Need some gardening tips on how to keep squirrels out of your plants? Squirrels are sly, and they'll go for newly planted seeds, which is why you'll often catch them digging holes in a garden. They'll also devour every hibiscus and crocus bulb as fast as you can plant them.
It can be difficult to keep them out, but it's not impossible. Here are a few simple deterrents you can set up today.
Scents and natural spice repellents
When using scents or natural spice repellents in the garden, it's better to protect the area around the plants, rather than the plants themselves. You don't want to damage your garden patch just to keep the squirrels out. Peppermint oil is a natural scent with a mint-based aroma that squirrels cannot stand, and doesn't threaten the plants themselves. Try a few drops of peppermint oil on a handful of cotton balls, and position them around your garden in vulnerable areas. If you're updating your garden with new plants, why not place some live peppermint plants and let its natural scent do the deterring for you.
Another effective, though gross, scent to use is dried fox pee or coyote urine. Squirrels and other pests won't come near your yard if they think larger animals are around. Sprinkle the dried mixture around the perimeter of your garden, and garden pests will turn in their tracks.
Dogs and cats
Nothing says "guard on duty" like a rat terrier or Maine coon in your backyard. Most dogs will bark or chase any moving animal, and squirrels tend to avoid interaction with anything bigger than themselves. Squirrels love networks of trees to travel and live in, but cats won't hesitate to follow a rogue rodent up a dozen branches, which means they'll be reluctant to visit or stay close to cat territory.
Diversion feeding tactics
You can divert a squirrel's attention from your garden by placing a squirrel feeder in your yard, but well away from your plants and shrubs. Partial to a wide range of nuts and seeds, squirrels particularly enjoy acorns, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts, so use these to entice them to the feeder. Focus on controlling which item they eat, and you might just limit the ones they swipe from your garden.
Clear tarp tents for new seeds
Stretch a clear tarp tent to cover newly planted vegetable or fruit seeds to prevent squirrels from getting to them. Not only will they germinate faster by having the added warmth and protection, but squirrels tend to leave plants alone once they acquire their first or second set of leaves.
If squirrels are still a hassle after trying to above, install a motion sensor water sprinkler. Specialized sprinklers, specifically designed to hose down menacing animals and keep them off your goods, will automatically activate upon the smallest of movements.
If unwanted garden dwellers still don't get the message, contact your local Atlanta landscaping specialist for professional rodent control.