You’ll find a squirrel just about everywhere. They are in cities, suburbs, and forests. In your backyard, they are at your birdfeeder, digging tulip bulbs out of the flower garden, and munching on sunflowers. In the Fall, squirrels will chew through pumpkins in your garden, as well as those on the front step. Unfortunately for gardeners, they are hard to get rid of However, we’ve got a few ideas on how to control squirrels that will help.
Squirrels are one of a wide assortment of garden pests. These rodents (yes, squirrels are rodents) are extremely persistent. They climb up, through, and over just about every obstacle you make to keep them out. To many, they are cute, just not as cute as their cousin the chipmunk.
Homeowners and home gardeners struggle to control their population and to keep them away from plants, vegetables, and the flower bulbs you so carefully planted for next spring. They gnaw and chew through just about anything, except metal. And as you know, they are excellent climbers. So, a fence will not deter them.
Here are tips and ideas to try in the war against the squirrel:
1. Trapping: Hav-a-hart traps are an effective way to eliminate them in your yard and garden. After you trap them, you get rid of them for a while. The only problem is once you catch them, where do you release them? Eventually, new squirrels move into the empty territory vacated by the squirrels you trapped. But ah, how wonderful it is while they are gone!
Important: Before you trap squirrels or any other animals, make sure to check your local laws. Many localities allow you to trap animal pests but do not allow you to transfer or release an animal into another area. In these cases, the local animal control office must be notified.
Tip: Put walnuts, peanuts, or peanut butter into the traps. The nuts do not have to be fresh. Stales ones work just fine. Squirrels find these irresistible.
2. Pepper Sprays: Pepper and other sprays will discourage them. One taste or smell, and they may scurry to your neighbor’s garden. Apply sprays on plants and fruit. But use caution on vegetables, as a residual “Pepper” taste can linger. Apply every one to two weeks and after rain.
Find a Pepper spray recipe
3. Fences and screens: These have limited effectiveness. Squirrels easily climb over fences. It only works if the plant is completely screened. In most cases this is impractical, and it is also not aesthetically pleasing. Fencing must be metal. Squirrels effortlessly chew through wood and plastic netting.
4. Hunting: If hunting is allowed in your area, this obviously eliminates them….. if you are a good shot. Check local laws, for rules and regulations.
5. Cats: A natural predator that helps keep them away, only if the cat is a good hunter.