How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden: 15 Effective Tips

As cute as they look, squirrels can easily wreak havoc anywhere they go. Not only will they feast on fruits and vegetables you plant in your little garden, but they can also transmit diseases when they’re infected. If you want to know how to keep squirrels out of the garden, this article’s got you covered!

We’ll walk you through a brief guide with 15 different methods that are found effective in keeping these critters at bay!

1. Use Ultrasound Squirrel Deterrent

Solar Animal Repeller, Outdoor Motion Detector& Flashing Light, Dog, Cat Repellent, Squirrel, Raccoon, Skunk, Rat, Mole, Deer, Rabbit

We’re starting off the list with one of the most hassle-free solutions out there. What’s great about this idea is that you can simply install it and forget about the whole problem altogether. Not only that, but it’s also effective on a variety of other critters, such as mice, rats, and more.

Scientists have found out that many animals, including squirrels, have a much wider audible frequency range than ours (almost twice as big). This allows these animals to hear ultrasound waves that humans can’t distinguish.

Based on these findings, the animal repellent device came into existence, which is a humane and non-toxic method to keep them out of your garden.

These ultrasonic squirrel repellents produce ultrasonic waves that squirrels will run away to avoid. They usually come with a solar cell panel, so you won’t have to charge them manually. Also, they’re pretty adjustable to help you pick the ideal range and frequency to repel these tiny critters.

These ultrasonic devices are set with motion sensors that will detect any movement at a specific range that you can set. Once it detects any motion within its field of detection, it’ll release the ultrasonic waves.

The ideal spot to place these ultrasonic squirrel repellents is usually around entry points to your garden.

However, you should keep in mind that some of these waves are also picked up by some pets, like dogs and cats, so make sure that you position them away from where your pets might be.


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2. Sprinkle Some Spicy Pepper Flakes Around

Squirrels are attracted to food sources that they find delicious and appealing. If you trick the neighborhood squirrels into thinking that your garden’s yield is bad tasting and uninviting, they’ll simply ignore it during their daily scavenging trips.

It’s fairly known that squirrels and other rodents hate capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in all hot peppers out there.

If you dust or sprinkle some red pepper, cayenne pepper, or other hot pepper flakes or powder at the base of the plant, they won’t hang around your garden for long!

3. Plant Natural Squirrel Deterrent Flowers

As previously mentioned, there are some natural compounds that squirrels don’t like. In addition to capsaicin, there are plants and flowers that can act as a natural deterrent in your garden.

These plants either emit a strong smell that will trigger their nervous system or are brightly colored (which they’re built to avoid because it exposes them to predators). Luckily, some of these plants are either pretty-looking or practical food items.

For example, squirrels hate plants like:

  • mint
  • geraniums
  • fritillaries
  • Galanthus
  • lily of the valley
  • hyacinth
  • daffodils

Moreover, most bulb plants are also unappealing and deterring to squirrels. This include:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • scallions
  • leeks

By planting some of these around your garden and trees, squirrels will avoid hanging around your yard.

4. Use Natural or Chemical Squirrel Deterrents

Applying deterrents directly is a much easier and quicker way to get rid of pesky rodents like squirrels.

As discussed above, minty and spicy components can be pretty strong when it comes to deterring animals naturally, so making a concoction of these materials and spraying the surroundings with them should work like charm.

Chemical deterrents might be stronger and faster in action, but you should keep in mind that some of them can be toxic for animals.

5. Install Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Droll Yankees YF-M Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder, 21 Inch, Green

Bird feeders that are full of nuts, grains, fruits, and seeds are quite an attractive invitation for squirrels to visit your garden.

If you’re an avid bird watcher who can’t ditch the bird feeder, at least upgrade your existing feeder to a squirrel-proof one.

These squirrel-proof bird feeders are equipped with a motorized perch ring that will start spinning vigorously when it detects the weight of a squirrel, which would flip to tip them off.

There are various options out there with different mechanisms, allowing you to pick the one most suitable for you.


Droll Yankees YF-M Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Wild Bird Feeder With Weight Activated Rotating Perch - 5Lbs Seed Capacity
  • 100% SQUIRREL PROOF* – The feeder’s weight-activated spinning perch gently tosses squirrels off when they try to access the ports, but allows even large birds to feed
  • FEED MULTIPLE BIRDS – Four feeding ports allow multiple birds, including cardinals, chickadees, finches, grosbeaks, jays, juncos, nuthatches, and more, to dine at the same time
  • SUPERIOR DURABILITY – This feeder is made with heavy-duty metal components that have been powder coated, so the feeder can be reused for many birding seasons
  • SAVES SEED – The feeder’s squirrel-proof design ensures less seed waste, which means birds can enjoy more seed, while you save money and deal with fewer messes on the ground
  • EASY TO CLEAN & FILL – The Yankee Flipper features a lift-off lid and wide-mouth seed reservoir to allow for easy filling and cleaning. The reservoir holds up to 5 lb of black-oil sunflower seed or mixed seed

Last update on 2024-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Leave Them a Tasty Treat Away from Your Garden (Decoy Feeders)

Now that you know that bird feeders are natural squirrel magnets, you can actually use that to your benefit.

You can simply put together a decoy feeder away from your garden that’s easier to reach and has more appealing squirrel food, such as acorns and nuts.

The most important part here is to make this feeder more appealing than venturing into your garden and house.

Make sure that you place these decoy feeders away from your house or attic to avoid nesting.

7. Use Live Squirrel Traps

The capture and release method has been around for ages, and although it’s not the most efficient way to get rid of squirrels, it’s the most humane way possible.

After all, these tiny creatures are only there looking for food, and mostly for their young. Install a live trap in a seemingly safe and attractive spot to get the squirrel to come out of hiding.

Once they’re trapped inside, you can remove them out of your garden and release them back into the woods.

This can also work in keeping the squirrels out by leaving them overnight right at the entry points with some nuts to lure them into the trap rather than the garden.

8. Upgrade Your Fence

Squirrels always look for the quickest and easiest path to their food. So, if your garden is an attractive spot for squirrels, chances are your fence isn’t doing its job properly.

Make sure that you upgrade your fence design to a squirrel-proof one, which prevents the squirrels’ ability to climb and dig under the fence.

If you have a squirrel-proof one, give it an all-around check and make sure that you seal any spots where they can squeeze through.

You may also use a strong screen material to prevent them from squeezing through, such as small-hole wire mesh or hardware cloth.

9. Have a Dog Chase Them Down

If you properly trained your dog to find its way back home, it might be worth a shot letting them chase the squirrels around.

Cats are natural squirrel chasers, too, but they can’t get lost if they jump over the fence after the squirrels.

If you fear for your dog’s safety, you can either train them to stop chasing the squirrels outside the perimeters of the house or keep them tied to a long chain that will give them limited freedom.

Even if they don’t catch the squirrels, it’s highly unlikely that a squirrel would come back to a dog’s territory.

10. Build a Greenhouse Around Your Garden

A greenhouse isn’t only a great way to have total control of weather and conditions around your garden, but also an easy way to keep a wide variety of garden pests at bay, including squirrels, skunks, groundhogs, and bugs!

Greenhouses can be quite pricey but they’re the natural step up if you’re into gardening and growing fruits and vegetables in your backyard.

If you’re a little handy and enjoy DIY projects, you can save up the price and build a greenhouse on your own. Here’s a comprehensive video tutorial to help you with the project.

11. Consider a Motion Activated Sprinkler

Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler

They say that a scared squirrel is as good as gone. This is because squirrels will always assess areas for danger and choose the safest places and territories to step into. After all, they’re built to run rather than stay and fight.

If you have a pet, you’ll notice how scared they get when a sprinkler is triggered around them. Luckily, sprinklers have a similar effect on pests like squirrels.

All you need for this idea to work is a motion-activated sprinkler with sensors that are sensitive enough to pick up the jumps of a squirrel. It would also be a nice way to water your garden when you’re busy!


Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler
  • UNIQUE DAY AND NIGHT DETECTION: The only deterrent sprinkler on the market with options for day only, night only, or 24 hour protection, giving you the flexibility to ensure the Yard Enforcer only activates when you need it
  • STABLE DESIGN: Simply press spike into soil or turf to firmly hold the Yard Enforcer in place.
  • SAVE WATER AND BATTERY LIFE: Includes sensing technology for optimum water and battery conservation; get over 7,500 activation cycles on just 4 AA alkaline batteries and as little as 2 cups of water per activation.
  • INTELLIGENT SENSING TECHNOLOGY: Sensing technology learns the difference between trees and animals, so your water will not activate every time the wind blows.

Last update on 2024-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

12. Avoid Leaving Standing Water in Your Garden

Exposed bodies of water, like non-functioning fountains and puddles, is an open invitation for squirrels and other animals to stop by and take a sip.

When it comes down to how to keep squirrels out of the garden, the best solution is to either keep the fountain running or completely dry the water source up.

13. Rake the Garden/Yard and Keep it Clean

Squirrels like to hang around messy yards because it provides them with proper shelter and hiding from predators.

Actions as simple as regularly raking the garden will benefit you greatly by keeping your yard clean and tidy. Moreover, it’ll help you remove any fruits or nuts that are scattered around, attracting squirrels.

14. Seal or Lock Your Trash Cans Around the Garden

Removing any stray nuts or berries that might be scattered around your garden is essential. However, all your efforts would be in vain if you eventually toss them into unsealed trash cans.

Exposed garbage will attract a variety of pests, whether they’re animals or insects, and draw them to your backyard. Make sure that you cover the trash with a tight lid, especially during nighttime.

15. Apply Mulch to Your Soil

The final tip for how to keep squirrels out of the garden is to apply mulch to your soil. Mulch is a brilliant gardening solution that’s made of a variety of materials. It can be used as a protective layer to retain soil moisture and prevent pests from attacking your plants.

Luckily, mulch can also be used as a preventive measure for squirrels that keep ruining your garden.

Not all mulch is created equal, though. The ideal mulch combination for rodents that are capable of digging is heavyweight inorganic mulch, such as a blend of rubber chips, gravel, and chicken wire.

Wrap Up

There you have it! A complete guide with a variety of effective methods that will help you eliminate squirrels, as well as other rodents, that might be lurking around your garden.

It’s worth noting that some of these methods might be more effective and suitable for your case than others, but rest assured that if you’re patient and dedicated enough, you’ll be able to learn how to keep squirrels out of the garden once and for all!