It was a cold winter about 3 years ago when my mother-in-law and her best friend decided to take a trip to the city to go buy crochet material.
When they made it, her car began giving them some trouble so they took it took a mechanic shop nearby to have them check it out.
Well, what they found was hysterical (but slightly embarrassing for her.) Squirrels had begun hiding their winter stash under the hood of her car. The car had nuts in its air filter and a few other places. This was giving her car fits. (Nut allergies)
However, once the acorns were removed, her car was fine.
Now, you have to know when this happened we lived down a private dirt road way back in the woods. Our area was flooded with squirrels.
So beyond the fact that squirrels can be a nuisance for your garden and bird feeders, they can also give you some troubles around your home as well by hiding things in your car or even getting into your attic or chimney.
Which is why I’d like to share a few tips with you on how to discourage squirrels from your property. Here they are:
How to Rid Your Property of Squirrels
1. Hide the Food
Whether you live in the woods where nature provides squirrels’ food, or you live on a booming property where you’ve planted lots of delicious treats that squirrels love, you’re going to have to hide the food.
Well, because if there is food simply hanging around, then a squirrel is going to see it as a means of survival and be drawn to it.
In our case, we lived in the woods where we had lots of acorn trees. If we didn’t want squirrels we had to be persistent with scooping up the acorns so the squirrels wouldn’t come to our yard looking for food.
Nor would they be tempted to hibernate on our property either (or use our cars as a food storage space.)
If you have trees that produce nuts or acorns, then rake them up. If you have berries just lying around on the ground try to rake those up as well.
Finally, if you have a trash can that is outside, then you’ll have to be sure that squirrels can’t open it and forage through. Otherwise, your trash will become a food source.
2. Your Four-Legged Friends
When we lived on our smaller homestead down the dusty private dirt road way back in the woods, we also had an adorable English Bulldog. She was a great protector. If anyone came down that road beside the mail lady, they didn’t make it far before they met her.
Naturally, squirrels were no different. My mother-in-law lived right across the street from us at the time so our dog patrolled our yard and hers. If a squirrel was nearby, they weren’t for long because our precious Trudy, our bulldog, would quickly chase them up a tree and away from the property.
Not to mention, it was a great exercise for her too.
So if you have a squirrel problem, then consider getting a dog. Most dogs will chase them away from your property, and it is pretty entertaining to watch.
3. Muy Caliente
Squirrels are not a fan of spicy foods. Who knew, right?
They aren’t. If you don’t want a squirrel on your property, then simply sprinkle black pepper or cayenne pepper around your property. They will catch a whiff or a taste of that spiciness and head for the hills.
Not to mention, this is an inexpensive fix that the materials can be easily located in the spice aisle. This makes it a great option for almost anyone.
4. To Feed or Not to Feed?
There has been a bitter debate for years as to whether starving squirrels off of your property is the best bet, or just feeding them something different that you know they like in the hope that they’ll leave your plants alone.
I’m going to weigh in a bit on that argument. It all depends on what your end goal is. If you are an avid gardener and are looking to rid your property of squirrels because they keep digging everything up, then you may have some luck with offering them an alternative food source.
You’ll need to be sure to put different nuts around the base of a tree or somewhere else that it is easily accessible.
However, if you are in a situation like we were, where their presence on our property was causing an overall issue, then you might have to rid your property of anything that they could possibly munch on.
After all, if there is no food source then why would they come? If you can’t get rid of every food source, then keep reading for tips on how to make that food source inaccessible to them.
5. Protect Your Bird Feeders
My parents live in a house in the woods. They often battle squirrels like you wouldn’t believe. Squirrels are definitely animals that could pass as acrobats. The things they do in order to reach their food!
And the times we have seen these squirrels do acrobatic things to reach a bird feeder that my parents had hanging out on their deck. It is insane to watch.
You’ll have to protect your bird feeders for this very reason because they will view it as an open food source.
So remember not to place your bird feeders anywhere near a tree. Instead, try to place it on a pole.
Then you’ll have to purchase a squirrel guard to go around the pole of your feeder.
Finally, fill your feeder with safflower seeds. The birds don’t mind them, but the squirrels find their flavor very bitter and not very appetizing.
6. Put Up a Fence
We’ve already discussed how squirrels are like tiny little acrobats. If you decide to fence off your garden or another area to keep squirrels out, you’ll have to put a tall fence around any plant that you want to protect.
Also, consider adding some of the other options listed here to fully protect your crops because even if you do fence off your garden, chances are the squirrels will still find a way in.
However, it is a solid first step when combined with some other options.
7. Put Things in Motion
If you want to keep squirrels out of your yard without actually harming them, then you’ll have to consider this option.
Basically, you’ll install motion activated sprinklers. This will startle the squirrels as they run across your yard and will probably quit coming back if it scares them bad enough.
This might be a good fix to go along with a fence to ensure that the squirrels get the message that they aren’t welcome on your property.
8. Clean Out Your Attic
Do you have squirrels that get into your attic? If so, that has to be very annoying and feel quite intrusive. You can utilize some of the tips here to get them out of your attic.
However, it is also important to remember that if they are in your attic, there is something drawing them there.
Be sure that there are no food items in your attic that could potentially be what is drawing their attention.
9. Chimney Cap
Did you know some people have problems with squirrels coming down their chimney? Yes, as funny as it may sound, some people have squirrels using their chimney as a door into their home.
So if you are someone that has this problem, you may have to consider investing in a chimney cap. This will prevent squirrels from crawling down inside the chimney and should solve this problem.
10. Give them a Rope Ladder
If you have squirrels that crawl in and out of your chimney, and you aren’t a big fan of a chimney cap, then you’ll need an alternative option.
So if you give the squirrels a rope ladder on the outside of your chimney, then this will at least make it to where they can get out.
Then you won’t have squirrels trapped (or worse dying) inside of your chimney.
If squirrels visit your home to dig up your plants and bulbs, there is one way around this. You can actually mulch around the bulbs.
There is something about the feel of the mulch that squirrels don’t seem to be a big fan of. We actually mulched all around our garden beds a few years ago. This deterred squirrels quite well because they wouldn’t walk on it to get to the beds.
Give it a try and see what you think.
I mentioned earlier that you should hide the food from the squirrels. Yet there are some plants that you can’t just rake up around.
For instance, if you have berry bushes. Raking up the berries is hard because they turn into a squishy mess, and you still have to worry about the ones that are producing on the plant.
In those cases, netting is a great option because then you can still grow what you want without having to worry about the squirrels taking it.
If you are worried about squirrels eating your garden, then you should really consider building a greenhouse.
Then you can grow for extended periods of time, and you don’t have to worry about those pesky little buggers taking your harvest.
Here are some great ideas for greenhouses that you may really enjoy.
14. Minty Fresh
Isn’t it odd how much we as humans enjoy fresh mint and other minty flavored items, but then you have so many animals and insects that despise that flavor?
Well, squirrels are the exact same way. They don’t enjoy the minty flavor or aroma. Therefore, if you have a squirrel problem, consider planting some mint to keep them at bay.
15. Live Trap
My parents had a raccoon problem at their house. They had a large detached garage they refer to as the ‘warehouse.’
Well, the warehouse has often been a place where wild animals like to go and hang out. This includes raccoons. They got sick of finding trash tore up and constant nastiness in their garage.
So they purchased a live trap. They’d catch them and then take them down to the river and release them. That way no harm came to the critter, and they didn’t have a mess in their garage any longer.
Well, the same rule can apply to squirrels. If you want them gone but don’t want to hurt them, then consider buying a live trap.
Then you can catch them and release them somewhere far from your property.
16. Stop the Digging
If you’ve ever had a squirrel problem on your property, then you probably know that squirrels will dig until they get what they want out of the ground.
We learned this lesson the hard way one year when we planted corn. Those little squirrels came and dug up every single piece we planted.
However, if you have larger plants or bulbs that you’d like to protect from their digging, then consider putting chicken wire in the ground around them.
Then when the squirrels dig it will hurt their feet and discourage them from digging up your plants and bulbs.
17. Purchase a Repellent
If you would like to just spray something that you can purchase at the store that will simply deter squirrels from your property, then you can actually purchase squirrel repellent.
However, be advised there are 2 different types. The first type has a black pepper or cayenne pepper base to it. This can be directly sprinkled or sprayed on your bird feeder as it won’t harm the birds.
The squirrels won’t like it so they’ll stay away.
However, if you have an issue where squirrels are just running the show on your property and digging at more than just a bird feeder, then you may want to consider the second type of repellent. It is urine-based.
Basically, manufacturers take the urine of predators of squirrels and make a repellent from it. You can spray this around your property and keep squirrels at bay.
Finally, consider pruning any trees that are near your home. This will hinder squirrels from jumping onto your house or bird feeders.
This means the less leverage they have to get to the food sources they desire, usually the easier they will be to rid from your property.
So now you are armed with almost 20 different methods to rid your property of squirrels. That means you have lots of options to defeat the most stubborn of squirrels on your property.