Surely, animal lovers are fascinated by the acrobatic movements of squirrels and consider them delightful creatures.
However, if a gardener walks into his or her garden only to find the tomatoes scattered over the ground with one bite out of each, or the corn in a mess, they are anything but fascinated. Cute and joyful as they may be, squirrels are a continuous source of frustration for any vegetable gardener.
Even if you are an animal lover, when you see your garden destroyed by squirrels, you might be prepared to do anything to get rid of them. Most squirrel repellents contain mothballs, which are efficient, but toxic as well.
It is possible to never actually see the squirrels in your garden, but there are signs you can look for in order to determine that it was these creatures that went through your veggies.
Shallow digging and holes around the plants, small bites on vegetables, especially tomatoes, whole plants that have disappeared, or seeds heads that had been nibbled are all signs that a squirrel has visited your garden.
Instead of using toxic formulas to get rid of them, there are also natural repellents available that will keep these cute pests away without harming them, and also you and your family safe.
Hot pepper plants and cayenne pepper seem to be successful in deterring squirrels. Also, they can be used in a variety of ways. For example, you can sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes on the ground close to the plants that are attracting squirrels.
You can also sprinkle a light dusting of cayenne pepper on the leaves of these plants, especially on the low-lying leaves. Another way to use these plants is to mix cayenne pepper with petroleum jelly and spread it on the stems of plants, right at the base.
It will be even more effective if you spread this mix on the poles and fences near the vegetables that squirrels like. Another thing you can do is to make a cayenne pepper spray and to diffuse it on the leaves of the tempting plants. It is essential to note that all these remedies need to be reapplied regularly, particularly after it rains.
Hot pepper plants and cayenne pepper are not the only options you have against squirrels. They also dislike the taste and smell of garlic. You can make a blend of chopped up garlic, vinegar, and water. Allow it to sit for a few days so the flavors can combine and then spray it on plants, stakes, and fences.
Apple cider vinegar is a real turn off for squirrels due to its acrid smell and taste. You can use this spray on fixtures and plants that are in squirrel infested areas.
There are also various bulbs and plants that squirrels avoid because of their smell and taste. If you plant these type of bulbs close to your vegetable garden, they can help you to keep the small critters away from it. A few examples you can use are hyacinths, allium, daffodils, peppermint, lily of the valley, and geranium.
Since it has a very strong scent, peppermint essential oil is another efficient squirrel repellent you can use to protect your garden. You can soak cotton balls in this oil and then place them on jar lids around the tempting plants from your garden.
These baits need to be re-soaked regularly. You can also make a peppermint essential oil spray by using one drop of it to an ounce of vinegar and use it by spraying it on the plants.
Other Means of Repelling Squirrels
Besides using various repellents to keep squirrels away from your garden, there are other things you can do in order to make sure your veggies are protected. You know the famous scarecrow, right? You can use the same principle to scare off the squirrels.
In additions to scarecrows, there are motion detecting lights, owl decoys, or high-frequency sound machines that you can successfully use to discourage squirrels from visiting your garden.
Keeping dogs and cats around the house can also be helpful, as they can chase squirrels away. If they develop this behavior of chasing uninvited pests from your yard, you are less likely to encounter too many issues anymore.
Squirrel traps can also do the job. You can place pieces of corn, sunflower seeds, or other treats in a trap. Then, place the trap in the area the squirrel mostly visits, and once it is trapped, you can release it somewhere else. You should set it free somewhere far from your garden, otherwise, this cute pest will return home.
Removing things that attract squirrels is another method you can use. For example, place your bird feeders as far from your garden as possible and make sure you clean up around them. The scent of seeds and bits of fruits attract squirrels. Moreover, always keep your garbage bins closed, or else you will be sending an invitation to unwanted guests.
To keep your veggies safe, you can also set up a distraction station somewhere far from your garden. Use tempting treats like nuts or sunflower seeds. This way, you will be attracting squirrels away from your vegetable garden. Also, make sure you offer a supply of water near the treats stations as well.
Keeping squirrels out of your garden is another way to keep your veggies safe. You can surround it with tall wire cages. Also, make sure you top it as well, using bird netting, for example.
Animal lover or not, as you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to keeping squirrels out of your vegetable garden. Most importantly, these are all natural repellents. When you have so many choices, it would be a shame to use toxic repellents that will not only harm the animals but could prove dangerous to you and your family, as well.