Squirrels are one of the worst pests in nearly every summer garden. They love nothing more than to eat the shoots and leaves of growing plants, ruining your harvest in the process. When it comes to how to keep squirrels out of your garden, there are three basic plans of action. You can either stop them from entering with a fence, scare them away, or trap and release them somewhere else.
Fencing Squirrels Out
Squirrels are industrious little climbers, so fencing them out doesn’t work as well as it would with another pest, like deer. There is fencing designed specifically for squirrels, and it’s a tight mesh that rises high up into the air. Often, when fencing out squirrels, you’ll enclose the entire garden — including the top — in order to prevent them from climbing over and snacking on your tomatoes.
Scaring Squirrels Away
When it comes to methods for keeping squirrels out of your garden, scaring them away works best. Squirrels are naturally intimidated by the scents of predators, so one effective technique is to use dog hair. The squirrels smell the dog when they approach your garden path and decide to go and dig up some nuts instead.
Another method of scaring away the little pests is to use a fake owl, or a noisemaker of some kind. Both of these methods intimidate the squirrel, who decide to go and look for easier picking elsewhere. The reason why an owl statue works so well is that, being a natural predator of squirrels, they recognize the outline of an owl and avoid it. Noisemakers have a few drawbacks — like the fact that they make a lot of noise — but they’re still an excellent way to strike fear into the hearts of the local squirrel population.
The last way can also be effective, but it’s important to release squirrels as far away as possible. Otherwise they’ll come right back to where they know the food is — your backyard patch. There are dozens of different traps on the market, but we recommend the Have-A-Heart style of live trap, typically baited with nuts or peanut butter. Make sure that you check your traps daily, so no squirrel stuck inside has to suffer.
Get Rid of Squirrels and Have a Healthier Garden
Whatever method you choose, once you get rid of squirrels you’ll notice that you have a healthier, happier garden. Even if the critters don’t do a lot of damage, the fact that they nibble on developing shoots means that they stunt your plants and can fruit to fall off of the vine. It’s important to learn how to keep squirrels out of your garden if you want to get the most out of your harvest every year.