There are two types of people: those who feed squirrels and those who want to learn how to repel squirrels. Squirrels are cute little buggers and many a person has enjoyed watching them and their tightrope act as they scurry around the wire; it is funny to watch them stuff their cheeks until they are full and then they stuff some more.
The thing about squirrels that is not funny is when they take the nuts and grains we feed them, and then promptly tear up our freshly planted containers and garden plots to bury their spoils. People have been trying to find a balance between enjoying these comical little creatures with keeping them from creating more work for us. Below are a few tried and true suggestions to think about.
A mechanical method of repeling squirrels can provide very quick results. By setting out a live trap with some bait in the closed end, a squirrel can be caught within minutes if the trap is laid in the area he is familiar eating in. Depending on the squirrel population, several squirrels can be caught in one day; unfortunately, these little guys are very smart and will take notice of the plan, so the trap needs to be moved after one day of trapping. The captured squirrels should be moved to the local park or stretch of woods.
Another mechanical repellant relies on the fact that squirrels like to run their little paws through soft and fluffy soil; exactly the type of soil found in vegetable gardens and flower containers. Take a walk through the yard, picking up twigs as you go. Alternatively, purchase some popsicle sticks at the store and place them in the container so a stick is jutting out of the soil every three square inches or so. This will create an environment very displeasing to the squirrels and they will find somewhere else to go.
There a few successful herbal and other nonchemical methods to try. The first thing people think of is the old chili pepper trick. Some people laugh and shake their heads at this one, but the reason for its bad track record is that people do not follow through on it. Basically, on a dry day shake red chili powder all over the birdseed. It catches the squirrel’s mouth on fire in the same way it effects the human mouth. Here is where people give up on it: replenish the pepper every day, especially after the rain and the pepper method can be highly successful. Blood meal can be sprinkled in much the same way as the pepper, but it also must be replenished. It has been said that squirrels will not cross a line of blood meal.
Finally, learn to love fragrant herbs. Try planting peppermint under the birdfeeder. Squirrels are offended by the overly pungent smell of herbs like peppermint and pennyroyal and will not climb through it to reach the feeder pole. If there is another very fragrant herb that you prefer, give it a try as well. Repelling squirrels is not difficult as long as you are willing to be diligent.