Laying hardware cloth over flower beds can keep squirrels from eating bulbs and seeds in early spring.

Squirrel Deterrent for Flowers

by Jennifer Blair

In many cases, it's easy to co-exist with the squirrels that make themselves at home in your yard. They run from tree to tree or across your lawn without doing much damage to your landscape. However, when these furry pests start feasting on the flowers in your garden, keeping them away usually becomes a top priority. While protecting your flowers from squirrels can be difficult, there are a few deterrents that can be pretty effective in repelling the pests so your garden can continue to grow undisturbed.

1. Warning

Before using any squirrel deterrents or repellents on your property, research local regulations regarding what types may be used on your local squirrel population. You can check with your state gaming commission and local animal control services to determine what items may be used to control a squirrel infestation. You should also make sure that the squirrel species in your area have not been identified as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, so you might need to consult an expert to identify the types of squirrels that are wreaking havoc in your garden or yard.

2. Go Natural

Several natural materials and substances are believed to repel squirrels, and they can easily be spread around garden beds where to protect certain flowers. Blood meal, dried blood usually collected from slaughterhouses, may be an appropriate option if your soil has a nitrogen deficiency and you’re looking to repel squirrels since the material is often used as a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Predator urine from animals like foxes and bobcats is also thought to keep squirrels away; you can usually find predator urine products at a garden supply center, where they are available in both spray and pellet form. Cayenne or ground red pepper from your kitchen can also help keep away the pests if you sprinkle it around the flowers that the squirrels are targeting. You can also create a homemade pepper spray by blending fresh hot peppers with water and putting it in a plastic spray bottle. Scattering a few mothballs around targeted flower beds may also help repel squirrels.

3. Cover Beds

In the spring when you’ve just planted your flowers, you may have a problem with squirrels digging up bulbs and seeds in order to feast on them. The most effective way to keep the pests from digging up your flower beds is to cover seedlings with a layer of hardware cloth. Look for cloth that has 3/4- or 1-inch mesh to effectively keep squirrels from getting at your flower bulbs and seeds. You can also use the hardware cloth to create cages for grown plants so the squirrels can’t get at them to eat leaves, stems or petals.

4. Use Ultrasonic Devices

Electronic devices that emit a powerful ultrasonic noise can help keep squirrels away from your flowers. The ultrasonic sounds are usually undetectable by people, but they are designed to fall in the frequency range that rodents like squirrels can hear, and they are supposed to sound like a continuous jackhammer noise to the pests. For the garden, a battery-operated model is best since you can place it right beside your flowers, though the range for ultrasonic devices can be up to 80 feet. Ensure you place the device in an area where the sound won’t be obstructed by trees, bushes or other objects.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images