How can I keep squirrels out of the garden?

I’m getting into sustainable living and have been researching growing vegetables. I’ve just planted a bunch of vegetables and herbs in my garden, but I keep seeing squirrels digging in the dirt! How do I keep them out?

Andrea Barrett · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Having animals crawl through and destroy your gardens can be frustrating! There are plenty of humane and natural ways to get rid of squirrels. Some of the best methods to keep squirrels out of the garden are using netting, hot peppers, planting squirrel repellant flowers, or using peppermint essential oil.
Here’s a complete list of options to try:
  • Use apple cider vinegar: Make a DIY repellant with apple cider vinegar, peppermint oil, or cayenne pepper, and spray it near your plants.
  • Try peppermint oil: Peppermint oil is safe for plants and animals, but it tends to keep squirrels away. Sprinkle some of the oil on the plant leaves and in the soil.
  • Plant squirrel-repellant flower: Daffodils, snowdrops, hyacinths, and marigolds are great flowers to keep away squirrels, which dislike allium plants. Avoid tulips, crocuses, and geraniums, as they tend to attract squirrels.
  • Install sprinklers: If you can find motion-detector sprinklers, use them! Squirrels are skittish, and the sprinkler will scare them off when they come too close.
  • Cover your gardens: Although it may be a pain, covering your gardens with chicken wire or mesh prevents any small animals from entering but allows sunlight and water.
  • Add hot peppers: Squirrels dislike the taste and smell of hot peppers, and it’s a natural and safe way to keep them out of your garden! Sprinkle some cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or chilli pepper flakes on the soil, or grow hot peppers—the squirrels won’t touch them!
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