Discover the 12 Best Ways to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

Written by Lev Baker
Updated: June 9, 2023
© Xizmena/
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Gardening is a beautiful and rewarding hobby, and healthy plants bring a kind of beauty and allure to anyone’s backyard. But after you plant beautiful flowers and aromatic herbs, if pesky squirrels enter the garden, all that beauty can be destroyed in a single moment!

Squirrels dig up flower beds and vegetables, trample prized plants, eat birdseed, consume fruit, and generally cause chaos. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. In this article, we’ll cover 12 of the best solutions to help keep these furry intruders away from your prized garden! Plus, they’re incredibly simple.

Let’s take a look.

1. Use Fences

A tried and true method of keeping squirrels out of the garden is to install fences.

Ensure the fence is at least 4 to 5 feet high and buried at least a foot into the ground, as squirrels are quite adept at both climbing and digging. Keep in mind that although this is not a surefire way to deter these critters, it can certainly help. Plus, it looks good and can provide a more harmonious look to your backyard.

You can choose vinyl or wooden fencing in your desired color scheme. Metal fencing is also a durable option.

2. Install Nets

Using nets is another excellent way to keep squirrels away from your garden. Of course, it won’t block them completely — but it can go a long way in protecting your plants. You can use nets to cover plants and areas you don’t want the little guys getting into. 

Choose netting that is thick enough so the furry rodents will not be able to chew through it. The netting should also be lightweight and easy to install. Be sure to attach it securely so that the squirrels or other crafty animals won’t be able to pull it away.

You can purchase lightweight and durable netting from most hardware stores. You can also place chicken wire around trees or other vulnerable plants.

3. Install Scare Tactics

Bird decoys
Using an owl decoy or some other form of frightening device is a way to keep squirrels away from your garden.

©Peter Turner Photography/

Using a scarecrow or some other form of frightening device is another way to keep squirrels away from your garden. This can be anything from an owl decoy to a life-sized plastic coyote, but the basic idea is the same: you want something that looks and/or sounds intimidating to squirrels.

The trick with this method is to switch up the location and appearance of the deterrent every now and then so it doesn’t become too familiar to the squirrels and lose its effectiveness.

You can also try audio deterrents like sound machines that emit high-pitched frequencies or recorded sounds of predators. Just be aware that these can become annoying if left on too long, so you may want to limit their use.

4. Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are an excellent way to keep squirrels out of your garden. These devices detect movement and emit a jet of water that startles the squirrels away. They work best in areas where you often spot squirrels, like near bird feeders or garden beds.

Not only will motion-activated sprinklers keep squirrels away, but they can also help conserve water. The device only activates when it detects movement, so you won’t waste water by running the sprinklers all day. This makes them an excellent choice for those looking for an environmentally friendly solution to a squirrel problem.

5. Clean Up the Area

One of the best ways to discourage squirrels from coming near your garden is to clear away debris, fallen branches, or leaves. Squirrels are naturally curious and will be drawn to any place that offers them a potential hiding spot or food source.

They also love to burrow and hide, so they’ll be attracted to areas that offer them shelter. Clearing away any potential hiding places will make your garden less attractive to these pesky critters.

Additionally, ensure you’re keeping your nearby trash cans securely covered, as squirrels love to rummage through them in search of food.

6. Have Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders

Trapping Chipmunks feeder
Buy special bird feeders. These feeders close themselves to any animal weighing more than a bird.

©Nancy Salmon/

If you have bird feeders installed, chances are that they will attract unwanted guests like squirrels.

You can specifically buy squirrel-proof bird feeders from the market. These feeders are designed in a way that perching and lurking birds are welcome to the food, but the feeders close themselves with the weight of a squirrel.

A well-made squirrel-proof bird feeder will ensure a steady supply of birdseed for your feathered friends without attracting naughty squirrels.

7. Use DIY and Commercial Repellents

You can keep your garden squirrel-free by using a range of repellents available on the market. Plus, you can make a DIY repellent in the comfort of your home and keep these pesky squirrels out of your garden.

These natural repellents typically contain ingredients such as hot pepper, garlic, or cayenne pepper that will keep them away. Spray this spicy natural spray around your backyard and grass to deter squirrels.

You can also make soap spray for the same purpose. Simply mix a few drops of liquid soap with water and spray it on your plants and garden. You can also crush soap and spread it around your garden.

Vinegar spray is another all-natural approach. To make this spray, simply mix one part vinegar with three parts water and spray it where you want to deter squirrels. The vinegar smell will avert the animals as well as other pests.

If you want to opt for commercial repellents, you can try predator urine. Squirrels are wary of predators and avoid areas where they smell the urine of predators, like coyotes, foxes, or bobcats. You can purchase predator urine at outdoor supply stores or online.

You can also choose other commercially produced repellents, but always check the label to ensure it’s safe for your plants and pets before use.

8. Use Electronic and Ultrasonic Repellents

There are many electronic devices that you can use to deter squirrels. These devices emit high-frequency ultrasonic or sonic sound waves that squirrels find irritating or lights that give an impression of a predator. These devices can be placed in your garden or attached to bird feeders.

A top tip is to opt for a solar-powered device to avoid adding to your electricity bill.

9. Use Traps

You can also use traps, depending on your preference. If you choose to use live traps, release them in an appropriate area away from your home or garden. They say that squirrels also have homing instincts like cats and often return to their territory, so make sure to leave them in an area far from your garden.

Additionally, it is important to check local laws before using traps, as some areas may have restrictions on trapping squirrels.

Live traps are designed to capture squirrels without harming them. They are made from wire mesh and have a trap door that closes when the squirrel enters the trap. 

Place the trap where squirrels are active, such as near bird feeders or in areas where you have seen squirrels entering your garden. To lure squirrels into the trap, use bait such as peanut butter, sunflower seeds, or nuts.

Check the trap every few hours to ensure that squirrels are not left there for an extended period. These live traps are a humane way to get rid of small animals and can be used when other methods to deter them are not working.

10. Plant Foes of Squirrels

Squirrels are always looking for a snack. So, if you can make your garden foliage unappetizing, they’ll be less likely to come near it. There are certain plants squirrels don’t like, so planting them can be a great way to keep them away. 

Some plants that they avoid include marigolds, garlic, and chrysanthemums. Planting these around your garden’s perimeter will help create a natural barrier.

11. Trim Greenery

Squirrels love to climb and find protection in tall trees or shrubs. Cutting these back can deter squirrels from rummaging around your garden. Trim trees and shrubs around your garden so they are no more than 8 feet from the ground. 

If you have fruit trees, prune these in the late winter to control their growth.

12. Keep Pets at Hand

Jack Russell Terrier hunting on starling bird
Dogs, in particular, have a strong instinct to chase small animals.


Having pets around can be a natural and humane way to deter squirrels from entering your property. Not only will they help keep them away, but they’ll also provide companionship and entertainment for you and your family.

Dogs, in particular, have a strong instinct to chase small animals, and squirrels are no exception. You can also place your pet’s litter box near the bird feeder.

Summary of 12 Best Ways to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

Here’s a recap of a dozen effective methods to use to help keep squirrels away from your yard.

1Use fences
2Install nets
3Install scare tactics
4Install motion-activated sprinklers
5Clean up the area
6Have squirrel-proof bird feeders
7Use DIY and commercial repellents
8Use electronic and ultrasonic repellents
9Use traps
10Plant foes of squirrels
11Trim greenery
12Keep pets at hand

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About the Author

I have been a freelance writer for the past 2 years. My two biggest loves in the world are music and animals. I have even gone on to start my own personal blog called Frontman Philosophy. I have a huge love of animals and I love building my knowledge of animals through research. I love sea creatures in particular, my favorite being the octopus because of their intelligence, and I mean, come on, what's not to love! I have a rescue boxer named Dante who is the friendliest pup a man could ask for.

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