Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 808, Replies: 21 » Jump to the end

meesh121
Jan 5, 2017 12:44 PM CST
I have a family of squirrels living in my backyard. I don't want to hurt them but I would like to find a way to get them to leave my garden alone. Do you all have any suggestions? I've tried and failed scaring them with faux snakes. Currently I am supplying them with an endless supply of birdseed as a deterrent but on occasion they still crave kale.

Any suggestions or thoughts?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
Image
RickCorey
Jan 5, 2017 1:33 PM CST
Hi and welcome to NGA!

My guess is that, as long as you feed them, they will stay and more squirrels will move too, if the current vermin don't chase them away for you.

But I've never had success keeping them away from anything except that I lay down chicken wire over seeds and seedlings. Plus, when I sprinkled cayenne pepper over a recently-sown row, MAYBE they dug that row up less than others.

I'm pretty sure that squirrels will climb over any fence without being slowed in the least.

I am surprised that squirrels (or anyone else) likes kale!

I'd suggest leaving this thread here for a week or so to see if anyone who frequents this forum does have a way to squirrel-proof a garden. But then you might go to the "Suggest a Change" button at the bottom of this thread, and move it over to the "Gardening for Wildlife" forum. They might have some new ideas, though most of the people there love animals, even including cute vermin-rodents.

For example: plant so much kale that no matter how many squirrels find your buffet, there's enough left for you.

Or maybe let some leaves get extra-big, and then hand-deliver those leaves to the squirrels' nests, so they may eat the big tough leaves and leave YOUR greens alone.

You might enjoy that forum just for browsing: lots of photos of incredibly cute animals who dine like gourmet / gourmands on our gardens. Raccoons, deer, squirrels, foxes ... you name it! One lady gets right up in raccoons' faces and plays with them. She had a whole extended raccoon family of regular visitors.

https://garden.org/forums/view...
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Jan 5, 2017 2:16 PM CST
First of all, stop feeding them. They can go elsewhere to find a meal. They come to your yard for the birdseed and stick around for the kale as dessert.

Here is an idea from Xeramtheum:
https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

Here is the comment page answering a post made by gingin:
The thread "What a nuisance the squirrels are." in A Quick Tip About Squirrels

Hope this helps at least a little.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Jan 5, 2017 2:47 PM CST
Welcome!

meesh121 said: Currently I am supplying them with an endless supply of birdseed as a deterrent but on occasion they still crave kale.


As has been stated.... STOP FEEDING THEM ! ! !

I can't stress this enough. The more you feed them, the more they will tear things up in search of more edibles to cram into their little tree-rat bodies. Yes, squirrels are rodents.

If you want to feed them, find a nearby vacant lot and feed them there. The only time our squirrel population goes down is when the hawks and owl are active. Otherwise, the furry little beasts tear into anything and everything in search of food. I've even had them chew through a heavy plastic bucket to get at the birdseed.

We used to have several bird feeders. No longer as the squirrel would chase the birds away. Even the so called 'squirrel safe' feeders didn't help. I actually had one hang on to a perch with its' hind legs and scratch the seed out with its' front paws.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jan 5, 2017 3:28 PM CST
I agree with what Rick says. As long as they have any food supply in your yard, squirrels will stay around. Chicken wire cages are the best thing I've found to protect garden veggies from them, but you must wire them together firmly, and stake them down with tent pegs to keep the varmints out.

My toughest battle is with the squirrels eating my mangoes and lychees. They chew through the stem of a huge, beautiful mango, drop it to the ground, then eat about a teaspoon of fruit and leave the other 2lb. to rot. When they get hungry again, they don't go back to that fruit, they drop another one. Drives me crazy.

I've tried spraying the tree with scent deterrent - that worked for maybe 5 days. I've tried spraying the fruit with cayenne pepper. No results at all with that. I've tried scarecrows, reflectors, fake owls and streamers made of grocery bags that make hissing, snake sounds. All works for a few days but the squirrels figure them all out.

The only thing that works is if we patrol the area around the tree all day long, about once per hour. Squirrels are diurnal - active only during the day - so my husband takes the early shifts, then I set my alarm and walk out every hour or so. If I don't have much time, I just spray the whole tree with a sharp blast of the hose. Scares off the little beggars really well. Otherwise, I go out and shake the tree then pick up any and all fruit that is on the ground or falls. The raccoons raid at night, but at least they take one fruit, haul it away and eat the whole thing.

For the lychee tree, I have a Scarecrow motion detector sprinkler, because not only the squirrels but the birds and nocturnal rodents love lychees too. It gives a sudden, 3-second spray of water and makes a great "snake" noise, but does waste a little bit of water because if the wind moves the leaves, it activates sometimes. But the only way I get ANY fruit is if I set that thing up and use it for the couple of weeks when the fruit is ripening. Here's a link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C74NHTC/
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Jan 5, 2017 6:16 PM CST
A very timely banner...
The thread "Banner for January 6, 2017 by mcash70" in Site Banners forum
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

meesh121
Jan 6, 2017 11:21 AM CST
I understand I should stop feeding them, but they actually live in my backyard. They have dug their home under our storage shed. We've tried closing all the entry holes to no avail. I think planting extra is going to be my best bet. Thank you all for your help.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Image
SunnyBorders
Jan 6, 2017 11:41 AM CST
Short-term: there's usually one determined squirrel coming into our back garden as I plant the spring bulbs in October and into November.
Sprinkling blood meal saves the bulbs every time but it has to be reapplied after rain; not such a problem because we only have to wait for the ground to really start freezing.

Was previously told that blocking squirrel holes in buildings won't stop them getting back in; apparently you have to leave the hole closed with something like chicken wire so they can see in but (I guess) recognize that there's an obstacle preventing them from getting back in. Worked under the roof of our former house.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Jan 6, 2017 1:42 PM CST
You may want to seriously consider having them removed by a professional animal control company. Realistically, there's nothing to prevent them from remodeling their next to include cutting into your shed. Unless, of course, the floor of your shed is concrete.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Jan 11, 2017 11:45 PM CST
@meesh121 -- are they actually getting into your storage shed, or just under it? (those are two totally different things in my yard) We have a lot of squirrels and basically just live with them, buying extra sunflower seed, etc. So many of our friends and relatives seem to drive themselves crazy trying to get rid of the squirrels... honestly, I just don't get it.

On the other hand, if they're getting INTO the shed that's a whole different problem... they can be rather destructive, as I learned when I had a small log cabin that had some gaps where the wildlife kind of ran amok and the squirrels chewed into almost anything that seemed to them like a potential food item. And also, a lot of people seem to have trouble with squirrels disturbing their gardens, whereas the worst problem I've had with them is having a lot of sunflowers sprouting that they plant here and there.
β€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Jai_Ganesha
Jan 12, 2017 12:42 AM CST
I learned to live with my squirrels. I offer them food in a specific location (squirrel corn cobs in holders, dog food, biscuits, cookies, peanuts, birdseed, and sometimes other stuff) and this does usually keep them away from the plants I want to save. But I don't have it in me to hurt/move them away.

I also feed the birds so I just think of the squirrels of large, hairy, insane birds.
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Jan 12, 2017 12:43 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1349861 (11)
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Jan 12, 2017 12:46 AM CST
meesh121 said:I understand I should stop feeding them, but they actually live in my backyard. They have dug their home under our storage shed. We've tried closing all the entry holes to no avail. I think planting extra is going to be my best bet. Thank you all for your help.


This is not a particularly popular idea, but I used it for skunks that were determined to live under my garden shed. No, I was NOT going to share. I tried everything I could possibly try before taking this step. I finally, threw a couple of moth balls under the shed. The skunks move out and never returned.

As soon as I knew the skunks were really gone, I blocked any and all possible entry under the shed so that no other animal might be harmed by the moth balls.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Jan 12, 2017 6:54 AM CST
I tried the mothballs with our chipmunks. They just pushed them out of their burrows and continued on tearing things up.

The only sure fire way we have off controlling the squirrel and chipmunk problem is when the hawks are really active.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Jan 12, 2017 8:47 AM CST
Rick ... I think you are right in a sense. The only reason I used the moth balls under the shed was so that hawks and such would not target a sick animal.

My thinking was that the odor would make the area unattractive to the squirrels so that they would not choose to go under the structure.

It worked with one kind of varmint, so I was just guessing it might work with the squirrels.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Jan 15, 2017 11:39 AM CST
Zip. Bam. Zowey. Bang ###
It didnt hit me D'Oh! untell @roseblush1. And @rickm. Were talking about moth balls. Peppermint seed oil !!!
If you have a mouse or RAT IN your house 😬. Take a cotton ball with some peppermint seed oil on it and stick it in there hole... And they pack-up there bags and leave 😁.
I sure would try it on squirrels.
Then !!! as a bonus 😜 you have some peppermint seed oil to play around with when cooking !!!
Good Luck ! 😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Jan 15, 2017 11:52 AM CST
meesh121 said:...They have dug their home under our storage shed...


Don't know if anyone has asked yet, but please, where do you live???

Here is a link with information about squirrels:
http://unitedwildlife.com/Anim...

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Jan 15, 2017 5:24 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Zip. Bam. Zowey. Bang ###
It didnt hit me D'Oh! untell @roseblush1. And @rickm. Were talking about moth balls. Peppermint seed oil !!!
If you have a mouse or RAT IN your house 😬. Take a cotton ball with some peppermint seed oil on it and stick it in there hole... And they pack-up there bags and leave 😁.
I sure would try it on squirrels.
Then !!! as a bonus 😜 you have some peppermint seed oil to play around with when cooking !!!
Good Luck ! 😎😎😎


Phillip, I like your solution much better than mine because it is non-toxic going up the food chain. Thank you ever so much for the suggestion.

btw .. do you think it would work on moles ... Smiling

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Jan 16, 2017 12:22 PM CST
@roseblush1.
Lyn : Howdy !
You know. It might work on any vermin. Shrug! Heck # its worth a try.
You could be our experalmintilist/
Scientist ! 😁 It could take a while.
Dropping balls down the holes and covering up top. Then down new holes. But ! Maybe after some time.
They will get tired of your stinky ol garden. 😁😁😁
Ohh !!! Just thought of something eles Sticking tongue out !!! This works on gophers. Moles Shrug! ??? But , Also worth a try. This works on gophers. Go to barber shop and get a bag of hair. $ ? Nothing ! But barder may ask "what??" Blinking
Take a wad of hair and stuff it down hole and pack dirt over. Gopher comes back to open hole. Ingests some human hair. And cant digest it and by ! by ! gopher !!!###!!!
It just may work ! Maybe for voles too ?
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Jan 16, 2017 12:52 PM CST
Philip ...

Thanks for the idea. Actually, the moles are a good sign that my soil is alive. When I started this garden more than a decade ago, the soil was totally dead. Not a worm or a grub to be found. I've hauled in lots and lots of organic material over the years and have improved the soil.

However, the moles are only a problem in that they tend to like to tunnel in the beds and then when I do my deep watering, the water doesn't stay in the root zone of the plants, but goes down the mole tunnels. The moles up here do not eat the roots of plants. I have been told that some moles do actually eat plant roots.

So far, no gophers ... Crossing Fingers!

I hardly pruned my roses during the four years of extreme drought up here because I did not want to encourage new growth. Even tho' we had a very wet year last winter, I still didn't prune hard last season because I wanted the plants to grow back larger root masses. It's my theory that roses with larger root masses can handle droughts better, so I grow roots first ... Smiling Plants will grow a root mass to support the top growth.

I had planned to do my hard pruning this coming season because we are having another wet winter. Sighing! My roses are now being pruned by the deer chomp method. One ... and only one deer has found a way to get up on my garage roof and cross over and jump down into the garden. I won't have much pruning to do this spring. After it quits snowing, I'll block that entry point. Oh, this deer is a town deer. Human hair, etc., is old news to this critter.

Spring will be spent dealing with the mole issue ... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
tx_flower_child
Jan 16, 2017 1:09 PM CST
@meesh121 - Welcome to NGA. Guess you've noticed that your inquiry struck a nerve with a lot of us. The subject of squirrels always generates a lot of grrrs and a few 'but they're so cute'.

Last fall when I was googling about those nasty little boogers I found nothing helpful but did find an interesting factoid. Squirrels can run at a speed of 20 mph.

@Philipwonel - I'm curious about this peppermint oil trip. I'm guessing that it would take a lot to get rid of any vermin in an attic. Wouldn't it also have to be reapplied every few days? I would love to get rid of all critters that I suspect take up residence in my attic and garage.

Good luck to us all.

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Crocosmia 'Lucifer'"