I really don’t like squirrels. I mean really. I don’t want to say hate because that might offend someone…but I really, really, really, really don’t like squirrels (by the way how many really’s does it take to bring you to the hate level?).
Here are just a few reasons I don’t like squirrels:
I seriously could go on… Just take a look at this squirrel lounging, I repeat lounging, on my back porch eating a cherry tomato:
Our backyard boasts a gorgeous and large pecan tree that grows in the middle of our yard. It provides abundant shade, and our dog just loves all the “toys” (aka pecans) it drops in the fall. However, I am pretty sure this is the downfall of our backyard. At least regarding squirrels.
The squirrels have this crazy tree highway through our lush neighborhood with lots of available food resources. One of those “available” resources they capitalize on is my garden. I have tried hard to fight these critters and keep them out of my garden time and time again. But they are relentless. And smart. So I thought I would share a few things that I have tried the past couple of years to keep them out.2 Repellent Spray. There are a couple brands of this. I think there is something like cougar urine or something in them. The brand I tried claimed to stop “deer, rabbits and squirrels from eating your plants, bulbs, flowers, trees, seedlings, fruits and vegetables for up to three months, with just one application.” It didn’t even work for three days…pee scent apparently does not stop squirrels.
3 Adopt a Dog. Okay, okay this isn’t necessarily in the keep squirrels out of your garden handbook, but I thought the presence of a larger animal might be helpful. Unfortunately it seems like the squirrels are up a little earlier than our pup, plus they are a little faster. (However we did find a deceased squirrel in our backyard one day. I’m not sure how it’s life exactly ended, but I was a proud mama…whether or not Mabel had anything to do with it.)
4 Squirrel Fortress. One day in all my fury, I took a trip to the hardware store for supplies to make some sort of enclosure around my garden. I bought 8 foot wooden poles, lots and lots of bird netting, and a staple gun. Thankfully my husband helped me and we completely enclosed our small garden.
And it was bliss. For a few months. Then somehow a squirrel found its way in. Still not sure how (even birds got in and then would get trapped until I came out to check on the garden, it was a like a zoo in the backyard). I think a squirrel fortress is a great option and it really works (well unless you have a weak spot somewhere like I do). I definitely think using some sort of small chicken-wire would work better because the squirrels can’t chew through it. If you do decide to go this route, keep in mind that squirrels can fit through something the size of a golf ball.
Hope this gives you some inspiration for some steps in saving your cherished garden. What have you done to fight pests in your backyard? Hopefully you never get as desperate as I have…
Image for ‘Get a Gun’ was found from the article For a Night, Duck-Hunting Reality Show Is Tops on TV on The New York Times.
Get the latest gardening tips and recipes sent directly to your inbox.
Send us your gardening question and we will give you our best answer.