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Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden Without Poisons

Squirrels are everywhere, and some are more destructive than others. These "rats with fuzzy tails" can wreak havoc on your landscape and especially your edibles. I've found certain ways to keep them where they belong. -- away from your garden. Some solutions aren't cheap, but they are less expensive than losing all your veggies to these cute but pesky rodents.

Do Feed the Squirrels

If you want your fuzzy-tailed friends not to eat your garden, you need to get them used to eating elsewhere. Squirrels are creatures of habit, and once they are used to being fed in one place, they usually won't bother much else. Place your squirrel feeder off the ground in a place away from your desirable plants. I put mine at the very back of my yard, under a tree where nothing would grow because of the roots. They congregated in that tree and didn't bother anything else as long as I made sure they had food. Squirrels love kitchen scraps, which is good for gardeners with no compost pile.

Make Sure They Don't Get Thirsty

A member of one of my forums posted that squirrels were eating the growth tips of his plants. Squirrels eat new, succulent growth when they are thirsty. In addition to feeding them, make sure they have water available. Most wild animals get the bulk of their water from their food, but if they have good water available in a safe place, they will go there first.

Use Cayenne Pepper and Pepper Spray on Your Garden

Sprinkling cayenne pepper on the ground or spraying their favorite edible plants with it will keep them away and won't cause any lasting damage. Once they get the taste of the pepper, they know those plants aren't desirable, and they will move on to better hunting grounds. You'll have to reapply frequently, and make sure to wash your harvest carefully so you don't get a dose of the cayenne.

Get a Cat

This isn't a good solution for everyone, but squirrels tend to stay away from yards with cats roaming around, or they stay high up in the trees. My cat likes to bring me "gifts" of dead squirrels, so if having dead animals dragged into your house is repulsive to you, you may not want a cat.

Unfortunately, if you have nut, oak or palm trees anywhere nearby, it will be almost impossible to control the squirrels in your yard. Squirrels congregate around food sources, and nuts and acorns are their favorite yummy treats. Squirrels are active all year and multiply rapidly, so it's a never-ending battle.

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