While we talk a lot about insects here at Pest Control FAQ, I also get a fair amount of questions from people about how to deter pests such as birds, lizards, and squirrels. After all, squirrels can cause a lot of damage to your home, lawn ornaments, and garden. If you are an avid gardener, you will want to do everything you can to deter squirrels away from all of the hard work you’ve put into your flowers, vegetables, and other plants.
So, how to deter squirrels from your garden? Never feed the squirrels, and remove anything that could be an active food source. Add predator decoys to your yard that are meant to scare the squirrels. Add flowers and other plants to your garden that squirrels cannot stand. Try spreading red pepper flakes where squirrels gather.
It might seem like it’s impossible to keep squirrels out of your garden, but I’m going to show you that it is not as difficult as it may look. We’ll also talk about some of the damage that squirrels can cause to your garden, yard, and home. And further along in this article, I am going to give you some product recommendations for squirrel deterrents.
Keeping Squirrels Out of Your Garden: 13 Practical reasons
Like most people, you’re probably annoyed by the sight of squirrels. But these furry rascals can be much more than simply annoying. Many homeowners and gardeners do not realize the amount of damage that squirrels can cause! And if you are starting to see squirrels in your yard and garden, you may soon be seeing signs of squirrels in your shed, garage, or even your home.
Remember, keep the squirrels out of your yard before they get in your home. Once a squirrel has come into your home, they can cause expensive damage. And if a female squirrel chooses to have her babies in your house, then you’ll have multiple squirrels to contend with.
Here are some practical reasons that you don’t want squirrels on your property:
#1 Squirrels can chew through pipes and wires
Squirrels have teeth strong enough that can chew through both pipes and wires. Chewing through wires could possibly spark a fire, and chewing through pipes can cause untold water damage.
The closer squirrels get to your own, the more likely they are to chew something that will cost you a lot of money in repairs.
#2 They may damage your valuables and insulation
If a squirrel gets into your attic, they can not only get into your valuables but your insulation, as well. Squirrels have been infamous for the amount of damage they have caused to attic insulation.
They will also make nests in your insulation and may have babies in there, which will only lead to more squirrels in your home.
#3 They can chew through drywall, wood, siding, etc.
Squirrels can chew through drywall, wood, siding, and more. This can be severely damaging to both the inside and outside of your home.
#4 They can damage your outdoor furniture
Wooden outdoor furniture is likely to be chewed by squirrels. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many cases of squirrels chewing wooden furniture past the point of fixing it.
#5 They can damage your shingles
When squirrels are able to crawl onto your roof, they will also be able to cause damage to your shingles which will cost a lot to repair.
#6 Squirrels may get into your bird feeder
If you love feeding birds, you are probably disappointed upon seeing squirrels getting into your bird feeders and driving all the birds away.
#7 They dig up plants and are destructive to trees
Squirrels can wreak absolute havoc on your garden by digging up plants, chewing on things, and even eating some of the plants in your garden. Squirrels can also be very destructive to the trees in your yard.
#8 You may notice things going missing
With a squirrel infestation, you may notice things going missing from around your home, yard, and garden. Squirrels are very discreet thieves and will steal anything they like of yours to take back to their nests.
#9 Plants are in danger of being dug up by squirrels, too
This is especially true if you have bulb flowers, which squirrels frequently like to dig up out of the ground. You simply cannot have a thriving garden when you have squirrels digging up your plants!
#10 They can antagonize your pets
Squirrels can antagonize or even harm other pets such as cats, dogs, rabbits, or any other pet you may regularly take outside.
#11 They can carry parasites
Like many wild animals, squirrels can carry parasites and diseases. This means they can pass them on to you, your family, or your pets. Animals or children who may get into squirrel droppings are also at risk for picking up parasites or bacteria.
#12 Some people may be allergic to squirrels
This means that working in a garden squirrels have invaded or had them in your home could be hazardous to the health of people with these allergies.
#13 They may attract predators to your home
Smaller animals like squirrels may attract predators to your home. This means cats and dogs that aren’t yours may start showing up in your yard, along with other predatory mammals and birds.
As you can see, there are many reasons that you will want to keep squirrels away from your property. They are not simply annoying, but also harmful to you, your family, your pets, and even your home as well.
What Kind of Squirrels Will You Encounter?
Depending on where you live, you may be facing a variety of different types of squirrels. Most likely, you will be facing these types of squirrels:
- Northern Flying Squirrel
- California Ground Squirrel
- Western Gray Squirrel
- Eastern Gray squirrel
- American Red Squirrel
- Douglas Squirrel.
If you can identify what type of squirrel you see invading your garden, you may be able to better deter them away from your home. After all, some methods work better for certain squirrels than others.
However, most of the advice I’ll be giving here is general, and it will generally apply to any type of squirrel you might be facing.
How to Deter Squirrels From Your Garden?
With all these things in mind, I’m going to list some ways that you can deter squirrels from your garden, and also your home. Mostly, we’ll be focusing on ways to keep them away from your outdoor plant or vegetable garden.
Never, Ever, Ever Feed the Squirrels!
Feeding squirrels is one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make! When you feed squirrels, you are guaranteeing that they will come back time after time. This is because they know they can rely on you for a free meal. After all, squirrels are very motivated by food, and it only takes a few feedings to keep them coming back forever.
Remove anything that squirrels can use as a food source
You should also take care to remove anything from your yard that squirrels can use as a food source. This means if you feed your dog or cats outside, you may want to consider moving their food dishes to an inside location. However, this may, unfortunately, mean removing your bird feeder, since squirrels love to eat from them.
But if you don’t want to get rid of your bird feeder, there are many solutions you can choose to deter them from the feeders. Some companies sell deterrents you can add to your existing bird feeders to keep squirrels from getting the food. And if you don’t mind changing bird feeders, you can purchase one that is squirrel-proof.
Keep your grill, picnic table, and deck clean
If you regularly eat or host barbecues in your backyard, keep the area clean and free of food. Keep your grill, picnic table, and deck clean and free of crumbs. When you are eating outside, keep food covered up so that squirrels don’t get into your containers.
Keep Nuts and Seeds Out of Your Yard
Nuts falling from trees will attract squirrels because they see nuts as a food source. If you have trees or other plants that are prone to leaving nuts and seeds all over your yard, remove them if the problem is bad enough.
But if that is not possible, then you can make sure to keep your yard free from nuts and seeds. Keeping them cleaned up on a daily basis will prevent squirrels from flocking to your yard to gather up the nuts and seeds as food.
Add Things That Scare Them Away
You may commonly see people with plastic decoys in their yard to scare birds away. Fortunately, you can do almost the exact same thing to deter squirrels, as well. Plastic owls and other fake predator decoys placed around your yard can be helpful for keeping your yard free from squirrels. You can place these decoys right by your garden to achieve the best effect.
Some stores also sell the urine of predators that are likely to scare squirrels away. Since these products often come in spray bottles, it will be easy for you to spray this scent deterrent around areas of your yard that you want to scare squirrels away from.
If you have pets like cats or dogs, try collecting the fur that they have shed. Then, bury this fur in the soil around your garden. Since cats and dogs are predators, squirrels will naturally avoid areas where you bury their fur. This is because squirrels will smell the fur, think there is a predator nearby, and they will stay far away!
If you’re interested in a predator decoy, then use this Fake Owl Decoy. It resembles a real-life Owl and is guaranteed to scare off squirrels, birds, and other small pests. This decoy comes with flashing eyes, and it also makes scary sounds to deter pests. And since this decoy features a motion detector, it will flash its’ eyes and make scary noises when it detects pest movement nearby.
Add Plants to Your Garden That Squirrels Hate
Did you know that there are some plants you can add to your yard that will repel squirrels away from your garden? And many of these plants are things that you may find highly desirable to add to your garden.
Here are some plants that squirrels find offensive:
- Geraniums can be useful for repelling many pests, including squirrels.
- Lily-of-the-Valley plants are a beautiful addition to your garden, and they will keep squirrels away, too.
- Or maybe you would be more interested in adding a beautiful, colorful Hyacinth to your garden instead?
- Galanthus also make a great repellent, since they put off a smell that squirrels find extremely offensive.
- Fritillaries are hardy in many zones, and they will keep squirrels at bay.
- Alliums are related to onions, and they are a major deterrent to squirrels.
- If you are growing vegetables, you could consider adding garlic bulbs or onions to your garden, since they make an excellent natural repellent.
- And finally, beautiful Daffodils repel a variety of animals, including squirrels, deer, and rabbits. This way, you can get multiple uses from the same plant.
So if you are thinking of making a new addition to your garden in order to keep the squirrels at bay, consider one of the plants listed above.
Red Pepper Flakes Make a Natural Repellent
Many of us like spices, which can also be used as effective repellents for a variety of pests. While many people like the mild burning sensation they get from eating spicy foods, the burn can feel incredibly shocking to smaller mammals. And it can be enough to keep squirrels away from your garden.
You could easily use either red pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce to keep the squirrels away from digging in your garden. The most popular method of distributing these spices around your plants would be if you mixed them with water in a spray bottle, and then sprayed it around the garden area. But you can also bury some red pepper flakes around your garden’s soil for extra effectiveness.
Remember, you could always add a hot pepper plant to your garden, as well. When the squirrels try to eat the peppers off the plant, they will get a shocking, spicy surprise! But if you apply anything spicy to plants you are growing to consume, make sure you wash the foods off them off before eating or serving to your family.
Use Coffee Grounds to Repel Squirrels
Most human beings find the smell of coffee to be alluring and pleasant. However, squirrels and many other pests cannot stand the aroma that many of us love so much. Coffee grounds can help you protect your garden in more ways than one. Apply a light layer of coffee grounds to the soil around your garden, and you will effectively repel squirrels away from your plants.
If you are a regular coffee drinker, you could also consider putting your used coffee grounds to use. Just don’t use too much coffee grounds, as their acidity could change the pH levels in your soil. This could negatively affect your plants in the long run.
There are Some Sprays to Help
Fortunately, there are many companies out there that make specialized sprays and other products that you can use to repel squirrels from your yard and garden. And many of these products are also natural if you do not want to use synthetic chemicals. If the plants in your garden are meant to be eaten, then you should consider only using natural products.
When getting a pest-control spray, make sure you research how effective it is for repelling squirrels. And make sure you don’t use anything that may possibly kill or harm the plants in your garden. Research each individual ingredient in a spray if you have any doubts. You should also be careful if you have a well on your property, as you don’t want to contaminate your water supply.
You should also check whether or not the spray you choose is toxic to pets or children. If you’re looking to repel squirrels without killing them, check to make sure whatever product you’re buying is humane and non-toxic.
Here is one All Purpose Animal Repellent Spray we have effectively used. It is easy to apply and completely safe. It is worth to mention that this product is made and used by professional exterminators.
Also, the other product I can recommend to deter squirrels is this concentrated animal repellent made by Eco Clean Solutions. This repellent deters animals by both scent and taste. It is water-resistant, meaning that a little bit of rain will not wash it away. This formula is both non-toxic and environmentally friendly which means that it can be considered organic. You can use this product in your yard year-round in order to effectively repel squirrels, deer, and other animals.
When in Doubt, Trap the Squirrels
Sometimes, you can use every trick in the book and still have a very brave squirrel that is insistent on invading your garden. In this case, you might want to invest in a live animal trap. After safely trapping the squirrel, you should be able to release it at a park far away from your property. With any luck, the squirrel will not return to your property.
However, you need to make sure to release the squirrel somewhere far away from your property. If possible, drive an hour or more away from your home to release the squirrel. Releasing the squirrel too close to your home may mean that it will return to your property in no time.
When in doubt, you may be able to use sticky traps to catch squirrels. But these should be avoided since they are inhumane and will be a death sentence to the squirrel you catch. The same is true for poison. If you use poison around your garden, you will also possibly contaminate your flowers and vegetables.
How to Keep Squirrels Away From Your Bird Feeder?
Bird feeders can encourage squirrels to come into both your yard and garden. This is because the bird feeder acts as a food source that draws them in. It can be difficult to keep squirrels away from your bird feeders if you are not willing or able to remove the feeder from your yard. Fortunately, there are some ways to squirrel-proof your bird feeders.
Here are some tips for keeping squirrels out of your bird feeder:
- If your bird feeder sits on a pole, you should consider investing in a squirrel-proof pole. This prevents them from climbing the pole to get to the bird feeder.
- But if your bird feeder hangs from a tree, hang it on razor wire that is high up and far from any low-hanging branches.
- Consider trading your bird feeder in for one that is built primarily to deter squirrels. You may also be able to buy certain attachments that fit on the front of your bird feeder in order to keep squirrels out.
When squirrels are no longer able to get anything to eat from your bird feeders, they will be less likely to come into your yard.
Some Other Products to Deter Squirrels
Now, if you know me, then you know that I like to give helpful product recommendations to my readers here at Pest Control FAQ. I am now going to list some products that you can find on Amazon to deter squirrels from your garden. For each one of these products, I will also list their rating on Amazon so that you can make an informed decision.
Cole’s FS16 Flaming Squirrel Seed Sauce
If you are interested in using something spicy to deter squirrels away from your property, then consider using this flaming squirrel seed sauce made by Cole’s Wild Bird Products. This product is meant to be mixed with bird seed. While this seed sauce will be appealing to a variety of birds, it will effectively deter squirrels away. This product is made from all-natural ingredients, and it is non-toxic.
Fake Owl Decoy
If you’re interested in a predator decoy, consider using the fake owl decoy we mentioned earlier in the article. It resembles a real-life Owl with flashing eyes, and a frightening sound to scare off squirrels, birds, and other small pests. This decoy is motion activated and solar powered, so it will flash its’ eyes and make scary noises when it detects pest movement nearby.
Final thoughts: How to Deter Squirrels From Your Garden?
Today, we talked about all how to keep squirrels out of your garden, out of your yard, and away from your home in general. We’ve talked about why you don’t want squirrels around your home or yard in the first place. And I’ve also given you some product recommendations to deter squirrels from your property.
Here at Pest Control FAQ, you can find all the answers to your pest control questions. Whether you are battling insects, birds, rodents, or other animals, you will find solutions to pest control here. Remember, you don’t have to live with pests in your home, yard, or even in your garden!
What kind of pests might invade my garden? Insects may be a major source of stress, as many of them flock to invade your garden. Birds, rodents, and lizards may also be culprits of trying to get into your garden. Deer, rabbits, and other large pests may eat your plants. All of these pests may be harmful to your plants and soil. Pesticides and other repellents will help keep bugs and other pests out of your garden.
Should I only use natural pesticides in my garden? When pests are coming into your garden, you may need to use pesticides in order to keep them out. If you do not feel comfortable using synthetic pesticides in your garden, it is okay to use natural pesticides instead. If you are growing food to consume, make sure to use only safe pesticides. Remember, natural doesn’t always mean safe.
What pesticides do organic gardeners use? Organic gardeners often don’t use pesticides unless they are completely natural. That is, organic gardeners do not use any pesticides made with synthetic ingredients. If you are planning on having an organic garden, make sure that none of the pesticides you’re using have any synthetic chemicals.