Squirrels might look like these cute and defenseless creatures that need constant care and supervision, but don’t get fooled by their appearance. When left uncontrolled, they can easily become pests and cause damage to your crops, garden, lawn, and even your front porch or house.
If you live near woods, you know how easy it is to get your backyard filled with squirrels almost all-year-long, so here are some tips on how to repel them naturally.
Hide the food
Squirrels are constantly scavenging for supplies for the winter months, so hiding all potential sources of food from your garden and property might be the easiest way to prevent them from coming back. However, this is difficult, especially if you love birds and installed bird feeders and houses for them.
Squirrels are smart animals that will go to extreme lengths to find food, and this means fighting for the seeds in your bird feeder. One easy way would be to empty the feeders or place them in areas that are hard to reach by other predators.
If this is not an option, at least opt for feeders that are specifically designed to prevent other animals and birds from reaching the contents. Squirrels also thrive on nuts, acorns, and berries, so if you have trees or bushes that produce these ingredients, you might have to rake them up.
Even the trash can that stays outside is a potential source of food not just for squirrels but also for raccoons and opossums, so make sure you keep them under lock.
Let your cat or dog outside
If your cat is used to living outside and you’re not afraid of it skipping a day or two before coming back for dinner, it might be a good idea to let it outside and look after your backyard.
Cats are phenomenal predators and, apart from mice, rats, and birds, they will also hunt for any other animal tress-passing your property, including squirrels.
As for dogs, spending time outdoors is beneficial for their health and spirit.
Exercising can prevent joint and bone problems, as well as overweight and obesity. Besides, dogs of all ages love chasing things, so you can rest assured no squirrel will come near your house while your pooch is on duty.
Bonus points – you will get a free show daily as watching your dog chasing squirrels is entertaining.
Spicy foods and herbs
Who knew that these rodents are not big fans of spicy foods? However, don’t start throwing your burritos and chili con carne in your backyard just yet.
Squirrels have a highly developed sense of smell, just like most other animals, which means that stingy, spicy herbs such as cayenne pepper, garlic, lemongrass, rosemary, or mint might be enough to deter them. Even if they will be at first tempted to taste these ingredients, one bite of their spiciness and squirrels will not come near your property any time soon.
The good news is that most insects and small animals will feel the same, which means planting garlic, rosemary, pepper, and other hot, spicy herbs will keep away mosquitoes, flies, hornets, fire ants, and even fleas or mice.
Clean and fix your house and backyard
Squirrels will take any opportunity they get to scavenge for food, supplies, and a comfortable place to shelter during the cold season. If you don’t want to turn your attic, tool shed, or garage into their next forever home, you should start by carefully inspecting your property.
Look for any cracks, rotten wood boards, crevices, or any other type of place that is big enough for these rodents to go through. Don’t forget about cracked windows and open doors either, as they act as open invitations for many pests, not just squirrels.
Keep your house and backyard as clean as possible by constantly removing debris from your lawn, trimming trees, cutting bushes, and harvesting your crops or fruit trees.
Any cracks, leaks, and crevices must be fixed or replaced using stronger materials to better insulate your property and prevent unwelcome guests from barging in.
Install a tall fence
Squirrels are like small acrobats so any tree around your property can act as a launching point for these animals to fly across any fence, no matter how tall it is.
That being said, before considering a fence to repel rodents and unwanted animals from getting on your property, don’t forget to cut down any trees around it. The same goes for tool sheds, garages, summer kitchens, gazebos, or any other constructions that squirrels might climb on to get past the fence.
Once the terrain is clear, you can install a tall fence to keep your property away from the questioning eyes of your neighbors and potential pests, including squirrels.
Traps can work too
Last but not least, you might have to opt for squirrel traps, cages, and other devices that will keep these animals away. You can find some affordable ones online but do your homework before purchasing any of them. Make sure you understand the risks and that some of these might only act as temporary solutions that won’t solve your pest problem.
Ultrasonic devices might be a non-harmful option to repel animals, but some of these sounds might also be picked up by your dogs or cats, which can cause discomfort.
On the other hand, pesticides or any other chemical substances are potentially lethal to squirrels and other animals, insects, and reptiles. Therefore, you have to be certain that squirrels are the only ones left without an invitation to your backyard or property.
The same goes for the copper mesh which may seem like a good option to surround your property in a desperate attempt to keep pests away.
As we previously mentioned, squirrels are intelligent creatures, and might easily find a way to get past it. On the contrary, the copper mesh might catch other bigger animals such as deer, opossums, foxes, and even dogs, so you need to be careful when mounting it.