How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden

by Nicholas Chew

Chasing each other, making sweet noise, and tricking squirrels are a free source of entertainment for gardeners. Although they entertain, they have a problem, and many of you encounter the same issue. The problem is that they instantly become a nuisance, your garden’s vegetables begin to disappear, and you see a mess in your garden. Such a situation annoys every gardener, and they think about how to keep squirrels out of the garden. There is a solution to every problem, and thankfully there are also some approaches to keep these critters out of your backyard garden. If you are facing the same issue, you must read about these annoying friends and ways to keep squirrels out of the garden. After reading till the end, you will find ways to cope with the critters’ problems. Especially number 4 is exciting. 

Why squirrels are bad for your garden?

There are multiple reasons for which the squirrels create trouble. Due to these reasons, gardeners want to keep squirrels out of the garden. Why do they behave in such a way?

Winter Stockers

Although squirrels prove a problem all the year, but their garden raids peak in the last of hot summer days and all of the autumn season. Gardeners become impatient with it and try to save their gardens from these critters. Their occasional thieving turns into foraging because the winter is ahead of them, and there is no food on those days. Squirrels don’t hibernate, but they lay low on winter days. That’s why they store this thieved food in their pantries as a resource for tough winter survival.

Natural Tendency

Lions are known for hunting, and falcons are known for their speed and love for height. In the same way, squirrels are neutral forgers. They like to feast on everything you grow in your garden, whatever it is, i.e., flowers, vegetables, and fresh fruits.

They will strip the apples from the tree, pluck off the tomato like an expert from the vines, and do it with everything that they can forage.

Territorial Nature

The squirrels are conscious of their occupied space and keep on finding some way to make them save from any unhappy condition. Therefore, sometimes they become funky and ready to do anything which helps them to survive and keep their territory under their control. They dig out the hole to save them; while doing so, your flowerbed will be disrupted.

How squirrels can destroy your garden

In early spring days or on days of ripping your garden, you may feel some odd activity that was not already there. You should be mindful of it because it may be a squirrel raid in your garden. Some signs are discussed in the following to ensure it’s a squirrel problem or anything else.

Nibbled Seedheads

If you found some nibbled seed heads while inspecting your garden, then there is a squirrel infestation in your garden. Because these rascals affinities to do it. This problem often happens with sunflowers as they love to eat sunflower seeds.

Hole in Your Garden

If you feel that the number of holes is increasing with each passing day in your flower beds or garden. There is a squirrel problem in your garden, and you have to think about how to keep squirrels out of the garden. They dig in the hole due to their security and for food preservation.

Decreasing Plants

If you feel that the number of freshly sown bulb plants is continuously decreasing, then it’s a sign of squirrel infestation in your garden. They love to feast on freshly sown bulbs and perennials.

Bite Marked Fruits

Squirrels can disrupt your hard work by reaping the fruits. While gathering the winter food, they left some uneaten veggies and fruits in your garden. If you find bite-marked vegetables in the vegetable bed, you should be sure your garden is under attack. Some popular vegetables that are heartiest for squirrels are tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, squash, and beans.

Pot Digging

If you feel that your vegetable, flower, or fruit plants containers have some holes, then it is a sign of squirrel infestation. They tend to hide reserved food for tough times. Therefore, they dig holes in containers to store stolen food.

7 Effective Ways to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden

You have learned about the signs of pesky critters in your garden. It’s time to look for ways to keep pesky critters out of your garden. There are multiple ways to keep squirrels out of the garden.

1. Avoid feeding them

The foremost thing is don’t feed them. If you’re leaving food in your garden, then it’s a fear game that you’ve invited them to your property. After proper prevention, there are two food sources, i.e., dust bins and bird feeders. Birds appeal to nature; if you want to see them in your garden, use the squirrel-proof bird feeders. It’ll help them to keep squirrels out of the garden.

2. Install chicken wire on the ground

If you are growing seeds in your backyard, then this method will help you cope with a squirrel infestation. Squirrels don’t like to walk on the chicken-wired ground. Therefore, save your garden from pesky critters by spreading the chicken wire around the ground. It will help you reap your hard work.

3. Protect your vegetables

House your vegetables, flowers, or any freshly sown crop with a chicken wire frame. It may sound strange, and your backyard may appear less fancy with this method. However, it’s a great weapon against pesky critters to raid your garden. Moreover, it’ll not block the sun and wind from your crop. At the end of the day, your vegetables, flowers, or whatever you have planted will bear fruit. Once they do not find any food, they will definitely be out of your garden.

4. Remove fallen seeds

You may have observed that the squirrels sit under the tree and love to feast on fallen seeds. If you want to keep squirrels out of the garden, then focus on cleanliness in your garden. Make sure there is no fallen seed on the ground, and do it daily. It’ll help you to meet your goal.

5. Scare them off

The other thing that will help to keep the squirrels out of the garden is to keep them surprised. There are multiple ways to do it. You can surprise them with the dummies. Like they keep themselves away from snakes and owls. You can use plastic owls and snakes. But the problem with this method, they are geniuses. They will test your fake owl and snakes; once they become aware of reality, they will be back with full strength.

If you have a budget, you can move with motion sensors. These sensors may be in the shape of light and water sprinklers. Once they feet on the sensors, the light or water gun will turn on and surprise them. Some say to mix pepper in water cannons, but this is inhumane and hazardous, and you may be arrested for breaking local wildlife laws.

6. Use of natural repellent

Using natural repellent is an intelligent way to keep the squirrels out of the garden. Many ways have proved a nightmare for them.

  • They have a strong smelling ability. So it’s wise to play with them according to their strength. Spread the predator urine around your garden, i.e., foxes or coyotes. You can get it from your nearby garden nurseries. But you have to spray it regularly. 
  • Some plants and vegetables act as guardians of the garden from squirrels. They hate scents such as capsaicin, white vinegar, peppermint oil, coffee grounds, cinnamon, predator urine, garlic, dryer sheets, Irish Spring Soap, and rosemary. You have to grow them all around your garden, and they will act as a hidden fence against squirrels’ entry.

7.   Cover trash cans tightly

When the pesky critters become hopeless, then all the noses are toward the trash can in the corner of the garden. It is a better idea to seal the trash cans tightly. Once they cannot find the food, pesky critters will migrate from your garden in search of another food reserve.

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