Squirrel infestations in a garden can be a common problem for homeowners. These small rodents can cause damage to plants and flowers, dig up bulbs, and even gnaw on wooden structures such as decks or sheds. They also often raid bird feeders and steal food intended for other wildlife. While they may be cute to watch, squirrels can be a nuisance and can cause significant damage if not properly controlled.
- Chewed or gnawed plant stems and flowers
- Digging and burrowing in flower beds
- Raiding of bird feeders
- Stealing of fruits and vegetables from gardens
- Evidence of gnawing on wooden structures such as decks or sheds
- Scratching and rustling noises coming from the garden
What is a Squirrel
- Small, furry body
- Typically gray or brown in color
- Long bushy tail
- Pointed ears
- Sharp claws for climbing and digging
- Typically around 20-25 cm in length (not including tail)
- Weighs around 400-600 gms
Treating a Squirrel Infestation
- Use barriers such as fencing or mesh to block squirrels from entering the garden. This can be done by installing a fence around the garden, or by using mesh or wire to cover the tops of raised beds.
- Seal off any openings or gaps in walls, roofs, or foundations that may provide entry points for squirrels. This can be done using caulking, weatherstripping, or other materials.
- Use metal flashing or other materials to prevent squirrels from climbing on structures such as trees or buildings. This can be done by attaching metal flashing to tree trunks or by wrapping buildings with a squirrel-proof material.
- Use live traps to capture squirrels and release them elsewhere. This can be done by baiting the trap with food such as nuts or seeds, and checking the trap regularly to release any captured squirrels.
- Be sure to check local laws and regulations regarding trapping and relocating wildlife. Some areas may require a permit to trap squirrels and may have specific guidelines for their release.
- Use bait such as nuts or seeds to attract squirrels into the traps. The bait should be placed inside the trap and should be placed as close as possible to where the squirrels are active.
- Use natural repellents such as hot pepper sauce or vinegar to deter squirrels from eating plants. This can be done by spraying the repellent on the plants or by mixing it with water and applying it to the soil.
- Use commercial repellents such as sprays or granules that emit a smell or taste that squirrels find unpleasant. These repellents can be purchased at garden supply stores and should be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Be aware that repellents may need to be reapplied frequently and may not be effective in all cases. Squirrels can become accustomed to repellents over time, so it may be necessary to try different repellents or to use multiple methods of control.
- Remove bird feeders or other sources of food that may attract squirrels to the garden. This can be done by taking down bird feeders or by placing them out of reach of squirrels.
- Keep the grass and weeds trimmed to reduce cover and hiding places for squirrels. This can be done by mowing the lawn regularly and by pulling weeds from flower beds and gardens.
- Prune trees and bushes to eliminate branches that provide access to roofs or upper stories of buildings. This can be done by cutting back overhanging branches or by removing trees that are too close to buildings.
- Hire a professional wildlife control specialist to handle the infestation. They will use the above methods and can provide guidance on the best course of action for your particular situation. They will be able to identify the specific type of squirrels in your garden and how to address the problem accordingly. They may use humane and safe methods such as live trapping and exclusion to relocate them.