Squirrels can be fun to watch as they play in the trees or along the fences in your yard. Unfortunately, they are very fond of eating flower bulbs and root vegetables in gardens. Squirrels are very clever animals that can be difficult to control if they have become a serious problem. There are a few things you can try that have been effective ways to get rid of squirrels for many gardeners. If one suggestion doesn’t work, try another. Squirrels adapt quickly to new obstacles, so you may need to try several different things to eradicate them completely.
The most effective way to get rid of pesky squirrels is to set live traps and catch them. The traps can be purchased at any local hardware or home improvement store and are typically very affordable. Most live squirrel traps look like small cages and have a tripwire mechanism that closes the cage door once the squirrel ventures inside to collect the treat you left. You can deliver the squirrel to an animal control agency, or set it free in a more rural setting. It may require several traps to get rid of all of the squirrels in and around your yard.
Fences can be a good way to keep squirrels out of your garden. Remember that the squirrels are more interested in the bulbs underneath the surface than in the vegetables and flowers above the ground. A sturdy fence of chicken wire will generally do the trick. Make sure the fence extends at least a foot below the ground since squirrels are good diggers and can burrow under a fence that is flush with the ground. If you spread a tightly woven mesh along the ground after you plant seeds or bulbs your flowers will grow through the mesh but the squirrels won’t be able to dig through it.
Squirrel Repellent Odors
Squirrels have very sensitive noses and can be repelled by using the right kind of repellents. Many people use mothballs to keep squirrels away from their gardens. There are also commercial squirrel repellents that contain chemicals that squirrels don’t want to approach. Scatter some foul smelling squirrel repellents along the ground between and underneath your plants so that the squirrels lose interest in digging up your plants. You will need to replace the repellents about once a month because their odor will fade.
Alternate Feeding Sources
Another way to keep squirrels out of the garden is to provide something more interesting for them in another part of the yard. You could set up a squirrel feeder to give the squirrels an alternate source of food that is much easier to acquire than the roots and bulbs of your plants. Place the feeder far away from your garden so that the squirrels will be more interested in visiting the area of your yard that doesn’t contain your plants. If you keep the feeder well stocked, the squirrels should stay out of the garden.
Startle the Squirrels
Stubborn squirrels may need to be frightened so that they avoid your garden. Many garden shops sell motion sensitive sprinklers that can be used in any garden. The water will turn on as soon as something moves at the ground level underneath your plants, which should frighten the squirrel and make it run away. The sprinklers are also good for your plants. After the first few times the squirrels get drenched in your garden they should begin to find other places to find food more comfortably and leave your garden alone. Be sure to set the sprinklers up so that they spray near the ground and not too high in the air.