a nuisance.
They are also great at finding ways into your house and setting their nests up in your attic or crawlspace. Figuring out how to keep squirrels out of your yard can turn into a full-time job. Squirrels spend most of their days foraging for food to not only eat for that day, but they also are trying to find food to store for the future.
This frenzied search for food ends up turning our gardens and backyards into a veritable hotspot for unwanted squirrel activity. Squirrels are incredibly persistent and won’t stop until they get what they want.
Along with destroying your gardens, they will dig holes in your landscape and destroy any property that gets in the way of their food. In this article, we’re also going to go over how to repel squirrels from garden, and the best ways to keep squirrels out of fruit trees and plants.
How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Yard
Whether you like it or not, squirrels are a part of our world, causing damage as they search for food. It’s not uncommon for these pesky rodents to take up residence in your yard, foraging for food in everything from your garden to your bird feeder, to your outside pet food containers.
Here are some of the best ways to get rid of squirrels in your yard:
Keep Things Clean
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife explain that the best way to keep squirrels out of your yard is to maintain your property. Make sure your shed, greenhouse, water house, or other outdoor buildings are in good repair.
Patch any holes on the exterior of the building, and replace broken windows to limit their access. Cut back vines and vegetation from your home to eliminate their hiding places and the ability to climb.(..)
If you have bird feeders in your yard, make sure to place the feeders on an 8- to 10-foot metal-wrapped pole and put it far from anything the squirrels can use to climb. You can also buy squirrel-proof birdfeeders to keep squirrels at bay.
Squirrel-proof your outdoor garbage cans by making sure they have tight-fitting lids and don’t let the garbage pile up. Not only will this keep squirrels out of your yard, but it will help to eliminate other pests like chipmunks and raccoons from taking up residence.
You also want to make sure you rake up and remove any berries or nuts that have fallen from your trees to keep squirrels from being lured into your yard by the scent or sight of the food.
To keep squirrels from getting under your house use 1-by-1-inch mesh wire or chicken wire to deter squirrels from finding their way under your deck and into your garden.
Make sure you bury the fence at least a foot underground to keep them from being able to dig under it. To keep squirrels from climbing your trees, you can place cone-shaped aluminum flashing or 24-inch-wide metal bands around the trunks of your trees.
Get a Pet
If you aren’t able to keep ground squirrels out of your yard, you may want to consider getting a dog or cat to help chase them away.
Cats and dogs love to play with anything that moves, which make them a great, natural way to keep squirrels away by pursuing them. While they probably won’t be able to catch the squirrels, their presence alone will prevent squirrels from entering your yard.
Introduce Natural Predators
If getting a new cat or dog isn’t an option, you can use the scent of a predatory animal to repel squirrels. You can purchase animal urine online and spread it around your yard to give the impression that your backyard contains a threat.
You can also get rid of squirrels by decorating your yard with cat, owl, or hawk decoys. Position them in areas around your yard where squirrels like to scavenge or nest.
Install Motion Activated Sprinklers
If you want to keep squirrels from taking over your yard, try installing motion activated sprinklers. These types of sprinklers come on when they detect movement in your yard.
Sprinkles are an excellent option for scaring away squirrels while at the same time watering your lawn and garden.
Using a live trap to catch the squirrels can rid your yard of the pesky critters. While this will decrease your squirrel population momentarily, new squirrels will still move in an occupy the area.
Also, squirrels are considered a game species in many parts of the country and are protected by the law. Before you spend money on traps, check with your state’s Department of Fish and Game to find out the regulations in your area.
How to Repel Squirrels from Garden
If you have a garden, you’ve probably had to deal with squirrels feasting on your plants and massacring your soon-to-be-harvested crops. Squirrels can create all kinds of damage to your garden.
Figuring out how to keep squirrels out of vegetable garden doesn’t require a Ph.D. in animal science. Here are some easy ways to keep squirrels from getting into your garden that serve as a homemade squirrel repellent.
Use Natural Squirrel Repellents
You can use anything that is hot and spicy as a natural squirrel repellent. Deter squirrels from eating your vegetables by sprinkling the ground with cayenne pepper. You can also use this recipe to keep squirrels and other pests from devouring your garden.
Mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle the natural repellent around the perimeter of your yard and throughout your garden.
Some other excellent natural squirrel repellent ingredients include jalapeno peppers, vinegar, ammonia, and garlic. Find the recipes below.
Just like mice, squirrels hate the smell of peppermint. The will do everything they can to avoid the intense aroma. You can pick up a bottle of essential peppermint oil online or at your local health food store.
Place a few drops of the essential oil on some cotton balls and place them strategically around your garden. You might also consider planting peppermint plants in your garden.
Plant Squirrel Repelling Plants
If you want to keep squirrels out of your garden, there are several plants that you can place throughout your garden. To keep them from digging up and chowing down on your flower bulbs, plant daffodils in your garden.
Squirrels hate the taste and smell of the bright, sunny flowers and will avoid the area where they reside. Daffodils are also great for keeping deer and rabbits from making a feast out of your garden. Growing these type of plants in containers will keep squirrels out of flower pots.
You can keep squirrels from getting into your garden and nibbling on your plants by installing a cage or cover. You can use hardware cloth, chicken wire, summer weight row covers, or plastic bird netting to protect your plants from squirrels.
If you want to protect individual plants, you can make a cage using hardware cloth and plastic bird netting.
Take enough hardware cloth to surround your plant. Place the fabric around each plant you want to protect, making sure it is buried at least one foot underground.
Place a piece of plastic bird netting over the top of the cage. Secure the plastic mesh to the hardware cloth with clothespins.
How to Keep Squirrels from Tomato Plants
If you’ve discovered small bites taken out of your tomato plants, you can blame the squirrels. They don’t like the taste of tomatoes, which is why they won’t eat the entire fruit.
To keep them from nibbling on your vegetables, set up a food decoy station in an isolated part of your yard. Place treats that squirrels love, such as sunflower seeds, feed corn, or peanuts, in a dish and locate it well away from your garden.
How to Keep Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees
Nothing is more frustrating than waiting an entire season for the fruit on your trees to ripen only to find out that some pesky ground squirrels have devoured the fruit.
You can use any of the above methods to keep squirrels out of your fruit trees, as well as trying the following.
Use Christmas Ornament Hooks
Christmas ornament hooks are useful for more than just decorating your Christmas tree during the holiday. Use them to hang shiny and noisy items from your fruit trees.
These can be anything from old CDs that will spin in the wind to simple ribbons of brightly colored fabric that will create motion when it’s windy.
Switch the items out every couple of days to avoid the squirrels from becoming wise to your tactics.
Use Sheet Metal
Cover a section of your tree trunk with a metal barrier. Using either tin or aluminum, cover an area that is situated about six feet from the ground to prevent the squirrels from being able to leap over it from the ground.
How to Tell if You Have Squirrels
Even if you don’t physically see the squirrels in your yard, there are several ways to determine if they have taken up residence. Squirrels tend to be active during the day, so keep your eye out for the following signs that squirrels are paying a visit to your garden.
Natural Squirrel Repellent Recipes
Here are some additional homemade squirrel repellent recipes that you can make to keep squirrels out of your yard and garden.
Carefully dice the jalapenos, keeping the ribs and seeds intact. Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands to remove the jalapeno oils from your skin. Add the water and vinegar to a medium-sized bowl. Add the diced jalapeno peppers. Allow the solution to sit for twenty-four hours. Carefully pour the mixture into a plastic spray bottle. Spray areas around your home were squirrels tend to gather. Reapply the solution after it rains and after you water your lawn.
Vinegar Squirrel Repellent
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well to mix. Pour into a spray bottle and spray the solution around your yard. Reapply the mixture every couple of days.
Repel Squirrels With Garlic
Peel and mince the garlic. Using a small bowl, mix the vinegar and water.
Add the garlic to the dish. Allow the solution to sit for several hours. Place the mixture in a glass spray bottle and spray around your yard. Reapply the repellent every couple of days or after it rains.
Squirrels are incredibly adaptable and can quickly learn to thrive in many different environments. The previous tips can help you keep squirrels out of your yard and deter them from making a buffet out of your garden.
Whether you decide to use all of the methods above or just one of them, you should be well on your way to keeping them from destroying your garden and yard.
We hope you found these squirrel repellent tips useful and will share it with all your friends and family.