The warm weather brings new plant life, blue skies, gardening and squirrels. Squirrels are a gardeners number one enemy, sure they look cute and scurry from here to there, but they do serious damage to gardens. They eat freshly planted seeds, uproot bulbs, eat partially grown fruit and knock off the tops of flowers. Here are some tips to keep the unwanted pests from chewing up your hard work.
Here are some signs that squirrels have been scurrying in your garden:
- Shallow digging spots in beds, The holes should be about gold ball or smaller sized holes. Newly planted seed beds are popular amongst the furry rascals.
- Bite marks and missing fruit. Favorite fruits and vegetables of squirrels include but are not limited to beans, squash, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplants and strawberries.
- Dug up containers. If you have large planters that have been dug into, it’s a likely assumption a squirrel has been burying nuts and looking for seeds.
- Flowers that are partially eaten are also a snatch for squirrels. They are fond to Daisy blooms, and also others like Daffodils. Missing petals and partially eaten center disk’s are a clue to a squirrel invasion.
There are many ways to help repel, or keep squirrels out of your garden. Here are some things you can do to control those pesky rodents.
- Remove what attracts them. Fallen fruit, nuts and seeds can lure squirrels into your yard. Clean up the fallen plants and also clean beneath bird feeders and trees. Also make sure that trash can lids are secure, so you don’t have anything going through your personals in the hunt for food.
- Repel them. There are many products online that can help cope with your squirrel problem. You can buy various sprays including capsaicin (what puts the hot in hot peppers), vinegar, essential oils like peppermint– even animal urines such as tiger and wolf!
- You could also scare them. By training your pet to chase squirrels or just letting them run around in the yard it should frighten the pesky critters. You can also use randomized sprinkler systems or hang up aluminum pie tins to make noise.
- By putting up chicken wire or fences, exclude the squirrels from even entering the garden. You can even put up a cage around the garden!
- Protect any open soil from the digging of squirrels by covering it with cloth or chicken wire. You can also protect your plants by also wrapping them in chicken wire.
- While many gardeners think that an effective method is to use squirrel traps, it is not the best idea. While its true you can just release them after catching in an open area, in many parts of the country they are considered a game species. Which means that trapping them alive, can get you into big trouble with your state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife or Game (So check with them first!)
Thank you to Julie Martens for the original information. You can read more here.