Despite being cute small mammals, squirrels are prolific rodents that can wreak havoc in your garden. If you live in an area with large populations of squirrels, chances are high that you are in a constant tug of war with these little thieves. When you have a garden, the last thing you want is to come and find holes all over the garden with bulbs and other plant parts missing.
It can be hard to keep persistent and determined rodents off your garden which is why this article sets out to offer some insight on several humane ways to keep squirrels off your garden.
Remove their food
More often than not, squirrels will frequent your place if they are finding something to eat on a regular basis. While you may be oblivious of the berries, acorns, and nuts that drop from nearby trees, the rodents are keen to notice the invitation and respond very quickly.
To rectify the situation, ensure your backyard is well swept and any squirrel food is removed and kept out of reach. To do this, getting a trash can with a good lid is appropriate. After placing the trash in the bin, make sure it’s well closed otherwise the rodents might just find it an amazing place for early dinner.
Baffling the bird feeders
Stealing bird food is a popular game with squirrels. For them, it’s an easy catch especially when no precautions have been taken to keep them off. Installing plastic domes around the poles that support the bird feeder is an effective option in keeping them off the feeders.
The baffle simply defeats squirrels that attempt to climb up the pole to the food. Another method that could be used together with the baffle is greasing the poles regularly to make it difficult for them to climb up.
Relocate bird feeders
If you have your bird feeders close to elevated structures and objects like trees and fences, squirrels will still access the birds feed even with baffles installed. Squirrels are fast learners and they will look for alternative access routes that will breach barriers. Minimizing the access points will help keep them off the feeders.
Erecting a fence around your garden is a sure way if making it certain that you won’t be sharing your compound or garden with some destructive rodents. But care must be taken because squirrels are notorious in digging up a passage through the fence. To make sure the fence succeeds in its purpose make sure that it’s buried at least at least one foot into the ground.
Some squirrels can also chew through most plastic fences and light chicken wires. If a chicken wire is used, it will be more effective if it’s a heavy gauge.
Among the population reduction strategies, live traps are the most effective and most humane. It’s pretty easy to shop for a live trap and set it up in a few minutes. When you have captured a squirrel, don’t release it in a nearby area because it will quickly find its way back. Instead, take it away to at least five miles. The flipside of this strategy is that you could end up relocating a female squirrel with young ones that depend on her for survival.
Motion activated sprinklers
These can be installed in your garden and they will be switched on every time there is some movement in the area. In addition to scaring the rodents away, they will also water the plants. And you don’t have to worry about killing the squirrels because the worst they can do is hit them with a jet of water and they will be gone in seconds.
If the thought of relocating these mammals five miles away bothers you, then some strobe lights might offer you a solution. The lights are environmentally friendly but they will irritate the squirrels bad enough and make them flee the garden.
Call in the experts
Some people don’t have the time and patience to keep on dealing with clever destructive rodents. Or maybe you have been overwhelmed by their determination.
The best option is to ask for help from professionals. These are people that have built their career around wild animals and are well equipped with all the necessary knowledge to contain them. Depending on residential areas, they can employ both temporary and permanent solutions to ending the menace.
It’s quite entertaining to watch squirrels dance with their furry tails. But to gardeners, they are a great nuisance. From destroying plants to stealing bird food, these rodents can be really frustrating.
When the option of dealing with them comes to mind, there are many methods to be employed. Whichever method you settle upon, make sure it’s humane and it doesn’t kill the squirrels.
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