Squirrels are small mammals known for their bushy tails, sharp claws, and elegant movements that allow them to climb and jump easily. They are widespread in urban and suburban areas throughout North America and Europe, where they spend much time foraging for food, building nests, and socializing with other squirrels.
Why Worry About Squirrels in the Garden?
These active creatures have a varied diet that includes nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. But they are also very good at raiding your garden and eat from your bird feeder if they want to, which can be a source of annoyance for many people.
While many people enjoy observing squirrels in their natural habitat, others consider them to be pests that they want to get rid of. There are several reasons for this, including squirrel damage, noise, and health concerns. With their strong teeth and sharp claws, squirrels can cause damage to homes, sheds, and vehicles. Do you often find squirrel droppings in your garden?
They can also create noise, especially when building nests or running across rooftops. Additionally, squirrels are carriers of various diseases, such as Lyme disease and rabies, which they can transmit to humans and pets. Therefore, it is crucial to take appropriate measures to remove squirrels if they become a nuisance.
Tips for Preventing Squirrels
Squirrels can be a pain when they invade your property, but there are several measures you can take to prevent their entry. Do you think that your property is wildlife-proof?
The first step in squirrel-proofing your property is to eliminate potential food sources.
This involves keeping your garbage cans tightly sealed and not leaving edible scraps or pet food outside. Additionally, make sure that any bird seed offered in a feeder is hung securely or placed out of reach of squirrels, and consider using squirrel-proof feeders or caged feeders to keep squirrels out.
To prevent squirrels from accessing your roof or attic, it is essential to trim overhanging tree branches or vegetation that they can use to climb.
Squirrels are experts at finding small holes that allow them entry to your home or outbuildings. To prevent their entry, inspect your property regularly for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracks in siding or roofing, holes in fascia boards, or gaps around utility lines or pipes.
Use caulking or wire mesh to effectively seal any cracks, gaps, or holes. You can prevent squirrels from entering your property by sealing off these entry points.
How to Identify Squirrel Damage in the Garden
Identifying signs of squirrel damage in the garden is crucial since they can cause significant damage to plants and other structures. One obvious sign of squirrel damage is damage to fruit trees, vegetables, or other plants. Squirrels may gnaw on the bark of saplings or dig up bulbs and seedlings, causing extensive damage.
Another sign of squirrel damage is damage to bird feeders or birdhouses. Squirrels often raid bird feeders, so if you notice that your feeder is empty or damaged, it could be due to squirrel activity. Similarly, damage to birdhouses may indicate that squirrels are attempting to gain access to the nesting area.
Some people reported an improvement by including safflower seeds in the bird seed they put out for the birds. Whereas the birds are not affected by it, squirrels eating them dislike their bitterness.
If you have a compost bin in your garden, squirrels may raid it for edibles. As opportunistic eaters, they will take advantage of any food source they come across, including compost bins. If you see that the compost bin has been disturbed or there are signs of squirrel activity around it, squirrels are likely responsible.
Protect and guard your plants against squirrels.
Protect your garden plants and plant beds by using physical barriers and natural repellents that are safe to use around edible vegetables and your favorite plants.
You can easily make your own DIY squirrel repellent spray by mixing a water solution with ingredients that squirrels hate and putting the mix in a spray bottle to spray it over plants and areas you want them to stay clear of. This might be a good first attempt at deterring them before you purchase a ready-made repellent product for your garden beds.
Successful mixtures can be made containing variations and varying levels of
- apple cider vinegar
- cayenne pepper
- peppermint oil
- coffee grounds
Some people try spreading the urine of natural predators or bloodmeal around your property lines. Be mindful of the smell, though, which can be a nuisance in itself.
That is why we like to recommend the usage of coffee grounds, chili, cayenne pepper, and apple cider vinegar spray to you instead!
Use the solution generously over any flower pots, flower bulbs, spring bulbs, and trees.
To ensure that all of your plants are compatible with any products or DIY solutions, test them on a small area first. Before applying the mixture to larger areas, be sure it won’t damage them.
Some people like to spread dog hair or human hair, but we have yet to see convincing results with these methods. If they worked for you, we would love to hear about it!
The usage of ultrasonic devices can be helpful also! There are no guarantees, though, because the problem with squirrels and other rodents can be that they are quite persistent when hungry and get used to repellents.
If you plant mint or other squirrel-repellent plants, the plants can be a great support to keep squirrels away from areas they are most interested in and stop them from wreaking havoc.
Protect Squirrel-Attracting Plants
If your garden or landscape contains plants that attract squirrels, protecting them from damage or destruction is essential. A physical barrier, such as netting or chicken wire, can be placed around vegetable plants or fruit trees, or cages can be installed around individual plants to protect them. Another option is to use scent-based deterrents like blood meal or bone meal to keep squirrels away. However, these deterrents may be unpleasant for other animals, so use them cautiously.
Grow Squirrel-Repelling Plants
Alternatively, you can grow squirrel-repelling plants. Certain plants like daffodils, alliums, and hyacinths have strong scents that squirrels find unpleasant and avoid. Planting them in areas where you want to deter squirrels may help. Other squirrel-repelling plants include mint, lavender, and rosemary, which can be used to create a natural barrier around your garden or landscape that squirrels are less likely to cross. Additionally, these plants can be used for cooking or creating fragrant bouquets, providing an added benefit.
To summarize, protecting squirrel-attracting plants can be done using physical barriers or scent-based deterrents. Alternatively, to create a natural barrier, you can grow squirrel-repelling plants like daffodils, alliums, hyacinths, mint, lavender, or rosemary. Squirrels hate these plants and will avoid them. This is why they make a fantastic natural repellent. By taking these precautionary steps, you can help protect your garden or landscape and minimize damage caused by squirrels.
Remove Food Sources
To keep squirrels away from your home, keeping nourishment away from them is vital. Make sure to keep any edibles stored in airtight containers inside and outside your home.
If you have a compost bin, ensure it is sealed and located away from any structures or trees that squirrels might use to climb up and access it.
Remember that squirrels are great climbers, so consider how you store any food or waste that might attract them.
Following these steps, you can discourage squirrels from invading your property and minimize their chances of becoming a nuisance.
Use squirrel repellents
Repellents are a great way to deter squirrels from invading your property. There are two main types of repellents available: natural and commercial.
Natural Squirrel Repellents
Natural options include the urine of predators of squirrels or hot pepper spray, which work by emitting a scent or taste that squirrels dislike. Animal urine can be an effective repellent as squirrels view the scent as a potential threat. On the other hand, Hot pepper, which gets sprayed on plants, irritates squirrels, making them less likely to return to the area.
Commercial repellents are also available and typically contain chemicals or predator urine. They are often more potent than natural options and can be applied to surfaces or sprayed around your property. Granular options are also available, which can then be sprinkled in your garden or flower beds. However, commercial repellents can harm other wildlife or pets if not used correctly, so following the instructions and warnings is essential.
Keep Squirrels Away From Birdfeeders
To apply repellents correctly, identify the areas where squirrels are entering or causing damage. Apply the repellent to these areas, such as around the base of trees or bird feeders, and ensure that you use enough to create a strong scent or taste. Reapplication of repellents is a necessary routine.
When using commercial repellents, wearing gloves and avoiding contact with the skin or eyes is key. Keep repellents away from children and pets and follow all safety precautions outlined on the label.
Keep your yard clean.
Tidiness makes your garden and property unattractive to wildlife. They are mainly interested in food and shelter when they come onto your property. So if they do not find it, they might take refuge somewhere else.
If you experience consistent problems with squirrels, consider hiring a professional wildlife removal company to trap the squirrels for you humanely. Live trapping catches the squirrels in a safe way without causing them physical harm, and they can then be relocated to a less populated area where they do not interfere with your garden any longer.
When to consider hiring a professional
Professional squirrel removal services can be a helpful solution for dealing with squirrel infestations in your home or property. These services can identify entry points, remove squirrels safely, and prevent future infestations. One of the primary benefits of using a professional removal service is their experience and specialized equipment for safely and efficiently handling the removal process. Moreover, they can offer guidance on preventing future infestations and protecting your property.
How to choose a reliable and ethical service provider
When choosing a professional squirrel removal service, finding a reliable and ethical provider is crucial. Look for a service with a license, insurance, and expertise in squirrel removal. You can also check reviews and references to ensure they have a good reputation in your area. Ethical service providers prioritize the safety and welfare of the squirrels and use humane ways for their removal.
What to expect during the squirrel removal process
The squirrel removal process typically begins with an inspection of your property to identify entry points and assess the extent of the infestation. The service provider may use traps or one-way doors to remove the squirrels from your property and ensure their safe and humane release. Once the squirrels are removed, the service provider will work with you to seal any entry points and provide recommendations to repel squirrels and prevent future infestations.
In conclusion, professional squirrel removal services offer a reliable and efficient solution for squirrel infestations. Look for a reputable and ethical service provider that has experience in squirrel removal and follows humane methods. Expect an inspection, safe removal methods, and advice on preventing future infestations during the removal process. With the help of a qualified wildlife removal professional, you can ensure the safety of both your property and the squirrels involved.
More Best Practices for Getting Rid of Squirrels
- Persuade any neighbors who are feeding the squirrels to stop.
- Move any bird food away from the house if there are feeders hung close to it.
- Make sure the bird feeder area is clean.
- Enclose compost piles in a framed box using hardware cloth or welded wire; in a sturdy container, such as a 55-gallon drum; or in a commercial composter.
- Feed your pets indoors.
- You can prevent squirrels from gaining access to any building by trimming nearby tree branches.
- You should ALWAYS check the laws regarding trapping before you begin handling any wild animals.