Although squirrels may seem cute and harmless, they can cause significant damage to your garden. They often wreak havoc on your outdoor space, be it your bird feeders, flower beds, or garden. If you suspect that squirrels have been sneaking into your garden and destroying your plants, it’s crucial to take swift action by using a reliable squirrel repellent.
If you’re looking for ways to keep squirrels away from your garden, there are several natural repellents that you can give a try. In this article, I’ve compiled some essential tips for dealing with squirrels and preventing them from causing damage to your yard:
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One of the most effective methods is to use spicy scents, such as cayenne pepper or peppermint oil, around the perimeter of your garden or bird feeder. Squirrels detest these smells and will steer clear of them. Another natural repellent is predator urine, which can be found at many outdoor stores. If all else fails, you can try using physical barriers such as netting or chicken wire to prevent squirrels from accessing your plants or bird feeder.
What attracts squirrels to your garden?
Typically, food sources, including vegetable gardens, bird feeders, and fruit trees attract squirrels. Moreover, these animals like places that provide shelter and protection from predators. Here is a list of a few common things that normally attract squirrels to your garden:
- Fruit trees and vegetable gardens: Squirrels are fond of feeding on nuts, fruits, berries, and vegetables.
- Bird feeders: These serve as a reliable food source.
- Open garbage cans: Squirrels often get into open garbage cans or containers that are filled with food scraps.
- Trees or structures that provide shelter: Squirrels love to nest in these well-protected places.
Best Squirrel Repellents
While there are many chemical-based squirrel repellents you get in stores, I’ve listed some of the best natural squirrel repellents that not only serve the purpose but are also easy on the environment.
Plant squirrel-repellent plants
In general, squirrels dislike strong odors and flavors. Some plants have a pungent smell that squirrels dislike, including lavender, peppermint, and garlic. Moreover, there are flowering plants that squirrels don’t like, and by planting these plants, you’ll benefit in two ways. The flowers add a touch of beauty while at the same time, they deter squirrels. Here are some flowering plants that act as squirrel repellents:
- Daffodils: Daffodils contain lycorine, which is toxic to squirrels. If you plant these bulbs in the garden, they will be less likely to enter the area.
- Geraniums: While geranium flowers are gorgeous, their fragrance irritates them. So, planting geraniums around your garden is an amazing way to keep squirrels out.
- Galanthus: Also known as snowdrops, these plants contain a poisonous compound called galantamine.
- Hyacinths: While hyacinths are lovely flowers and have a sweet scent, squirrels don’t like them.
Have a dog around
Dogs are a fantastic natural squirrel repellent. These beloved pets have an innate instinct to chase and hunt small animals, making them an effective deterrent against squirrels. Squirrels are intelligent and agile creatures, but they are no match for a barking dog on their tail.
Squirrels are known to avoid areas that are frequented by dogs, as they perceive them as a threat. The mere presence of a dog in your garden or near your bird feeder can be enough to keep squirrels away. Even if your dog is not directly chasing squirrels, its scent and barking can be enough to deter them from entering your outdoor space.
Moreover, using a dog as a squirrel repellent is a humane and natural way to protect your garden. It doesn’t involve the use of harmful chemicals or traps that could harm these furry creatures. Instead, it relies on the age-old relationship between dogs and humans, where dogs help us protect our property by using their natural instincts.
Hot peppers and cayenne pepper
Hot peppers are the most commonly used ingredients in organic squirrel-repellent remedies. You can use them in several ways:
- Just sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes near the plants that you doubt are attracting squirrels.
- Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on the leaves of plants that tempt the squirrels. Aim at the low-lying leaves of the plant.
- Mix cayenne pepper with petroleum jelly and apply it on the stems at the base of the plant. Spread it on the poles, fences, and other solid items near squirrel-attracting plants as well.
- Make a cayenne pepper spray. Use it to spray on the leaves of the plants. To make cayenne pepper spray, mix a small amount of hot sauce in a gallon of water. Take this mixture in a spray bottle.
Remember to reapply these remedies periodically, particularly after the rains.
Apple cider vinegar spray
The acrid smell and taste of apple cider vinegar seem to be a turn-off to squirrels. You can use it in spray form on hard surfaces in squirrel-infested areas. Use this spray without hesitation on hard surfaces. However, don’t use it directly on plants, as vinegar can kill plants.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint has a potent scent that squirrels despise, making it an excellent natural squirrel repellent. You can use peppermint essential oil as a deterrent in the same way that a peppermint plant would repel squirrels. To do this, simply soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them randomly on jar lids near the plants that squirrels are attracted to in your garden. It’s essential to resoak the baits periodically to maintain the scent’s potency and effectiveness against squirrels.
Alternatively, you can mix vinegar with peppermint oil and come up with a peppermint essential oil spray. The ratio is one drop of essential oil to one ounce of vinegar. You can spray it on hard surfaces and fixtures to keep squirrels from entering your garden.
Like some humans, squirrels also find the taste and smell of garlic unappealing. You can use garlic as a natural squirrel repellent by creating a mixture of vinegar, chopped garlic, and water. Let the concoction sit for a few days to allow the flavors to blend well. Afterward, you can apply it by spraying it on stakes and fences in your vegetable garden.
Using garlic as a squirrel repellent is a great alternative to harmful chemicals or traps. It’s safe and all-natural, making it an ideal solution for those who want to keep their garden free from pesky rodents without putting their plants or pets at risk.
One common solution to deal with squirrels is to use traps and relocate them elsewhere. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the rules and laws in your area regarding trapping and relocating squirrels before taking any action. It’s worth noting that some regions prohibit the relocation of rodents such as squirrels.
After capturing a squirrel, it’s essential to release it in a far-off location to prevent it from returning. Releasing a squirrel near your home may not be effective since squirrels are territorial creatures and may find their way back to your garden.
Scare the squirrels
If you’re looking for tools to scare squirrels and keep them out of your garden, there are several options available. Scarecrows, motion-detecting lights, owl decoys, and high-frequency sound machines are some examples of effective scare tactics.
Another option to consider is creating a sculpture with lights that turn on automatically when anything approaches your garden. This can be an effective way to scare squirrels and keep them away from your plants and produce.
Of course, keeping squirrels from your garden and home can be a challenging task. However, with the right squirrel repellents, proper knowledge, and techniques, it is very much possible. In summary:
- You can use natural squirrel repellents, such as garlic spray, vinegar spray, peppermint essential oil, hot peppers, and cayenne pepper to keep squirrels away.
- Planting plants such as geraniums, hyacinths, daffodils, peppermint, garlic, and hot peppers also work effectively against squirrels.
- Other methods to keep away squirrels include having a dog, placing a squirrel trap, using an owl decoy, and setting up a food station with favorite squirrel treats.