Keeping squirrels out of lawns and gardens is a continuous challenge for many homeowners. The animals feed on a variety of fruit and nut trees, as well as on bulbs and many vegetables. Lawns are especially prone to damage during fall as the animals start to dig holes in the turf to stash food such as seeds, nuts and acorns for the winter, tearing up well-groomed lawns in a short period of time. You can adopt a number of strategies to discourage the animals from visiting your property.
Set all metal or tube type traps around the landscape for trapping squirrels. These traps are designed to catch smaller animals like squirrels and are relatively safe for larger animals that you do not wish to trap.
Position the traps on trees and rooftops and secure them with wire or a light chain. Do not handle dead squirrels without the use of the rubber or plastic gloves and discard bodies in garbage cans.
Cover any newly planted bulbs and seeds with a wire mesh, as this will prevent the animals from digging them up and then digging up the lawn to hide them.
Spray squirrel-favourite ornamentals planted around the lawn with a cayenne pepper and water solution. This helps to keep the animals out. The effect of the solution wears off rapidly and you have to repeat applications periodically.
Spread bloodmeal, doghair and mothballs around the lawn areas, as these simple remedies help to deter the animals. Spread tobacco dust in landscape areas that are most visited by squirrels. This will also deter squirrels.
- University of California Extension; Tree Squirrels; T. P. Salmon, et al.
- "Squirrels"; Richard W. Thorington, et al.; 2006
- "About the House with Henri de Marne"; Henri De Marne; 2007
- The use of commercial chemical repellents for squirrels has shown little efficacy in actually controlling squirrel populations in landscapes, as indicated by the University of California Extension. Some repellents are also designed to be added to birdseed to keep the animals from feeding on them but these too are not efficient.
- Though you can shoot at the animals with pellet guns, check first to see if this is legal in your area.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images