I often joke that squirrels are employed by local garden centres helping to increase sales of bulbs and blooms as they seem to eat all of them. Squirrels can be a nuisance in the garden especially in fall!! Squirrels absolutely love tulips, to a squirrel a tulip is like a descendant delight like chocolate! Here are some ways to deter squirrels from the garden!
- Plant Daffodils not tulips: Daffodil bulbs are poisonous to squirrels and they won’t eat them. Others bulbs squirrels stay away from include alliums and fritillaria.
- When planting tulips (if you so desire) make sure you clean up after, do not leave any hints of tulips behind. Cover plantings with chicken wire and bloodmeal. Bloodmeal will help to distract and the chicken wire adds protection while the tulips will still be able to grow thru in spring.
- If you can’t beat them feed them: Place a squirrel feeder (http://www.backyardbirdingshop.com/Squirrel-Feeders.html) far away from your garden..this will keep them fed and busy.
- Hen Manure (http://www.acti-sol.ca/Virtues-of-hen-manure): I’ve had great success at repelling squirrels in spring and fall with top dressing my plantings with a broadcasting of hen manure. Seems they don’t like the smell and I don’t even notice it. Note you should reapply after rainy weather.
- The plastic Owl. Owls eat small creatures like rabbits and squirrels. If I saw something that was going to eat me I would run to. Placing one overlooking your garden will help however move the owl around on occasion or the rabbits and squirrels will think it’s just a lazy bird!!
Fun Facts about Squirrels from Squirrelnet.com
- Squirrels can jump a distance of up to 20 feet. They have long, muscular hind legs and short front legs that work together to aid in leaping.
- The hind legs of squirrels are double-jointed. This helps them run up and down trees quickly.
- A male squirrel can smell a female in heat up to a mile away. Mating season is February through May with a 44-day gestation period. Typically 2-4 young are born per liter.
- Squirrels have 5 toes on their back feet and 4 toes on their front. Their front toes are very sharp and help in gripping tree bark for climbing.
- In addition to residing in the Eastern US, Eastern Gray Squirrels can be found in many Western states, Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.
- Squirrels in general are found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
- Squirrels can eat their own body weight (approximately 1.5 pounds) every week.
- Squirrels can fall up to 100 feet without hurting themselves. They’ll use their tail both for balance and as a parachute.
- The hibernating artic ground squirrel is the only warm-blooded mammal able to withstand body temperatures below freezing.
- Squirrels eyes are positioned in such a way that they can see some things behind them.
- The word “squirrel” means “shadow tail” in Greek.