Squirrels love just about anything you can plant in your garden, pots and containers including flowers, vegetables and fruits. From stripping apple trees to plucking whole cherry tomatoes, digging up window boxes and yanking out potted plants, squirrels can prove to be a serious nuisance, especially during autumn although they can invade any time of the year.
Aside from enjoying your choice flowers and vegetables, squirrels also dig up your plants mostly to bury nuts for the future. There are a few ways you can protect your plants from these destructive critters.
Watch What You Plant
Squirrels appear to be impervious to some types of plants and flowers including crocus, alliums, hyacinth, marigolds, daffodils, geraniums and lilies. Squirrels generally won’t eat these flowers although some homeowners report that planting these in the garden actively keeps the squirrels away. If you don’t care too much about what you want to plant then you can keep away from fruits, vegetables and flowers that squirrels like.
The evidence for the effectiveness of squirrel repellents is shaky at best although many people report varying success with natural and chemical-based squirrel repellents. Common options include human or dog hair, cayenne pepper, mothballs, mixing bone meal into the soil, hot peppers and predator urine. Be careful about spraying chemicals on plants that you are going to eat.
Fence-in Your Plants
Depending on the number of plants and layout of your garden, a squirrel-proof barrier way may be the only way to keep your plants safe. This method is the least aesthetically appealing but also the most effective solution. Create a cage over your plant bed using wooden posts and framed chicken wire or wire mesh. Cover the top with bird netting or hardware cloth so the squirrel can’t chew or rip through. Be sure to install the fence at least 2 feet deep in the ground to prevent the critters from burrowing under the barrier. You may also choose to cover individual plants with hardware cloth.
Cover Potted Plants
River rocks at the base of your potted plants are a great deterrent for squirrels digging. Just know that the rocks can become difficult to remove from the soil after a long time if you plan on re-using your flower pots. Also, keep in mind that the rocks can get hot enough to destroy the plants in summer if your plants are outdoors.
Make a cage for the potted plants from hardware cloth or chicken mesh. If you are worried that this will ruin your plant’s appeal, lay small pieces of hardware cloth or chicken wire just under the topsoil. This seems to discourage them from digging. Laying hardware cloth or wire mesh under the topsoil also works well for your garden.
Finally, you may try adding a few stems of wild rose or blackberry vines upright in your flower pots. The thorns will hopefully deter squirrels.
Hire a Wildlife Removal Expert
Keeping squirrels away from your potted plants will most likely require multiple measures. Aside from protecting the plants, you may need to get rid of squirrel attractants around your property. It is also only a matter of time before the rodents begin to nest inside your house or under your deck or shed.
Hire a squirrel removal expert in Toronto with a warranty for the removal job. The expert will also guarantee that the removal process is done safely and humanely for your own sake and for the sake of the animals. Always assume that the squirrel has young stashed away nearby and separating the mother from the young will cause them to die of starvation and dehydration.