You may be looking for How to Get Rid of Squirrels if these pesky guys are eating your bird feed, or possibly causing destruction around the property. See some tips below!
Common Issues with Squirrels
We have had a large outdoor garden for a while now, and one problem we run into is the amount of squirrels it draws. Yes, they are fun to watch scamper around, but if they are constantly causing problems it’s time for them to move on!
Squirrels can be surprisingly destructive. They love bird feeders, for one. While they are stealing birdseed they also chase away the wild birds you’re trying to attract to your outdoor space.
When this first started happening I was impressed at their creative ways to sneak up and hang on to the feeders, but then I quickly became frustrated since my birdseed started to go FAST. I like to buy my birdseed in bulk to save money, but after a while I felt like I was just feeding the squirrels.
Those with larger properties or acreages have also mentioned squirrels cause a lot of damage whether it be chewing through wires or into an attic, or even getting into sheds and outbuildings.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels
So, how do we get rid of these guys?? Well, we want to advocate a natural and humane option of course! We have several tips that will have them safely moving on to a new home.
First- Prevention is Easier
If you have a squirrel problem in the garden, think about what it is that’s attracting them and fix that. If they have nothing to draw them in, chances are once they are gone, they won’t return in large numbers. Some good prevention tips for squirrels (and rodents in general) are:
- Keep a secured bin for bird seed and pet foods.
- Invest in bird netting to cover plants that attract them frequently (you can try chicken wire but small squirrels can easily get through).
- Try an enclosed planter or mini greenhouse for a smaller garden or potted garden area.
- Keep your garden clean: fallen seeds, nuts, and fruit will attract more rodents.
- Caulk holes and repair broken fencing, shingles, doors, or anything else that is allowing the squirrels into indoor spaces, like your attic or shed.
- Get a chimney vent- for squirrels in the attic.
Second- Secure Those Bird Feeders!
It’s not surprising the bird feeders are the big attraction for squirrels. It’s free food, all you can eat!!
You can opt for a squirrel proof feeder. There will be squirrels still checking it out, and some tenacious ones who still stop in for a chance at some scattered birdseed, but it should help cut down on the wastage.
A squirrel guard is another option, if you want to to add it to your current feeder.
Keep in mind your goal here won’t really eliminate the squirrels, but rather keep all that valuable birdseed from going straight to these hearty eaters.
Owls are natural predators for squirrels. I’ve seen these move in to an area and the squirrels will all move out of the location. They hunt at night, so you won’t actually see them in action, but if you have an owl you can be sure the squirrel population will diminish over time.
Owls often live in pairs and have roosts high up in the trees. If you want to attract an owl family, be sure you are keeping any small pets inside, especially at night. A cat or very small dog can become prey as well.
You will need to look up common owl species in your area, and then invest in an owl box which needs to be mounted way up on a large tree trunk. Follow instructions to see where and which owl box would be best. You can find one -or a kit- on Amazon.
Here are some options:
- KingWood Premium Cedar Owl House, Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Screech Owl Nest, Owl Nesting Box $119.95
- Coveside Barred Owl House $159.98
How to Get Rid of Squirrels- In the Garden:
As with all animals, there are certain plants they do NOT like! Strongly scented herbs will deter them, even if they don’t get rid of them entirely.
Consider planting herbs like peppermint or clove.
Lemongrass is a pretty -and easy to find- garden addition that squirrels don’t care for. You can add this in between or around garden veggie plants.
Do you already plant onions or garlic? These vegetables also deter squirrels, so plant them near or around other vegetables.
Hot Peppers are also a great squirrel deterrent, and they also grow beautifully where we are located in Oklahoma. If you add these to the garden they won’t mess with them! Even on the ground, our peppers are always left alone by rodents and birds alike.
Sprinkle Herbs or Make an Essential Oil Herbal Spray for Surfaces
If you haven’t followed my blog yet, you may not know that I LOVE Essential Oils and use them around my house often. You can find out more HERE about Young Living Oils.
To deter squirrels, you can make up your own Essential oil mix by adding about 10-20 drops to glass spray bottle of water.
Add (1) of any of the following oils you have on hand: Peppermint, Cinnamon, Clove, or Lemongrass. Optionally, add 1 T. of Unscented Castile Soap if you have it available. This will lend a little viscosity to your mix and allow it to stick to the plants and ground better. Spray on the ground between plants.
I hope you’ve found this post on How to Get Rid of Squirrels a helpful resource. Keep in mind, we are not experts and haven’t tried every single tip here ourselves. Let us know if one of these tips worked well for you!