How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden?

How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden?

Do you have a garden that squirrels seem to love? If so, you’re not alone. Squirrels can be very determined when it comes to getting into gardens, and they can cause a lot of damage in the process. In this article, we will discuss common questions about how to keep squirrels out of the garden, as well as some useful tips that will help you achieve this goal.

Squirrels and Their Behavior

Squirrels are rodents, which means they have long front teeth that grow continuously. This leads to their characteristic gnawing behavior. Squirrels use their powerful jaws and sharp teeth to crack open nuts and seeds, strip the bark of trees, and even chew through electrical wires!

In addition to being relentless chewers, squirrels are also excellent climbers. Their strong hind legs and long tails help them balance as they scamper up trees, power lines, and fences.

Squirrels and Their Behavior

Squirrels are most active during the daytime; however, they can be seen foraging for food at dawn and dusk. During the winter months, when food is scarce, squirrels may become nocturnal in order to find enough to eat. [1]

How to Tell You Have a Squirrel Problem in Your Garden

While squirrels are cute and adorable, they can wreak havoc in your garden. By eating your plants, digging up your bulbs, and destroying your property, these furry creatures can quickly become a nuisance. But how do you know if you have a squirrel problem in your garden?

Absent crops

One of the first signs that you have a squirrel problem in your garden is the sudden absence of certain crops. If you notice that your once-plump tomatoes are now withered and shriveled, or your lettuces have been completely devoured, it’s likely that a squirrel (or several) is to blame.

If you notice that your fruits, vegetables, or flowers are disappearing, it’s likely that a squirrel is to blame. These creatures are known to eat just about anything, including tomatoes, strawberries, and corn.

Missing bird food

Another sign that you may have a squirrel problem in your garden is if you start to notice that the bird food you leave out for your feathered friends is disappearing. Squirrels are known to eat bird food, and if you notice that what you’re putting out is no longer there, it’s likely because a squirrel has been helping itself.

Soil disruption

In addition to eating your plants, squirrels can also cause damage to your garden by digging and burrowing. If you notice small holes or mounds of dirt in your garden, it’s likely that a squirrel has been digging there. Squirrels like to dig for two reasons: to bury their food and to build their nests.

This soil disruption can be especially damaging to your plants. By digging up the roots of your plants, squirrels can kill them. And, by burying their food in your garden, they can attract other animals that may also damage your property.


Squirrels also leave behind droppings, which can be another sign that they’re frequenting your garden. These droppings are small, dark, and tubular in shape, and they often contain undigested seeds or nuts. If you find these droppings around your property, it’s a good indication that squirrels are the culprits


If you notice a small, round nest made out of twigs and leaves in your garden, it’s likely that a squirrel has been using it as a home. These nests are typically built in trees, but they can also be built in bushes or on the ground.

How to Tell You Have a Squirrel Problem in Your Garden

Squirrels will often build their nests near the food source they’re feeding off of, so if you find a nest in your garden, it’s a good indication that there are squirrels nearby.

Damage to property

In addition to damaging your plants, squirrels can also damage your property. These creatures have sharp teeth that they use to gnaw on wood, plastic, and metal. If you notice any chew marks on your sheds, fences, or decks, it’s likely that a squirrel is responsible.

Bulb damage

The last of the telltale signs of a squirrel problem is damage to your bulbs. If you notice that your bulbs are disappearing or being dug up, it’s likely that a squirrel is responsible. These creatures are attracted to the fat and protein found in bulbs, and will often dig them up in order to get to the tasty treat inside. [1] [2]

How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden

Now that you know how to tell if you have a squirrel problem in your garden, it’s time to learn how to keep these creatures out. While there’s no surefire way to keep squirrels away completely, there are several steps you can take to deter them from frequenting your property. In this section, we will discuss some of the most effective methods for keeping squirrels out of the garden.

Hide food sources

One of the best ways to keep squirrels out of the garden is to remove any food sources that might be attracting them. If you have bird feeders, make sure they are securely fastened so that squirrels can’t access the bird seed. It’s also a good idea to clean up fallen fruit from trees and bushes, as these can attract squirrels as well.

You should also clean up any debris in your garden that might be providing food for squirrels. This includes removing fallen leaves, uneaten vegetables, and anything else that might be appealing to these creatures. 

How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden

And don’t forget about your trash cans! Make sure they are tightly sealed so that squirrels can’t rummage through them in search of food. Don’t let them stay full for prolonged periods of time, as this will only make the problem worse. [1] [2] [4]

Block the access points

Another important step in keeping squirrels out of the garden is to block their point of entry. These creatures are excellent climbers and can squeeze through very small spaces, so it’s important to inspect your property for any openings that a squirrel could use to get into your garden. Inspect your property for any holes or cracks that might be serving as an entryway for these pests. Pay special attention to areas around the roof, windows, and doors.

Common access points include:

  • Gaps in fences;
  • Holes in walls;
  • Openings under decks or porches;
  • Openings in chimneys;

If you find any openings, seal them up with wire mesh or another type of durable material.  This may involve repairing damage, filling holes, or installing barriers such as chicken wire or hardware cloth. While it won’t deal with existing squirrels, it will help to keep squirrels from being able to enter your home or garden in the first place.

Of course, since squirrels are better climbers than we are, it can be difficult to spot all of their access points. If you’re having trouble finding all the openings on your own, you may want to hire an exterminator or other professional to help you out.

Trim trees and shrubs

Another way to keep squirrels out of the garden is to trim trees and shrubs that are close to your property. By trimming back these plants, you will make it more difficult for squirrels to jump from them into your garden. In addition, trimming back trees and shrubs will also help to reduce the amount of shelter that these animals have on your property. [4]

Let the pets out

If you have cats or dogs, letting them out into the garden can help to keep squirrels away. Dogs and cats are natural predators of squirrels, and even the threat of being chased by a pet can be enough to deter these creatures from entering your property. Dogs, in particular, can be trained to “patrol” your yard and keep unwanted guests away. If you don’t have a pet, consider asking a neighbor if their dog can spend time in your yard while you’re gone.

If you don’t have a dog, see if a friend or neighbor does and can bring their pet over while you’re gardening. The mere presence of a canine will often be enough to send squirrels running for the hills. If you do have a dog, make sure they are well trained and won’t chase the squirrels up a tree where they could be injured.

It’s also important that your dog is up to date on their vaccinations in case they do come into contact with a squirrel. [4]

Place ground covers around the garden

One of the best ways to keep squirrels out of the garden is to make it difficult for them to get to the plants. Ground covers can help achieve this by creating an impenetrable barrier that squirrels can’t dig through or climb over.

Ground covers are a type of netting or cloth that is placed around the perimeter of the garden. This will create a barrier between the squirrels and your plants. 

Place ground covers around the garden

There are many different types of ground covers available on the market, so it is important to do some research to find the one that will work best for your garden. You may also want to consult with a professional before making your final decision.

Ground covers can protect your plants from more than just animals; they can also keep out weeds, bugs, and other pests. They can provide the shade that some plants need, and they can also help retain moisture in the soil. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Squirrel-proof your bird feeders

If you have bird feeders in your yard, it’s important to squirrel-proof them so that the squirrels can’t get to the food. Chances are that the squirrels have already found it too, however. These creatures are very resourceful and will stop at nothing to get to the food. There are a few things you can do to squirrel-proof your bird feeders and keep them coming back for more.

Choose the right bird feeder

There are a variety of different types of bird feeders on the market, and each one is designed to deter squirrels in its own way. Some common features include weight-activated perches that close the access hole when a squirrel lands on it or cages that surround the feeder and prevent squirrels from getting to the food inside.

Place your bird feeder in the right spot

The location of your bird feeder can also make a difference in whether or not squirrels can access it. If possible, place your bird feeder at least 10 feet away from any trees, shrubs, or other structures that a squirrel could use to jump onto the feeder.

Use squirrel-resistant bird food

There are now a variety of different types of bird food on the market that are specifically designed to be less attractive to squirrels. Some of these foods contain ingredients that deter squirrels, while others are simply shaped in a way that makes it more difficult for them to grab onto and eat.

Keep your feeder clean

Squirrels are attracted to bird feeders that are dirty or have old, moldy bird seed in them. Be sure to clean your feeder regularly, and empty it out completely every few weeks to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew. [1] [2] [4]

Install decoy predators

If you don’t have pets that can help keep squirrels away, you may want to consider installing some decoy predators in your garden. Owls, snakes, and hawk decoys are all known to be effective at deterring squirrels. You can purchase these decoys online or at your local hardware store. Be sure to move the decoys around regularly so that the squirrels don’t get wise to their trickery.

This method isn’t foolproof, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to keep squirrels away. [2] [4]

Install physical barriers

An obvious way to keep squirrels out of the garden is to physically block their access. This can be done in a few different ways, but the most common and effective method is to install wire mesh around the perimeter of your garden. Wire mesh comes in a variety of sizes and can be found at most hardware stores. Be sure to choose a size that will prevent even the smallest squirrels from getting through.

Use squirrel-resistant bird food

Another option is to build a fence around your garden. This will need to be at least 4 feet tall in order to deter most squirrels. If you live in an area with large, aggressive squirrels, you may need to build a taller fence. 

The type of fence you choose will depend on your budget and the look you are going for. There are many different types of fences available, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. [3]

Spray pepper repellants

If you’re looking for a natural way to keep squirrels away, consider spraying your plants with pepper repellent. There are many commercially available products that contain capsaicin, the active ingredient in pepper spray, which will deter squirrels without harming them. Simply apply the repellent to any areas where you have seen squirrels or evidence of their activity, such as gnawed plants or burrows.

If you prefer a more natural solution, you can make your own pepper repellent by mixing 1 part cayenne pepper with 10 parts water. This homemade repellent can be just as effective as store-bought products, but it may need to be reapplied more often. [2] [3] [4]

Install motion-sensor sprinklers

Another great way to keep squirrels out of the garden is to install a motion-activated sprinkler system. These devices will spray water on any animal that enters their range, and the sudden blast of water will startle most animals and send them running. Motion-sensor sprinklers are also effective at deterring other pests, such as deer, rabbits, and cats.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using motion-sensor sprinklers:

  • Make sure the devices are properly calibrated so they only go off when an animal is present. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting water;
  • Position the sprinklers so they cover the areas of your garden that squirrels are most likely to enter;
  • Place the sprinklers on timers so they don’t operate during times when you’re likely to be outside enjoying your garden; [2] [3] [4]

Install ultrasonic devices

If you’re looking for a high-tech solution to your squirrel problem, ultrasonic devices may be worth considering. These devices emit sound waves that are undetectable to humans but extremely bothersome to animals like squirrels. When squirrels are exposed to these sound waves, they typically become agitated and will avoid the area altogether.

There are a variety of ultrasonic devices on the market, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. Many of these devices come with a motion sensor, so they will only activate when an animal is present. This can save you a lot of money in the long run, as you won’t have to worry about the device running continuously. [3]

Plant squirrel-repelling flowers

If you want to deter squirrels in a more natural way, consider planting flowers that repel them. Several types of flowers, such as marigolds and daffodils, contain compounds that are unpleasant to squirrels. Planting these flowers around the perimeter of your garden can help keep squirrels away.

Squirrels also dislike the smell of garlic, so planting garlic cloves around the perimeter of your garden may also help to keep them away.

You can also crush garlic cloves and sprinkle the garlic around the garden. The strong smell of garlic will deter squirrels from entering the area [2] [3] [4]

Spray peppermint oil around the perimeter of your garden

Peppermint oil is a natural squirrel repellent. By spraying it around the perimeter of your garden, you will deter squirrels from entering the area. To make your own peppermint oil spray, simply mix one part peppermint oil with ten parts water in a spray bottle. Then, liberally apply the mixture to the areas where you would like to keep squirrels out. [2] [3] [4]

Spray peppermint oil

Try a commercial repellent

If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to your squirrel problem, you may want to try a commercial repellent. There are a variety of these products on the market, designed to either scare away or discourage squirrels from entering an area. Repellents typically come in the form of sprays or granules, which can be applied directly to garden beds or other areas where squirrels are active.

Just be careful when using repellents, as some of them may also be harmful to other animals or plants. Read the label carefully and follow the instructions to avoid any negative consequences. [2] [3] [4]

Use apple cider vinegar

Not a lot of people know this, but apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural squirrel repellent. The acidic smell of the vinegar is off-putting to squirrels and will deter them from coming near your property. Simply soak some rags in apple cider vinegar and place them around the perimeter of your garden. You’ll need to replace the rags every few days, but this is a cheap and easy way to keep squirrels away. [2] [4]

Consider live traps

If you have a serious squirrel problem, live traps may be the best solution. Live traps are designed to capture animals without harming them, so you can then release the squirrels into a more suitable location.

There are many different types and sizes of live traps available on the market, so be sure to choose one that is appropriate for the type of squirrels you are trying to catch. For instance, if you are dealing with flying squirrels, you will need a larger trap than if you were targeting chipmunks.

When setting up your live trap, be sure to place it in an area where you have seen squirrel activity. You will also want to bait the trap with something that will attract the squirrels. This could be anything from nuts and seeds to fruits and vegetables. Once the trap is baited, all you need to do is wait for it to work its magic.

Just be sure to check the trap regularly, as you don’t want any animals to suffer needlessly. If you are not able to release the squirrels right away, be sure to provide them with food and water until you are able to let them go. [1] [2] [4]


Should I deal with squirrels in my garden?

The presence of squirrels in your garden is a sign that your property provides the food, water, and shelter that these animals need to survive. While they may not cause significant damage to your plants, squirrels can be nuisances as they dig holes in search of nuts and burrow under sheds or decks. So, you may need to take action to keep them away.

Should I deal with squirrels in my garden?

What is the best way to repel squirrels?

There is no single answer to this question as different repellents work better for different people, depending on the type of squirrels they have in their garden. Some popular repellents include:

  • Sprinkling pepper or cayenne powder around the garden;
  • Hanging strips of aluminum foil around the perimeter;
  • Placing plastic owls or snakes around the garden;
  • Using motion-activated sprinklers;

Whichever repellent you choose, it’s important to remember that you will need to reapply it regularly, especially after rain.

What keeps squirrels away naturally?

There are a number of things you can do to keep squirrels away from your property and garden naturally. One way is to make your yard less inviting to them by trimming back trees and shrubs that they use as hiding places and access routes. You can also try planting some of their natural predators, such as foxes, owls, or snakes. Another effective method is to spray a mixture of water and cayenne pepper around the perimeter of your property.

Do coffee grounds keep squirrels away?

Coffee grounds can be used as a squirrel repellent, but they must be fresh. Once the coffee grounds are dry, they will no longer have any effect on keeping squirrels away.

To repel squirrels with coffee grounds, sprinkle them around the perimeter of your garden or wherever you notice the squirrels are getting in. You can also put coffee grounds in a mesh bag and hang it near the affected area.

What are squirrels afraid of?

One of the most common questions asked about keeping squirrels out of the garden is what are they afraid of. The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem. While there are a number of methods that have been said to work, such as using mothballs or ultrasonic devices, there is no guarantee that these will work for everyone. In fact, some experts believe that these methods can actually do more harm than good.

It’s important to remember that squirrels are wild animals and their behavior cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy.

Useful Video: Keep SQUIRRELS OUT of Your GARDEN


So, there you have it: everything you need to know about keeping squirrels out of your garden! While squirrels may seem like harmless little creatures, they can cause a lot of damage to your precious plants and vegetables. By following the tips in this guide, you can keep them at bay and enjoy your garden worry-free. We covered both how to identify the damage that squirrels can do as well as how to prevent them from getting into your garden in the first place. And if worst comes to worst and you find yourself dealing with a squirrel infestation, we provided some tips on how to get rid of them quickly and efficiently.

No matter what stage you’re at in your battle against these pesky critters, we hope this guide has been helpful. Wishing you all the best in your war against the squirrels!