How to Keep Squirrels Out of Garden? | The Effective Guide

Written by Thomas Matthews

Most squirrels are vegetarians. This means they can nibble your plants, which can result in damaging your treasured garden. 

How to keep squirrels out of the garden? To prevent these rodents from destroying your plants, you can create a barrier, spray predator’s urine, or pepper spray near your garden. This helps deter squirrels from nibbling your plants because they hate these scents. Unleashing your dog can also chase them away.

Nonetheless, these are only some of the ways you can repel these rodents away from your precious plants. There are still many others you can use to ward them off from your vicinity, and among them can be found below.

Ways to Keep Squirrels Away From Your Garden

Below are some ways you can effectively keep squirrels away from your garden.

Physical Barriers (Nets, Fencing, Covering)

Physical Barriers

When it comes to physical barriers, you have to be selective in the materials you’ll use. As you might already know, squirrels are highly capable of fitting themselves into highly tight spaces.

Thus, it’s essential to pick the appropriate material for the job. Consider looking specifically for rats or squirrels netting or fencing for this project to ensure that no rodents can enter and eat your plants.

  • You can use a wire fence to protect your garden. Bury it at least 6 inches into the ground to prevent squirrels from digging it quickly.
  • A 1/4 inch hardware cloth can be ideal for this project.
  • You may also opt for chew-proof netting. This is a better alternative to metal fencing as it won’t rust and is much easier to manage.
  • You may also plant bulbs that can grow through the wires, which will serve as extra protection for your vegetable garden or any other plants.
  • If your plants are in pots, you may cover the top with stones or a layer of gravel, as it discourages the squirrels from digging.
  • You may also add a layer of protection by covering the bed surface with black plastic netting. It’s an ideal layer of protection as it is transparent and affordable.

Related: Does Chicken Wire Keep Squirrels Out of Gardens?

Unleash Dog in Your Yard

Unleash Dog in Your Yard

If you’ve got a pet dog, it’s beneficial for you as a garden owner. This is because dogs naturally chase squirrels away. 

Dogs like terriers have a strong instinct to hunt whenever they smell the scent of critters like squirrels. However, choosing this option can be 50/50 since dogs can get too engrossed in the chase, resulting in some damages.

Natural Sprays, Ingredients, and Plants

Another way to repel these rodents in your garden is by using natural sprays. Sprays like predator’s urine have a strong smell that discourages squirrels from coming near your plants.

Predator’s urine is ideally applied regularly to keep squirrels out of your garden effectively.

It naturally repels the squirrels from barging into your space. The predator’s urine has a strong smell of the predator’s in the wild such as coyotes, foxes, and lions.

How to use this? You only need to saturate this to the perimeter, where you usually have squirrel sightings. If the rain comes, make sure to reapply this right after raining or every 7 to 10 days. 

Furthermore, you may also consider using the following ingredients to ward off squirrels in your garden:

Sprinkling Cayenne Pepper/ Pepper Flakes/ Garlic Pepper

Aside from the predator urine, you may also sprinkle the following ingredients on or around your plants:

  • Garlic pepper
  • Pepper flakes
  • Cayenne pepper 

Spatter these ingredients ideally when your plants are about to bloom. This way, your vegetable garden, flowers, or any plants have a higher chance to grow since squirrels hate the taste and smell of these elements.

You can also mix some cayenne pepper into your bird feeders to dissuade the squirrels.

Plant Flowers or Shrubs That Have a Strong Fragrance

If you’re not a fan of sprinkling ingredients or spraying predator’s urine, you may plant flowers or any shrubs that have a strong fragrance in your garden area. 

You may plant marigolds, mustard, or nasturtiums around your garden. These flowers have strong scents that squirrels hate

Moreover, you may also try to plant the following bulbs below as they have unsavory taste and pungent odor, which squirrels hate:

  • Snowdrops
  • Daffodils
  • Ornamental alliums
  • Grape hyacinths 
  • Fritillaria

Above are only some of the things you can do to keep the squirrels out of your cherished garden. You can do even more if you’re serious about not having any squirrel presence within your vicinity. 

Do you have to go to such an extent? This depends on you. If you own fruit-bearing trees, shrubs, or vegetables, there are many reasons why you need to worry about squirrels and take prompt extensive action. 

Related: 9 Best Squirrel Repellents to Buy and Keep Squirrels Away

Why Worry About Squirrels in Your Garden?

Why Worry About Squirrels in Your Garden

One of the many reasons why you should worry about squirrels in your garden is that they love to dig up and forage your garden for food to eat. As they’re not picky eaters, they can nibble your plants without having any second thoughts. 

Thus, if you see any missing or damaged harvest in your garden, you know that squirrels have been there. If you also have bird feeders at home, they can also take advantage of them to fill themselves up and stash some for the winter. 

So, how can you know if they have already invaded your vicinity? You’ll know that there are prevalent squirrel activities in your place if you notice the given signs below.

Signs of Squirrels Activities in Your Garden

Several Diggings

Several diggings

Among the signs that confirm squirrels activities in your area are the diggings found in your yard. Squirrels love to store foods in many places, and that could include the area around your garden. 

If you’ve got a nut tree in your yard, don’t get surprised when squirrels’ activities are frequent in your place. It’s not a secret that they love nuts so much, so you’ve got to be ready in making ways to repel them from getting all your harvest.

Thus, if you see any digs, it could be that some squirrels buried their nuts into your area. It’s typical for them to hide their food in different places to prepare and survive the cold months.

Scattered Droppings

Another thing to notice when squirrels are already thriving in your area is their droppings. Droppings are the excrement of squirrels. 

Their stools are colored reddish-brown to brown. The color of their droppings will lighten as they age.

You can find their droppings scattered near the feeding areas. Their feces are pretty similar to those of rats but a bit larger and more barrel-shaped. 

Bite Marks on Your Plants, Garden Structure, or House Exterior

Bite marks on your plants

Squirrels are active eaters. They love to nibble something now and then. Thus, it’s not surprising that you might find some bite marks in one of your plants. 

You may also find some of their bite marks on your wooden deck, house exterior, or any of your garden structures. Although these things aren’t food, they’ll still chew them anyway. 

Thus, it’s best to be more observant of any squirrel’s activities in your area. This is because they don’t only ruin your plants but also damage wooden structures outside your home.

How to Prevent Squirrels From Coming to Your Garden?

Below are some of the things you can do to prevent squirrels from coming to your vicinity in the first place. 

Consider Pruning Your Trees

As you might already know, squirrels are great climbers. Thus, if you have trees near your house, they can climb on them into your attic that can cause several damages to our upper place. 

They can start having access to your house that may create some problems. Most squirrels are territorial, so if they start living under your roof, they might consider it their home and get cranky if you try to drive them away. 

So, as early as possible, prune the long branches of your trees to reduce the chance of squirrels from accessing your home.

Remove Bird Feeders

Another thing that attracts these rodents into your place is the bird feeders. Thus, after feeding the birds, make sure that there are no dropped seeds on the ground to avoid squirrels from feasting in your spot.

Secure Your Chimneys and Other Structures

As much as possible, secure your chimneys and other structures’ openings as they can be used as an entry point for the squirrels. If these animals access your home through the chimney, a chimney cap might be necessary to secure one entry point of your home.

It’s also beneficial to check your home for any holes that squirrels might use to enter your place. Once you find some, make sure to seal them right away to avoid any possible entry.

Related: How To Get Rid of Squirrels? | Squirrel Control Methods

List of Sources

Cochran, S. (2020). PESTS & WILDLIFE — Preventing Conflicts With Tree Squirrels. University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Jackson, J. J. (1994). Tree Squirrels. University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Squirrels. University of Michigan.

Gray and Red Squirrels in Massachusetts. Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Thomas Matthews
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