Your kids may find squirrels cute when they are running along your fence-line or sitting around on your grass taking a quick breather.
But they are a common pest, they can eat through your entire garden if left alone and if they get inside your house then they are a nightmare to get rid of and can cause untold destruction.
But even though they may be a nuisance that doesn’t mean they deserve to die.
That is why in this post I will be looking at a wide range of things you can do to keep your squirrel problem at bay.
Why Do I Have Squirrels In My Garden?
The first step in getting rid of squirrels is to understand why you have them in the first place, for we cannot fix an issue that we do not understand.
Go and stand in your garden and ask yourself,
“If I was a squirrel why would I come to this garden instead of my neighbours”
Do you have an attractive water feature? A bird feeder? Tall shaded trees?
Think about what a squirrel needs:
Does your garden provide a better offering of these than the other houses in your area?
Maybe you have a bird feeder that the tricky little pests are getting into and using as a food source
Or maybe you have a pond or water feature that they take a drink from
It could even be a nice sheltered area where they can build their nests (actually called a ‘drey’)
Any of these things would prove to be an attraction to squirrels, and once they start visiting your property they will continue until stopped.
So let’s see how they can be stopped.
How To Get Rid Of Squirrels – Without Killing Them
It is hard to find much information online about getting rid of a squirrel problem that doesn’t involve indiscriminate killing.
Let’s try and fix that and look at some ways that you can deter squirrels without resorting to killing.
Clear Out Any Nests
Look around your garden (and even in your home – think attics or cupboard space) for anywhere that a squirrel may have set up home.
Carefully remove the drey and keep everything intact as much as possible. Move the home somewhere outside of your property. With any luck the squirrel will treat this new location as its home (it’s a long shot but I have seen it work before)
Install A Motion Activated Sprinkler
Squirrels are flighty and easily scared. That’s why you are never able to catch one, once they see you they scarper quick as they can. And obviously you cannot be around all of the time.
That is where a motion detected sprinkler comes into play.
When you install a sprinkler system with a range wide enough to provide coverage to your whole garden the squirrels will leave.
Buy An Ultrasonic Squirrel Deterrent
Ultrasonic deterrents issue a noise that is annoying to squirrels. As soon as you turn it on the squirrels will leave the area.
Make sure you research the product that you are looking to buy as some will cause pain to the squirrels. We just want to move them on from our garden not cause needless pain.
How To Prevent Squirrels From Coming Back
Getting rid of squirrels is only the first part. Once they are gone you need to stop them from coming back.
For this we have 7 tips for you to follow:
Repair Any Holes In Your Defence
Squirrels are agile little creatures. They can easily scale any fence or wall. So getting rid of them out your garden is impossible unless you are looking to put some kind of dome over your property.
However if you have squirrels in your home then you need to patrol the perimeter of your house looking for where they got in. Most often this is via holes in the roof, maybe a missed tile and some ripped underlay.
(Or other strong smelling flower)
Daffodils are toxic to squirrels so they take great strides to avoid them. Keeping daffodils around is like putting a big ‘Beware: Toxic’ sign on your house that only squirrels will read.
(or garlic, leaks, scallion etc.)
Squirrels hate the smell of these plants and will avoid any areas they are growing. Try to grow them around the perimeter of your garden to prevent squirrels from even entering.
Get A Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
There are a number of products on the market that advertise themselves as ‘squirrel proof’. If you are an avid bird watcher and cannot go without your bird feeders then definitely take a look at some of the better ones.
I would caution though that I have found squirrels to be very clever little tinkerers, capable of defeating almost any man-made barrier given enough time.
Remove Food Sources
If you do not need that bird feeder then just get shut of it. Also look around your garden for these things that squirrels like to eat; nuts, seeds, tree flowers and tree buds from a variety of trees including butternut, cedar, elm, hemlock, hickory, maple, mulberry, pine and spruce. They will also tuck into any berries that might be growing in your garden.
Remove Water Sources
Have a pond or water fountain? Squirrels will be coming into your garden in order to drink from it. With a pond you might try putting up squirrel proofing around the perimeter but as mentioned earlier squirrels are wily things and will over time probably defeat any barriers you put up.
Get A Dog or Outdoor Cat
This last suggestion goes a bit against the grain of this post. If you have a dog or a cat and you allow them out into the garden there is a good chance that they will kill the squirrel (almost guaranteed in the cat’s case). I know this post is about getting rid of squirrels without killing them so you need to decide for yourself whether animal on animal violence is something that you are fine with morally.