What Deters Squirrels From Gardens: Effective Strategies

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Squirrels are notorious garden pests that can wreak havoc on your plants, flowers, and vegetables. They dig up bulbs, eat fruits and veggies, and even chew on tree bark. If you’re a gardener, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of trying to keep these furry creatures away from your garden. However, there are several effective strategies you can employ to deter squirrels from your garden.

Understanding Squirrel Behavior

Before we delve into the strategies, let’s take a closer look at squirrel behavior. Squirrels are highly adaptable animals that are constantly seeking food and shelter. They are excellent climbers and jumpers, which makes it easy for them to access gardens and raid bird feeders. Squirrels are active during the day and have a keen sense of smell, allowing them to locate food sources easily.

1. Use Physical Barriers

One of the most effective ways to deter squirrels from your garden is by using physical barriers. This can include fencing, netting, or even chicken wire. Ensure that the barriers are tall enough to prevent squirrels from jumping over or digging underneath. Additionally, consider burying the fence at least six inches below the ground to deter burrowing.

Another option is to cover individual plants with netting or mesh. This will prevent squirrels from reaching the fruits or vegetables. Make sure the netting is securely fastened to prevent squirrels from squeezing through any gaps.

2. Provide Alternative Food Sources

Squirrels are opportunistic feeders, and if you provide them with an alternative food source, they may be less likely to target your garden. Consider placing squirrel feeders away from your garden to divert their attention. Fill the feeders with nuts, seeds, or squirrel-friendly food. This strategy can help satisfy their hunger and reduce their interest in your garden.

3. Use Repellents

There are various repellents available on the market that can help deter squirrels. These repellents work by emitting scents or tastes that squirrels find unpleasant. Some common options include:

  • Mothballs: Squirrels dislike the strong smell of mothballs, so placing them around the garden can deter them.
  • Spicy sprays: Squirrels are sensitive to spicy flavors. Spraying a mixture of hot sauce and water on plants can discourage them from feeding.
  • Blood meal: Squirrels dislike the smell of blood meal, which is a natural fertilizer. Sprinkling it around your garden can deter them.

4. Create a Distraction

Squirrels are curious animals, and if they find something more interesting or appealing than your garden, they may leave it alone. Consider creating a distraction to divert their attention. For example, you can install a birdbath or bird feeder away from your garden. This will attract birds and provide an alternative source of entertainment for the squirrels.

5. Maintain a Tidy Garden

Squirrels are attracted to gardens with plenty of hiding spots and easy access to food. To make your garden less inviting to squirrels, keep it clean and tidy. Remove fallen fruits, nuts, and seeds regularly. Trim tree branches that provide easy access to your garden. By eliminating potential food sources and limiting their hiding spots, you can discourage squirrels from visiting your garden.


Squirrels can be a persistent nuisance, but with the right strategies, you can deter them from your garden. Use physical barriers like fencing or netting, provide alternative food sources, use repellents, create distractions, and maintain a tidy garden. Applying a combination of these strategies can significantly reduce squirrel activity in your garden and help protect your plants and vegetables.

Remember, it may take some trial and error to find the most effective squirrel deterrent for your specific garden. Stay persistent and be patient, and you’ll be able to enjoy a squirrel-free garden in no time!

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