How To Keep Squirrels Away From Fruit Trees

How To Keep Squirrels Away From Fruit Trees


How To Keep Squirrels Away From Fruit Trees: Fruit trees are a delightful to any garden, offering a bountiful harvest of delicious and nutritious fruits. However, one common challenge that many gardeners face is the persistent presence of squirrels, which can wreak havoc on these valuable trees by feasting on the fruit, gnawing on branches, and even digging up the roots. Keeping squirrels away from your fruit trees can be a frustrating but necessary task to protect your harvest and maintain the health of your trees.

Squirrels are known for their agility, intelligence, and relentless pursuit of food. These traits make them formidable adversaries in the battle to safeguard your fruit trees. Fortunately, there are various strategies and techniques that can help you deter these furry pests and preserve the fruits of your labor. A range of practical methods and solutions to keep squirrels at bay. From natural deterrents to advanced technological innovations, there are options suitable for every gardener’s preferences and circumstances. We will delve into both preventative measures and reactive strategies to address existing squirrel problems.

Understanding the habits and behavior of squirrels is essential. By knowing what attracts them to your fruit trees, you can develop a more effective plan to deter them. Factors such as the type of fruit, the time of year, and the availability of alternative food sources all play a crucial role in squirrel activity. We will discuss non-lethal approaches to squirrel management, emphasizing humane and eco-friendly solutions that aim to peacefully coexist with wildlife. These methods include using physical barriers, employing scent and taste deterrents, and providing alternative food sources for squirrels.

How To Keep Squirrels Away From Fruit Trees

How do I keep squirrels off my trees?

Put a two-foot-wide metal collar around trees, at least six to eight feet off the ground. You can also use squirrel baffles on poles that support your bird feeders. Put fences or netting around your plants. Build a fence out of one-inch mesh wire.

Trim Tree Branches

Squirrels are agile climbers and can access your trees through overhanging branches from neighboring trees or structures. To prevent this, trim tree branches that provide easy access points to your trees. Keep branches at least 6-8 feet away from structures and other trees.

Offer Alternative Food Sources

Squirrels often raid trees for food, so providing alternative food sources can divert their attention away from your trees. Set up bird feeders or squirrel feeders filled with seeds and nuts in a separate area of your yard. This may encourage them to leave your trees alone.

Use Motion-Activated Devices

Motion-activated devices such as sprinklers or lights can startle squirrels when they approach your trees. These devices can effectively deter squirrels and make them associate your trees with unpleasant surprises.

Maintain Regular Pruning and Tree Care

Healthy trees are less susceptible to squirrel damage. Regularly prune your trees to remove dead or damaged branches, which squirrels often target. Additionally, keeping your trees well-maintained can reduce the hiding spots squirrels use for nesting.

What is the best squirrel repellent?

Squirrel-repellent plants

Most of these plants smell pungent, such as garlic, peppermint, and lavender. Daffodils contain a compound called lycorine, which is toxic to squirrels. Planting these bulbs in your garden can help deter squirrels from entering the area.

DIY Squirrel Repellents

If you prefer a DIY approach, there are homemade squirrel repellent recipes available online. These often include ingredients like garlic, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and even predator urine. However, the effectiveness of these homemade solutions can vary, and they may require frequent reapplication.

Physical Barriers

While not a traditional repellent, physical barriers like tree collars, metal flashing, or netting can be highly effective in keeping squirrels away from specific areas or plants. These barriers physically prevent squirrels from accessing the protected area.

Maintain a Clean Yard

Keeping your yard clean and free from potential food sources like fallen fruits, nuts, and birdseed can also discourage squirrels from visiting your property in the first place. Regularly clean up debris and maintain bird feeders to minimize food availability.

What do squirrels hate the most?

Now that we know more about them, we’ll discuss the scents they hate! The scents on this list are: Peppermint Oil, Capsaicin, Coffee Grounds, White Vinegar, Garlic, Cinnamon, Predator Urine, Irish Springs Soap, Dryer Sheets, and Rosemary.

Cayenne Pepper: Sprinkling cayenne pepper or a mixture of hot spices around the areas you want to protect can deter squirrels. The intense scent and taste are off-putting to them.

Garlic and Onions: Crushed garlic and onion cloves can be used in a similar way to cayenne pepper. You can create a homemade spray by mixing these ingredients with water and applying it to plants or surfaces.

Bitter Apple Spray: Bitter apple spray, commonly used to deter pets from chewing on furniture, can be applied to surfaces or objects that squirrels target. The unpleasant taste will discourage them.

Vinegar: A mixture of vinegar and water can be sprayed on plants, bird feeders, or other areas to make them less appealing to squirrels due to the bitter taste.

What will keep squirrels away from my plants?

Use apple cider vinegar.
Pour some in a spray bottle with peppermint oil or cayenne pepper and spray it near your plants or wherever you want squirrels to detect the unpleasant scent. The more scent deterrents in the mix the better.

Garden Netting: Cover your plants with garden netting or mesh. Ensure that the netting is securely anchored to prevent squirrels from pushing through or getting under it. This method works well for protecting vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

Plant Cloches: Cloches are protective covers that can be placed over individual plants or small groups of plants. They are typically made of glass or plastic and create a barrier that squirrels can’t penetrate.

Chicken Wire Fencing: Installing a chicken wire fence around your garden can be effective in keeping squirrels out. Make sure the fence is at least 2-3 feet high and extends below the ground to prevent digging.

Hot Pepper Sprays: Create a homemade spray by mixing water and cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Apply it to your plants, as the spicy scent and taste are unpleasant for squirrels.

Bitter Apple Spray: Bitter apple spray, available at pet stores, can be applied to plants. Its bitter taste discourages squirrels from nibbling on leaves and flowers.

Commercial Squirrel Repellents: Many commercial squirrel repellents are available in granule or liquid form. These products contain natural ingredients that emit scents squirrels find unpleasant.

What is the best tree squirrel trap?

With its humane and proven design and its durable construction, the Havahart 1085 Easy Set One-Door Cage Trap is the best way to trap a squirrel. Those looking for a more affordable method to address their squirrel problem may want to consider the RatzFatz Mouse Trap Humane Live Animal Cage.

Size: Choose a trap that’s appropriately sized for squirrels, typically around 18-24 inches long. Smaller traps may not accommodate larger squirrels comfortably.

Material: Opt for traps made of durable materials like galvanized steel or aluminum to ensure they can withstand outdoor conditions.

Door Mechanism: Traps with gravity-driven doors or spring-loaded mechanisms are effective at capturing squirrels when they enter.

Bait: Place enticing bait, such as nuts or peanut butter, at the back of the trap to lure squirrels inside.

Relocation: Check local regulations regarding the relocation of trapped squirrels. In some areas, you may be required to release them within a certain distance from your property.

Why do squirrels eat tree?

Squirrels also like to access the sugars and other nutrients underneath the bark in the cambium layer of the tree. However, there are some circumstances in which the squirrels will eat the actual bark. They may also chew off small branches. Teeth Maintenance: Many animals use trees as a way to maintain their teeth.

Squirrels have ever-growing teeth that require regular wear to maintain their health. Gnawing on tree branches and bark helps squirrels wear down their teeth, preventing them from becoming overgrown. Overgrown teeth can lead to dental issues, impacting the squirrel’s ability to eat and ultimately its survival.

Acorn and Nut Storage

Squirrels are known for their habit of collecting and storing nuts and acorns for future consumption. They bury these food items in the ground or hide them in tree cavities. In some cases, squirrels may gnaw on tree branches to create “hiding spots” for their stored nuts, ensuring a readily available food source during lean times.

Territory Marking

Squirrels use scent marking to establish and defend their territories. They often chew on twigs and branches and then rub their scent glands on the marked area. This behavior communicates their presence to other squirrels and helps maintain territorial boundaries.

Seasonal Variation

Squirrel eating habits can vary throughout the year. In the spring and summer, they tend to focus on fruits and nuts, while in the fall and winter, they may turn to tree bark and buds as supplementary food sources.

What is a simple squirrel repellent?

Use Strong Odors. Scents like white pepper, black pepper, and garlic are naturally unpleasant to a squirrel. The same goes for sweet smells such as peppermint. Try spraying your plants and flowers with water and then sprinkling on pepper or peppermint oil to deter squirrels.

Scent-Based Repellents

Scent-based squirrel repellents are available commercially and can be a straightforward solution. These products often mimic the odor of predators, making squirrels feel unsafe. You can find them in the form of granules, sprays, or repellent stakes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.

Ultrasonic Devices

Ultrasonic squirrel repellent devices emit high-pitched sounds that are irritating to squirrels but generally inaudible to humans. These devices are easy to set up in gardens or near bird feeders and can provide continuous protection.

Maintain a Clean Yard

One of the simplest ways to deter squirrels is to keep your yard clean and free from potential food sources. Regularly clean up fallen fruits, nuts, and spilled birdseed. Maintaining bird feeders and using squirrel-proof designs can also help minimize food availability.

Will spraying vinegar keep squirrels away?

Apple cider vinegar can be used as an effective squirrel repellent because the creatures can’t stand the strong, pungent smell and unpleasant taste of the vinegar. You can safely spray undiluted apple cider vinegar on hard surfaces such as plant pots, decking, and fencing.

Mix a Solution: Create a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This diluted solution will help reduce the strength of the vinegar odor and make it less overpowering for you as well.

Identify Problem Areas: Determine the areas where squirrels are causing issues, such as gardens, bird feeders, or entry points into your home.

Apply the Solution: Spray the vinegar and water mixture on or around the problem areas. Pay particular attention to plants, bird feeders, and entry points.

Reapply as Needed: Reapply the solution regularly, especially after rain or when the vinegar scent begins to fade.

How To Keep Squirrels Away From Fruit Trees


The behavior and habits of squirrels is the foundational step in squirrel management. By recognizing their attraction to certain fruits, their seasonal patterns, and their need for alternative food sources, you can develop a proactive plan to deter them. Planting fruit tree varieties less appealing to squirrels and providing them with supplemental feeding stations are examples of proactive measures that can reduce squirrel damage.

Physical barriers have proven to be effective in protecting fruit trees. Using tree wraps, netting, or metal baffles can create obstacles that thwart squirrels’ attempts to reach your precious fruits. Likewise, scent and taste deterrents, like predator urine or spicy pepper sprays, can make the trees less enticing to these rodents. For those seeking high-tech solutions, motion-activated sprinkler systems and ultrasonic repellent devices offer innovative ways to discourage squirrels. These gadgets use motion sensors and sound frequencies outside the human hearing range to startle and deter squirrels from approaching your fruit trees.

In all your efforts to protect your fruit trees, it is essential to importance of humane and eco-friendly approaches. While squirrels can be frustrating pests, they are also part of the natural ecosystem and deserve respect. Whenever possible, choose methods that avoid harm to these creatures. Maintaining a consistent and diligent approach to squirrel management is key. Squirrels are persistent, so you must be equally persistent in implementing your chosen strategies. Regularly inspect your trees for signs of squirrel activity and adjust your deterrents as needed.

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