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How to keep squirrels out of your garden

The common grey squirrel: a source of entertainment or despair?

Cunning and highly adaptable, grey squirrels are experts at surviving our urban environments, finding food however and wherever they can.

Read on as we explore how to prevent your garden from becoming the local squirrels’ favourite feeding spot.

Squirrel-proof bird feeders

Bird feeders are an obligatory garden accessory, helping make your garden a tranquil paradise for the local birdlife. Let squirrels near the various nuts and seeds, however, and you’ll soon see your feathered friends fly far away.

Effectively an all-you-can-eat buffet, your bird feeder is a magnet for squirrels with a ferocious appetite — so what’s the solution? Well, squirrel-proof bird feeders can prove an effective method to deter them, allowing local birdlife to forage and feed in peace.

Squirrel-proof feeders come in various forms, including:

  • Guardians
  • Squirrel buster poles
  • Sanctuaries

No feeder can truly be ‘squirrel proof’. Why? Because those pesky squirrels are master problem solvers who have no issue retrieving food from hard-to-reach places if their stomachs are hungry enough. What these feeder accessories can do is present a humane deterrent that allows you to feed local birdlife while baffling those squirrels.

You can also grease bird table poles using products like Vaseline to make the pole too slippery to climb, but never underestimate a squirrel’s agility when trying to keep them out of your garden, you’ll be surprised at the lengths they’ll go to for a good feast.

Protect veg patches with fruit & vegetable cages

Tending to your veg patch is both an art and a science, but this controlled experiment can soon be ruined should squirrels decide to enter your garden. Your prize growers are irresistible to those fury vandals, so protecting them should be near the top of your squirrel-proofing to-do list…

Fruit and vegetable cages are an effective solution for protecting your vegetable patch. They can be as big or small as you need, great for guarding both tall runner beans and sprouting carrot tops. However, make sure you use metal mesh rather than a flimsy plastic alternative. This is important because squirrels can easily nibble through the plastic and other, more welcome, animals get trapped in its snare.

Use companion plants in flower beds

There is little in your garden those pesky squirrels won’t eat.

Squirrels are hungry critters undeterred by the burden of a fussy appetite, they’re even notorious for uprooting flower bulbs before your beds have a chance to bloom. Some plants are effective at deterring squirrels and keeping them well away from your flower bed.

Companion planting — a process of growing complementary flowers, often for pest control purposes — is an efficient, yet humane way to keep squirrels out of your garden.

Inter-planting varieties or squirrel-resistant plants amongst your flower beds protect your hard work from becoming a rodent’s feast. Here are some plants to rid your garden of squirrels:

  • Mint
  • Alliums
  • Fritillaries

Squirrel-resistant plants, while pungent to the senses, are a great pest control solution that maintains a garden’s natural beauty without the need for artificial barriers.

A squirrel’s never-ending quest for food means your garden can soon become a feeding frenzy, ablur with fluffy grey tales. From using squirrel-proof bird feeders and protecting your veg to practising companion planting — this is how to keep squirrels out of your garden.

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