Many homeowners will find that squirrels can be as irritating as they are adorable, with their destructive tendencies towards fruit and vegetable gardens. Birdseed is never safe around them either and, even worse, squirrels are scarily skilled in burrowing inside your attic to start nesting. If you can’t seem to shake a particular squirrel from your property, consider a few different routes of action.
Shield Your Garden
Your garden is your treasure, and now you’ll have to take measures to protect it. Look for any hanging limbs that squirrels could use to enter your yard, and trim nearby branches accordingly. To stop wall climbing, fencing with a plastic or wire mesh makeup is effective since it hurts for squirrels to climb this kind of material. By rendering your garden a bit less welcoming, your fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers can remain safe from destructive squirrel behavior.
Keep Food Away
This should be a bit obvious – if they’re fed, they will expect more. Take a look around the perimeter of your home and make sure there are no scraps attracting nearby squirrels, too. Even if you’re not feeding them willingly, leftover food near your trash bins will keep them coming back. Gardening can be an open invitation if loose plant seeds are left lying around, along with bird feeders hanging outside the home. Keep the space outside your house clean, be a bit more attentive while gardening, and take down any tempting bird feeders.
Ward Them Off
A more extreme route to take is the use of squirrel baffles, which mainly act as an obstacle between squirrels and whatever the baffle is protecting. This will help guard trees, plants, and specifically bird feeders so that squirrels can’t climb up a feeder pole, or jump onto a feeder from above. Another high-level solution is an electric fence, with wiring placed strategically at the top and bottom for cases of either climbing or digging.
Make it difficult for squirrels to climb your utility wiring and into your home with the use of plastic piping. Cutting a light, small-diameter piece of plastic pipe in half lengthwise and placing it over wires will cause it to spin once run upon, similar to a treadmill. This way, determined squirrels will find themselves falling each time they attempt to climb your utility wires. Having this in place will prevent routes into entryways, limiting access to your home’s interior.
Consider a Taste Repellent
There are taste repellents on the market today which serve to keep hungry squirrels from ravaging your garden of fruits, vegetables, or flowers. Just apply a repellent such as capsaicin to seeds and flowers, though make sure you don’t plan on eating them down the line. You can also apply it to bird feeders, trash cans, and trees to prevent scavenging and destructive digging. If it rains at some point, the repellent will need reapplication. One last trick is the use of peppermint – since squirrels avoid this scent, planting mint on the borders of your garden will act as a further repellent.
Employ Your Pet
If you own a dog or cat, consider using their natural prey drive to scare any intruders from breaching your perimeter. If your dog loves chasing smaller animals, it’s even better. There are scare methods for those who don’t own a dog or cat too, such as placing plastic animals around your house. Lastly, a unique course of action is buying some predator urine, such as from a wolf or tiger. The scent is known to scare smaller animals like squirrels and rabbits, so try spraying some on your yard and remember to reapply after a rainy day.
Protect Your Home
Noticing the presence of squirrels around your yard is a sign that they could also be inside the house, which is a completely preventable scenario. First, check the outside of your home and take note of any openings or signs of damage on the walls, roofing, and piping. Any small holes are perfect entryways for tight-fitting squirrels. Be quick in the application and seal those openings immediately, after ensuring that no wildlife has already taken shelter inside.
There are some distinctive marks to look for when determining whether you have a squirrel problem. Small round holes around your garden, damaged fruit or plants, and messy garbage are tell-tale signs, and they each require a different solution. Keep the damage at a minimum and act fast so that your yard is protected and your home is free of nesting.