There are different kinds of squirrels; tree squirrels, flying squirrels and ground squirrels. The most common tree squirrels are gray, red, and pine. The gray squirrels are the most wide-spread and the most likely to be active pests in the garden. There are many different deterrents and repellents for sale like fox urine, sticky greases and noise makers, all of which claim to chase your squirrel problem away. However, most of these products offer sensory repellents that the squirrels will get used to and ignore. They may work for the short term though. And you may have even more success if you try using some of these deterrents together in combination.
One scent repellent that does work is the common, household moth ball. But moth balls can also be a deterrent to humans – bothering some sensitive people enough to make them ill. So it’s best to uses these repellents away from the house area. To keep squirrels from simply pushing them out of their path, put the moth balls in a little cage of wire mesh and attach it securely to the tree or area where squirrels are destructive. You will have to replace the moth balls regularly as the scent will fade quickly. There are no approved poisons acceptable for use with squirrels.
The best way to deal with squirrels is to prevent their access to the location where they cause the most damage. Where practical, build barriers like netting or cages. Use wire mesh to block entry to house areas or to cover pots where squirrels dig. Place bird feeders away from gardens and structures since the seed will attract squirrels. Place a two-foot band of thin sheet metal around tree trunks you want to protect. You should also trim back trees and large limbs so they are at least six feet from any building. Squirrels will use these as convenient runways for access.
The only remaining way to deal with a squirrel problem is to trap the critters and relocate them. Many states classify squirrels as game animals so you may need a permit to trap them.
You can maintain a program of repelling and trapping to keep the number of squirrels down in your garden. But it is unlikely you will get rid of them altogether. There are always more squirrels ready to move in as you escort the current pests out.
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