Squirrels are cute, but when they devour the petunias that you've worked hard to grow, they're a pest. Traps and pepper sprays are two options, but traps cost money and take time to bait, and sprays are not always safe for squirrels or your flowers. Kinder and gentler approaches involving a little strategy and inexpensive items can deter the critters and protect your flowers.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Oregano or rosemary
- Hair scraps
- Nylon stockings
- Blood meal
- Pecans or sunflower seeds
Clean up any food from barbecues, and clean outside cooking grills thoroughly. Squirrels love to nibble on food scraps and grill grease, and your flowers are just a hop away.
Cover garbage cans and grills when not in use. Squirrels are attracted to any food smells from those sources.
Pickup any spilt pet food and cover pet food dishes when not in use.
Hang bird feeders away from your flowers and in an inaccessible place to squirrels.
Eliminate Food Sources
Cut and place hardware mesh of 1/2-inch squares around freshly planted bulbs just beneath the soil surface. Leave space around your flower stems, and weigh down the mesh with decorative garden rocks.
Place strongly-scented herbs such as rosemary or oregano in cheesecloth bags around maturing flowers. The fragrance of the herbs is unpleasant to squirrels, but it won't harm the critters if it comes in contact with their eyes.
Sprinkle blood meal, sold as fertiliser at garden stores, or place human or pet hair in nylon stockings around your mature flowers. The scent of the blood meal and hair is offensive to the squirrels.
Tips and warnings
- Provide squirrels with a natural food source with nut-bearing trees or a dish of pecans or sunflower seeds. The squirrels will eat the nuts and may leave your flowers alone.
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