Guard Your Garden from Squirrels

Guard Your Garden from Squirrels
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Guard Your Garden from Squirrels

Squirrels and Humans Have a Very, Shall We Say, Complex Relationship

They scamper over electrical wires, dart out in front of cars, gnaw on our tulip bulbs and, of course, pilfer bird feed like their auditioning for a James Bond movie. Despite all of this, some humans think they’re precious, tossing them peanuts or even adopting them as pets. I’m going to take a flying leap here and say that those people aren’t gardeners.

Everyone seems to have a fool proof technique that helps them deal with these ubiquitous tree rats yet even though their brains are no bigger than thumbtacks, squirrels seem to have the astonishing ability to outsmart us. But are they more crafty or just more determined? It takes dedication to win a war, and if we humans want to reclaim what’s our we need to get serious about pest control.

Now for a few favorite Squirrel-Be-Gone Methods:

Hair of the dog -I like this one because it’s free and effortless. Add the smell of humans and other predators to your potted plants and flower beds by placing hair clippings from you or shed hair from your pets to the soil. You don’t need much, but make sure to replenish the supply after a while because the scent will fade over time.

They don’t call them Squirrel Proof Feeders for nothing! These feeders take out all of the guess work and let you relax and enjoy the view of birds minus any furry invaders.

Hot pepper treatment –It’s a lot of fun and maybe a little sadistic but cayenne pepper has a special place in my heart for its usefulness against this enemy. Mix the hot chili powder into the soil or dust your vulnerable bulbs with it before planting to give squirrels a nasty surprise they won’t soon forget! Hot Chili Pepper suets are also effective at keeping thieves at bay.

A bone to pick – Adding bone meal to your soil is a true win-win because squirrels hate the smell and it’s also a great fertilizer.

Mulch obliged – Heavy mulch can hinder squirrel’s digging thus limiting access to your tulip bulbs. Plus most plants really like mulch, or so I’ve heard.

Cleanliness is next to squirrelessness – Keep a tidy yard so that fallen nuts, berries and birdseed don’t draw more uninvited guests. Also keep your compost pile and garbage cans covered and locked so squirrels, raccoons, and bears (oh my!) don’t find a quick snack in your yard.

Mint condition – Squirrels hate mint but because of its tenacious spreading habit so do some gardeners. But hey that’s what mint oil is for! It works just as well, and you can even make it yourself.

If you can’t beat them, baffle them! – Mix in unappetizing bulbs with your tasty ones to throw pests for a loop. Deter squirrels from your tulip and crocus bulbs with daffodils, hyacinth, alliums, Siberian iris, and lily-of-the-valley.

The more the barrier – Netting and fencing are more traditional approaches and can work with less crafty or tenacious critters.

All washed up – No one likes a shocking blast of cold water especially not squirrels, so motion activated sprayers work well when defending your garden from virulent vermin.