Do squirrels damage vegetable gardens? Why you need to be careful around squirrels

While you may enjoy having an occasional visit from the squirrels, the cute and smart animal can be invasive to your garden. The damage in your garden can vary from randomly missing bird feeders to some mulch soil.

But if you let them continue, you will find more damage to your garden.

Keep in mind that cats, dogs, and even rats are also capable of similar havoc to your vegetable garden. However, you can tell if it’s squirrels when you find trails of leftovers to the nearest tree branch. 

Normally, squirrels only take the fruits on the ground. They will take them to hide in the tree hole. But sometimes, they can steal vegetables still attached to the plant.

Are squirrels dangerous to the garden?

An occasional visit may be cute, but you should be wary that squirrels may run your garden. Squirrel damage can be hard to notice.

Even the pet squirrels you keep at home can be dangerous for your garden. That is why you need to protect your garden.

The most obvious signs of a squirrel’s visitation are the mulched soil. Sometimes they can take seeds that are still under the soil. Squirrels can be picky when it comes to food.

So you need to put extra protection on your garden. All in all, squirrels are an unwanted pest you can expect all year round. These small creatures can run havoc on your well-tended garden. And that’s one thing you don’t want.

When to protect your vegetables from squirrels?

Squirrels are active in the autumn since they have to prepare for winter. However, they can ruin the garden in any season.

There is no exact time that is the best time for you to start installing the fence. But it’s best to install the fence before you notice any missing vegetables and fruits.

You can use chicken wire mesh to protect your vegetables. Make a short fence around your garden to keep the squirrels away. Some people say that wire mesh is not an effective solution because rodents can bite through it.

Therefore, you need to add extra protection on the top and bottom of the fence to make it squirrel-proof.

Why you need humane ways to keep squirrels away

You don’t have to wait until you lose your garden to squirrels to keep them away. However, there are ways for you to keep squirrels away without harming them. And if you’re doing it right, you can keep the squirrels for good. 

Among the suggestions to keep squirrels away are using mothballs and motion-activated sprinklers. But those methods can be harmful to them. Therefore, you must find methods that are still humane to keep them away. 

Another reason is that humane ways of keeping squirrels away are more sustainable in many ways. Extra lavender, mint, or catnip bushes can give an extra oomph to your garden.

Humane ways to stop squirrels from coming to your garden

There are ways for you to stop squirrels from visiting. The most common method is to use a bird feeder to distract them. However, bird feeders mostly work to attract squirrels instead of keeping them away.

You can start owning cats and dogs to keep squirrels away. But they also can be dangerous for your garden at the same time. Cats and dogs also enjoy playing outdoor and can disturb your garden.

A solution that you can use is diluting essential oils or hot chili pepper with water and using them as a spray. Garlic is also a popular choice to prevent squirrels from coming to your garden.

Another option is to plant plants they don’t like, such as catnip, allium, mint, and geranium. Squirrels dislike these plants, so they won’t be near your garden. 

How to protect your vegetables from squirrels 

The best way to protect your garden from squirrels varies from time and person. But the consensus agrees that putting a fence around your garden is the best.

Different people may choose different types of fences. But the most popular fence is the wire fence. 

Choose a wire mesh that is lightweight and flexible so you can adjust it around the garden. Don’t forget to add protection on the bottom and top of the fence to make it squirrel-proof. 

The second next popular option is by having bushes that squirrels dislike. Most people will enjoy having extra plants in their garden. Especially the ones that are squirrel-proof, such as catnip and geranium.

Another popular method is providing squirrels food and drink using the bird feeder. This will distract the squirrels from your garden as they will go to the bird feeder first.

However, this method has the chance to backfire as more squirrels may come to your garden.

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