Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden Naturally: Tips & Tricks

keep squirrels out of garden
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Thomas Park

Struggling with a squirrel problem? You’re not alone! In order for your garden to thrive, you’ll need to keep squirrels away. Let’s take a look at how to keep squirrels out of your garden using natural methods. 

Squirrels can be incredibly pesky little animals, and keeping them out of your garden is no small feat! One of the biggest issues is that squirrels love to eat many of the same foods that we like to grow in our gardens. They love fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and berries. 

If you have a squirrel problem in your garden, you’ll know about it. Not only will you see them all over your yard, you’ll be able to identify the damage pretty easily. Look for:

  • shallow digging and holes near plants
  • small bites on vegetables, especially tomatoes
  • plants thrown out of planters

We’ll share our best tips for keeping squirrels away from your plants without hurting them or using any harsh chemicals.

7 Natural Ways to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden

how to keep squirrels away
Squirrels love digging around in planter boxes or containers. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Ellen de Ruiter )

1. Garlic Spray to Keep Squirrels Away

Squirrels hate both the scent and the taste of garlic, so this should deter them from messing with your garden. Add chopped garlic, vinegar, and water to a spray bottle and allow the concoction to sit for a few days. Then, spray the mixture on fences and stakes within the garden to keep the critters away.

2. Get Rid of Squirrels With Plants

One of the easiest ways to keep squirrels out of your garden is to add bulbs and plants they don’t like to eat. Consider plants like hyacinth, daffodils, allium, geraniums, peppermint, and lily of the valley. Some of these plants have the added bonus of helping to keep mosquitos away!

3. Essential Oils and Fabric Scraps

If you don’t feel like planting mint in your garden for fear of it taking over, you can still enjoy the benefits of this aromatic plant. Simply soak some fabric scraps in peppermint essential oil and place the scraps throughout your garden. Squirrels aren’t a fan of the scent and will hopefully keep their distance.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar Spray

Just like with garlic spray, squirrels can’t stand the scent of vinegar. Keep squirrels out of your garden by spraying apple cider vinegar on hard surfaces and fixtures near where they congregate to deter them. Just be careful not to spray the vinegar on your plants, as the acidity could accidentally damage them!

5. Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden Using Scare Tactics

Scarecrows were invented to keep crows away from crops, but you can use a similar tactic to keep the squirrels away. Scare them using things like scarecrows, motion detector lights or sprinklers, or owl decoys. You can also try to attract real owls to your yard instead of relying on a decoy!

6. Give Squirrels Their Own Food Source

While this may seem counterintuitive, it might just be the thing to keep squirrels out of your vegetable garden. Adding a squirrel feeder in a part of your yard that is far away from your flowers and vegetables might just be what saves them. To be extra certain they’ll leave your juicy tomatoes alone, add a shallow dish of water near the feeder. Squirrels get thirsty just like the rest of us!

7. Sprinkle Pet Hair

If you happen to have a pet at home, you can use them to your advantage. By sprinkling pet hair in the garden, you might be able to trick the squirrels into thinking there is a dog or cat nearby, and they will try to avoid the area.

Methods to Avoid

keeping squirrels out of garden
Hot chilis aren’t a very humane way to keeping squirrels out of your garden. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Ryan Quintal)

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is often touted as being effective at getting rid of squirrels. However, if it gets on their paws and they touch their eyes, it will cause temporary blindness. The point is to keep them away from your harvest, not to harm them.

Live Traps

Live traps also seem like a good idea in the moment, but they can often cause more harm than good. It seems like a humane way to deal with your problem, but the majority of urban squirrels have no idea how to survive in a more ‘natural environment’. Plus, if you’re trapping them between spring and late summer, you might be separating the mother from her babies, who won’t be able to survive without her.

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