How to Keep Squirrels & Rabbits Out of Flower Beds

Written by faith mcgee
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How to Keep Squirrels & Rabbits Out of Flower Beds
Wildlife can destroy flower beds. (squirrel image by Tanya McConnell from

Squirrels and rabbits can cause considerable damage to flower beds. Not only can wildlife feed on leaves, but they also trample on fragile stems. According to the University of Missouri, squirrels tend to do most of their foraging during the summer months. In addition, rabbits will eat the tender growth of plants during the summer before switching to bark in the winter. Providing a protective barrier is essential for decreasing wildlife damage and maintaining healthy plants.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Mesh
  • Polybutenes

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  1. 1

    Examine signs of squirrel and rabbit damage by looking at your flowering plants. Look for bite marks in leaves and buds. Check the ground for droppings that may look like brown oval beads.

  2. 2

    Purchase 1/4-inch mesh from the hardware store. The mesh should be 36 inches wide. It will be buried one foot into the ground and should stand two above the soil level to eliminate the possibility of squirrels and rabbits burrowing underneath the mesh or jumping over it.

  3. 3

    Dig a circular one foot deep trench around the flower bed. Leave at least four inches of growing room between the flowers and the mesh. Wet the soil with a garden hose to make digging easier.

  4. 4

    Wrap the mesh into a circular shape and place the bottom in the soil. Fill in the backfill with dirt.

  5. 5

    Coat the bottom of the mesh that is above the ground with an adhesive that contains polybutenes or other sticky material to further discourage squirrels and rabbits from entering the growing area.

Tips and warnings

  • Monitor the mesh throughout the growing season to ensure that it has not been knocked over.
  • Check with your game and fish department before laying any kind of trap around your flower bed area. Many regions in the country have specific laws that dictate what animals may be trapped and released.

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