Squirrels are super cute, and they are certainly entertaining to watch, but if they are eating the goods in your garden and wreaking havoc with your landscaped yard, it can be frustrating. Squirrels love fresh fruits and vegetables and will rob your garden of tomatoes and pluck the apples from your trees. While these furry critters are active all year long, they are especially involved in the autumn, when they are working vigorously to stock up for the winter. So if you are wondering where your tomatoes and apples go, all you have to do is check the squirrel’s warehouse in the hollow of a tree. Unfortunately, there are also other pests that invade your garden and steal your food, which is a shame considering your landscaping design company did such a remarkable job.
Kinds of Critters in Your Garden
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Even nature-loving and animal-loving homeowners will get fed up when these critters invade their garden and become a nuisance. But just what type of critters are stealing from your garden? Sometimes it is difficult to say as a few of these critters are nocturnal and only come out at night.
Squirrels are easy to peg as garden pests because they are active during the day and really don’t try to hide their deviant actions. On the other hand, skunks and raccoons are creatures of the night, and you won’t catch them in action unless you happen to be in your garden with a flashlight at night.
You could also have a problem with voles or moles, which have vast underground tunnels they travel and hide. Again, you probably aren’t going to catch these critters in action, but you know when they do damage.
Controlling and Preventing Critters
While you might get so mad when a critter destroys your garden you want to reach for a gun and go all Elmer Fudd on them. But you are a peaceful pacifist and would never purposefully hurt an animal. Good for you, because there are plenty of solutions that will not harm the animals.
Physical Barriers– A fence won’t do you much good for smaller critters as they can squeeze through tight spaces. It is best if you use fencing or netting rated for small animals. You might also want to cover your garden with netting for added protection from birds wanting to invade your plants.
Get a Dog– Squirrels and other similar creatures are afraid of dogs and will avoid them at all costs. Just make sure you have a fence around your yard so Fido doesn’t escape. It also helps to spread the hair you brush from your dog in the garden.
Natural Repellents– Go to the Amazon website and type in the animal you want to target, and there are a lot of repellents from which to choose. If you are wary about commercial repellents, there are many natural repellents you can utilize as well. At the very least, sprinkle pepper flakes or garlic in your garden; several critters will avoid plants sprinkled with this after getting a taste.
Noise– Squirrels and many other critters hate noise, so use this to your advantage. Ultrasonic ground spikes can be found at your local hardware store and will create ground noise and vibrations that drive away pests.
Traps– There are several types of humane traps on the market for a variety of pests. While trapping a skunk or larger critter and relocating it will solve the problem, it isn’t really a permanent solution as more will come. But if you are up to the task, you can use traps to keep your garden relatively free from critters.
Being Proactive– In order to keep pests away from your property, keep the lid on your garbage can tight, make sure you aren’t attracting them with food left outside. Another way to prevent critters on your property is by eliminating bird feeders and water sources.
They Do Offer Some Benefits
Squirrels are pests, to be sure; however, because they are cute, many homeowners don’t mind having them around. So if squirrels in your yard don’t bother you, you will be happy to know that they do offer a few benefits. So you can justify not wanting to get rid of these furry critters.
Squirrels in this area live in trees, and they carve out tunnels in them to use as shelter. Once the squirrel family moves on, their shelter is quickly snatched up by other tree-dwelling critters, including all types of birds.
While squirrels will help themselves to the goodies you are growing in your garden, they also like to eat the very same bugs that destroy your plants. So, in essence, having a couple of squirrels in your garden is somewhat like having pest control.
Squirrels are a critical part of our overall ecosystem. When you see a squirrel stash a nut or acorn in the ground, any forgotten goodies will often grow into trees. In fact, it is very likely that some of the trees in your yard were unknowingly planted by squirrels.
Squirrels aren’t overly particular about what they like to eat, and you can spot them chewing on everything from pizza crusts to discarded ice cream cones. The goodies that squirrels eat are not always found in the trash can; much of what they scrounge is found out in the open. Basically, squirrels do a good job of keeping the neighborhood tidy and free from edible litter.
Whether you like squirrels or not, you cannot deny that they are a blast to watch. Squirrels are acrobatic, cute, and you can get them to take food from your hand. They are the next best thing to having a real pet.
When it comes to squirrels and their activity, not all homeowners will appreciate them. But there are ways you can discourage squirrels from living in your yard without having to do harm to them. And if you have any questions about updating your yard, feel free to contact us.