Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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Squirrels are cute but they can be destructive. Here are 7 easy and animal-friendly ways to show squirrels the door!
Squirrels can be deterred from gardens when they no longer find food there or food is hard to access. Other repellents also include dogs, commercial and motion-activated repellents, artificial grass, and physical barriers.
Squirrels can pull a bad number on a garden. If you love animals and want to find non-lethal ways to deter the critters from your garden, then we have found the best options for you!
Squirrels often nibble on garden furniture, flowers, and even wooden decks. But one of the more annoying problems with these animals is the fact that they like to dig. The answer is to reduce the number of squirrels that visit your garden through animal-friendly means.
There are many ways to discourage squirrels from returning but we narrowed it down to 7 of the most effective methods.
Have a good look at your garden. Squirrels are invading it for a reason - and that reason is food. What free lunch is attracting these critters? Maybe you have a tree filled with nuts or tasty flowers. Whatever it is, you need to take some time and watch the squirrels to see what they feed on in your garden.
Once you know what attracts them, that source has to be limited or removed. Be diligent in picking up nuts or replace the flowers they are addicted to, you get the idea. Once the squirrels realize that the garden is no longer so fruitful, they will move on to other yards.
There are many products available that will convince squirrels to pack their bags and go elsewhere. Here are a few tips to ensure that you use it safely and get the best results.
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Some people find this option not so animal-friendly - and rightly so. There is nothing cute about a dog mauling another animal to death. It is not good either to get a dog just to keep it as a deterrent for squirrels.
Getting a dog should be something you have always wanted because you adore pooches and you are willing to commit to your pet! But you will get so much more than a happy companion. As a bonus, squirrels are naturally cautious and the smell, sound, and sight of a dog going about its day is usually enough to make them leave a garden for good.
This option is particularly effective if the squirrels are focusing on small areas of soft earth. Artificial grass is normally a mat, so there is no way that a squirrel can dig a hole or would even want to. If you do not want artificial grass, you can also try a layer of ornamental rocks or tightly-packed succulents with thorny leaves. Both will make digging too much of a chore for squirrels.
We have reviewed all the best artificial grass options for you!
Most of us lead busy lives. Few people have the time to spend picking up nuts or spraying the garden every couple of days with commercial deterrents. If this sounds familiar, then you might want to invest in motion-activated deterrents. These systems will do all the work!
The two main types use water and sound. Both work in the same way. The moment the sensors pick up on movements, it activates the system. A water system is basically a sprinkler and the sound system releases a sharp sound that startles squirrels. A good noise deterrent will be inaudible to humans and dogs.
But there is something else you can also look forward to. If you also struggle with cats that use your garden as a bathroom, both systems will deter them as well.
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Are those pesky nutters attacking your vegetable garden? Adding barriers to problem areas such as this can also reduce the number of squirrels that frequent your property. But whatever you want to fence off, take some time and plan the project down to the last detail.
Squirrels are nimble, innovative and great diggers. For this reason, you need to find materials that they cannot get through, over or under. The “under” can be prevented by sinking the fence roughly 30 to 60 centimetres into the ground. You can enclose an area with a wooden fence or chicken fence with small openings to prevent the squirrels from reaching the vegetables or flowers.
The hardest part is to stop squirrels from scaling a barrier and jumping over the top. If you are fencing off small areas, you can consider adding a chicken wire “lid” or something similar. This will allow sunlight through while preventing squirrels from reaching the plants inside.
Some bird-feeders are like all-you-can-eat buffets for squirrels. They love the seeds, nuts, and especially sunflower seeds. If you love birds and do not want to remove the feeders, you need to squirrel-proof the feeders.
Feeders do not directly cause squirrels to dig in your garden but since they attract squirrels, you need to make them less inviting.
One of the most common mistakes is to hang a feeder on a branch. Squirrels simply use their tree-skills to approach and munch to their heart’s delight. It might take some thinking but remove the feeder to an area where squirrels do not have easy access.
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Squirrels are very adaptable. It is not safe to just remove the nuts and sunflower seeds from the feeders. Once they have realized what feeders are, they will try every bit of food they see. This requires a bit of spying on your end. If you see that the squirrels are still feeding, try another bird mix.
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