7 Humane Ways to Keep Squirrels Out

Squirrels may look cute, but they are still rodents, and can potentially spread diseases, like leptospirosis and salmonellosis. Squirrels can also cause huge problems in your garden — digging up plants, eating your fruit and vegetables… They can also gnaw on electrical wires and put your home at risk of fires… Not so cute now are they? Here are seven of the most humane ways to keep squirrels out.

The humane approach to keeping squirrels out

  • Squirrels are nature’s gardeners. You should choose humane ways to keep squirrels out because these animals are beneficial to the environment. They like to collect and bury seeds, making them basically nature’s gardeners. As much as possible, you want to do your best to keep them out without harming them.
  • Inhumane approaches can also put you at risk. Inhumane approaches include the use of harmful rodenticides and traps. The problem with rodenticides is that they have ingredients that are also toxic to you, resulting in rodenticide poisoning. And the problem with traps is that they sometimes don’t immediately kill their victims, resulting in unnecessary suffering. There is also the dilemma of what to do to an injured rodent in a trap. Do you give it the fatal blow yourself or what?
  • You are not a barbarian. You should choose the humane approach because of morality. Humans are the most dominant species on Earth. But this doesn’t mean we should go around and mindlessly kill the animals around us. Find a way to protect your home and make it unattractive to animals, so you minimize the risk of dealing with them.
Using rodenticides is not a humane way to keep squirrels out.

Humane ways to keep squirrels out

1. Spray natural repellents

Pesticides and rodenticides are effective pest killers. In this sense, they are not humane. What you can try instead are repellents. Unlike pesticides and rodenticides, repellents don’t kill pests. They just “repel” them, so they don’t bother your property.

There are a lot of commercial rodent repellents out there with different properties to choose from. Some have organic ingredients. Some are made from spices rodents find repulsive. And some are made from the urine of rodent predators, such as raccoons and snakes.

2. Install motion-activated sprinklers

Keeping squirrels out doesn’t always involve complicated ingredients. Sometimes, all you need is water. Squirrels are small animals, so they are very jumpy. They are cautious of their surroundings and the things that can potentially harm them.

The great thing about motion-activated sprinklers is that they don’t even harm the squirrels trying to get to your property. Upon detection of movement, the sprinklers will just spray water. The sudden movement and noise in the area are enough to make squirrels run away. If this happens multiple times, they may even avoid your area altogether.

3. Try ultrasonic devices

Ultrasonic devices sound like innovative inventions, but they are nothing new. Homeowners with rat infestations have been using them to help get rid of rats. These devices work by emitting high-frequency waves that rodents don’t like. And here’s the neat part — these are inaudible to humans and household pets like cats and dogs.

Before buying these devices, make sure to read the reviews first. Many homeowners are not satisfied with the effectiveness of these products. Some low-quality devices are also audible to humans and household pets, which can be very irritating. Although many of these devices are waterproof, it’s still a good idea to cover them up.

4. Put up garden covers

One of the most humane ways to keep squirrels out is to simply make your garden inaccessible. Squirrels like gardens because they like to eat fruits, nuts, and certain plants. But you can keep them away by covering your garden.

There are many ways to do this. You can use bird netting, chicken wires, fences, or row covers. But the problem with some of these covers is that they don’t fully enclose your garden. Squirrels can be very nimble. They may be able to climb up the walls that surround your garden. You can try completely covering your garden in an enclosure, like a cage or a wooden structure.

5. Introduce squirrel-repelling plants

Squirrels don’t like certain flowers, either because of their bright colors or strong smells. Some of these flowers include daffodils, hyacinths, marigolds, and other alliums like garlic and onion. Mint may smell good for humans, but squirrels hate them too.

You can plant these at the edges of your home’s exterior, so they can act as a natural barrier against squirrels. They won’t just deter squirrels. They will also brighten and freshen up your garden. Introducing squirrel-repelling plants to your garden works best when combined with other squirrel-repelling methods.

6. Squirrel-proof bird feeders

If you have bird feeders, you have probably seen squirrels here and there trying to take their fair share. After all, these animals like sunflower seeds — a kind of seed that is very commonly seen in bird feeders. You can try bird feeders that have mechanisms that deter squirrels. For example, there are some bird feeders that spin on the weight of squirrels, causing the animals to fall. But they are perfectly fine on the weight of birds.

But if this sounds complicated to you, you can also try decoy feeders. These feeders are intentionally designed to feed squirrels. Put them in a spot away from your garden, and let the squirrels flock there to keep your garden safe.

You can keep squirrels out with specialized bird feeders.
Bird feeders.

7. Remove food sources outside your home

Squirrels are scavengers who will look for food in their entire vicinity, including your property. If there are food sources outside your home, your property is bound to attract squirrels and other pests like fruit flies. Here are some quick tips to keep the outside of your home food-free:

  • Pick up ripe and fallen fruits and vegetables in your garden.
  • Clean up pet bowls and feces regularly.
  • Don’t let garbage cans overflow.
  • Get rid of debris in your garden, lawn, and yard.

Use humane ways to keep squirrels out

Squirrels can be dangerous animals despite their cute and docile appearances. But you don’t have to be barbaric towards them. There are humane ways to keep squirrels out of your property. You can use commercial products like repellents, sprinklers, and ultrasonic devices. You can go the natural route by planting squirrel-repelling flowers. And you can go the manual route by covering up your garden and getting rid of food sources.

You can combine these ways to get better results. And if they still fail, you can always get help from pest control professionals.

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