How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden
Naughty, maddening, and always ready for action, squirrels always seem to be one step ahead of gardeners when it comes to the damage they inflict on our flower and vegetable beds.
Rarely does a single method achieve complete control of squirrels, but with some persistence and a multi-faceted approach, the destruction these rodents wreak on the landscape can be stopped.
What Plants Do Squirrels Eat?
Squirrels enjoy many of the same plants that we do, including fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and berries. They will also make quick work of tulip bulbs and even tulip flowers. However, there are many plants that squirrels find unpleasant. These plants have strong odors or flavors that squirrels do not like.
Consider adding alliums (onions, garlic), daffodils, Galanthus, lily of the valley, geraniums, frying flowers, goldenrod, and bleeding hearts to your beds, shelves, and hanging baskets.
General Squirrel Prevention
Like all wildlife, squirrels are opportunists and will enjoy the proverbial low fruit in their landscape. Bird feeders are one of the biggest draws to squirrels, and no matter if your feeder is the Fort Knox of squirrel-proof feeders, the seeds will always spill onto the ground. You don't need to stop feeding the birds, but switching to less flavorful foods like safflower seeds or cayenne pepper can deter hungry squirrels.
Keeping the yard clean can also discourage squirrel harvesting. After harvesting is complete, remove any fruits or vegetables that have fallen off the ground. Be sure to remove other foods that attract squirrels, such as food scraps and fallen acorns or black walnuts from the landscape.
What about domestic cats and dogs? The sight of a predator up close may temporarily deter squirrels, but all pets should sleep, and fast-moving rodents will continue to hurt during these naps. Also, cats and dogs can create their own harm by gnawing and digging in the garden.
There are many squirrel repellants on the market, but most are pepper or predator urine. Homemade recipes can also include garlic or onion, vinegar, or peppermint oil. Repellants can have some success when used in conjunction with other deterrents, but gardeners should be careful about reapplication.
Wind, water, and sunlight will cause repellants to break down quickly. Repellents also have the disadvantage of repelling the gardener. Do you want your rose garden to smell like coyote and onion piss?
Fences have many advantages as a pest exclusion device for any animal, but fences can also be expensive and ugly for larger areas. Cage is a more accurate term than a fence, as no fence can keep an agile squirrel away.
Although squirrels have the ability to overcome a very tough barrier by digging and gnawing, a floating cover is surprisingly effective as a barrier in the garden. Squirrels do not like the feeling of being surrounded, which would impede their ability to flee from a predator.
Squirrel Decoys, Noisemakers, and Sprinklers
Fierce resin owls and terrifying black rubber snakes seem to populate the garden aisle each spring, giving gardeners the promise of scaring the squirrel into a frenzy. Fake predators may have limited effectiveness, but you must provide the animation they don't have by moving them every day.
Ultrasonic noise generators and motion sensor sprinklers can give squirrels a boost, but they quickly decrease in effectiveness over time. As urban animals, squirrels have adapted to live with all kinds of noise and other stimuli.
Plant, Bulb, and Tree Protection
In wooded areas or adjacent to parks, it becomes impossible to exclude squirrels, and in these places, it makes more sense to protect individual plants from damage caused by squirrels. It may seem like a lot of work, but as a bonus, you will also avoid damage from mice, rats, marmots, birds, rabbits, and deer.
Wire mesh hoods are ideal for young plants, especially those with green leaves. You can buy beautiful old replicas or create simple DIY bells from wire mesh. Sink the additional chicken coop fence over the newly planted bulbs to prevent digging. Aluminum works well for wrapping tree trunks and also prevents squirrels from climbing trees.
The paper bags will allow the sunflowers to fully ripen undisturbed. Old socks or gauze can deter squirrels from one of their most irritating practices: taking a single bite of a ripe tomato and then abandoning the spoiled fruit.
Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Pests and Problems
Source: Next Level Gardening
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