Have you ever gone outside to tend your garden, only to find that your bulbs have been removed or your product has bite marks? It’s probably the squirrels in your neighborhood that are giving you trouble. Squirrels are omnivores that love to feed on the fruits and vegetables we grow. They may be cute little animals, but having your hard work go to waste like this can be very frustrating.
Here are some humane ways to keep squirrels out of the garden. If you suspect a squirrel has broken into your home, contact a professional for Toronto squirrel removal.
#1. Use Row Covers and Mesh
Create a physical barrier between your plants and the squirrels in the neighborhood. Cover bulbs in the chicken wire when you plant them, and use row covers to keep squirrels out of your crops. Alternatively, you can build a mesh enclosure or put mesh lids over raised garden beds. Use a thick, half-inch wire squirrels can’t chew or squeeze their way through.
#2. Harvest Things on Time
Don’t let anything rot on the ground. Pick up all your fallen fruits and harvest things on time. This action will reduce the smell of your garden and make it less attractive to wildlife. If there are acorns in your yard, rake these up with fallen leaves and use them for compost.
#3. Use Natural Repellents
Spray some apple cider vinegar along the edges of your garden to keep squirrels out. You can also dilute one part apple cider vinegar with four parts water and spray your plants directly. Squirrels find it smells like predator urine, so they prefer to stay away.
Garlic can also deter squirrels. Chop fresh garlic and sprinkle it into the garden to keep squirrels out. You can also use cayenne pepper, pepper flakes, or diluted hot sauce, too hot for the little rodents.
For a more wonderful smell, mix 10 to 15 drops of peppermint essential oil with a depth of dish soap and a cup of water, then spray the mixture around the edges of your garden. You can stream this anywhere you want to deter squirrels.
#4. Use Electronic Deterrents
Set up a motion-activated deterrent in the yard. You can find one that sprays water or makes a high-pitched sound when a squirrel comes near your plants. If there are raccoons in your area, you can use one that flashes lights.
#5. Keep Garbage Out of Reach
Use lidded garbage cans that lock tightly. Keep them clean and secure them even further with bungee cords or bricks that you can put on top. If you can, store your cans in a shed or somewhere out of reach. Squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and opossums love the smell of garbage. Once in the yard, they will come feasting on your garden.
#6. Put the Bird Feeder Away
Squirrels love bird feeders. If you can live without it, but the feeder away, or switch to one that you can hang far away from the garden. Suet feeders that you can hang from a fishing line are ideal. Hang the feeder several feet above the ground and as far from other branches as possible.
#7. Rake the Leaves
Squirrels use leaves, grasses, and twigs to build their nests. Maintain the yard and rake the leaves in the fall to make your property less appealing to squirrels.
#8. Plant What Squirrels Don’t Like
Plant some marigolds alongside your tomato plants and put mint along the edges of the garden. Squirrels dislike their smell and be careful when planting mint because it can spread like wildlife. You can also put prickly shrubs along the edges of your garden to deter wildlife.