Window boxes add a touch of beauty to any home, but they can also attract unwanted guests – squirrels. While these furry creatures may seem cute, they can cause significant damage to your plants. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore several methods of how to keep squirrels out of window boxes without harming them.
To keep squirrels out of window boxes, use physical barriers like rocks, stones, bamboo skewers, or chicken wire. Natural repellents such as coffee grounds or a mixture of water and hot pepper can also deter them. Commercial pepper sprays and ultrasonic sensors are other effective methods. Additionally, planting squirrel-repelling plants like alliums, daffodils, or marigolds can help. Avoid common mistakes like not using physical barriers or ignoring the importance of location.
Why Do Squirrels Love Window Boxes?
Window boxes are a squirrel’s paradise for a few reasons. First, they are easily accessible, especially if they are near trees or other structures that squirrels can jump from. Second, they often contain plants that provide food, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Squirrels are known to eat a variety of herbs and can dig up seeds and bulbs in window boxes. Lastly, they can provide shelter or nesting opportunities, such as dense foliage or plants with hollow stems.
Effective Methods to Deter Squirrels
There are several ways to deter squirrels from your window boxes, and it might take some trial and error to find the most effective method for your situation. Here are some proven strategies:
Using Physical Barriers
Physical barriers like attractive rocks, stones or bamboo skewers can deter squirrels. They won’t be able to move the rocks or stones, and the skewers will discourage them from digging. Chicken wire or mesh laid over the top of the pot after planting can also keep squirrels out.
Mix fresh, strong-smelling coffee grounds with the top layer of soil. The odor is repellent to squirrels but does them no harm. You can also spray a mixture of water and hot pepper around the soil in the flower pot. The sharp scent and spicy taste of hot peppers will ward off animals looking for food.
Commercial Pepper Sprays
Commercial pepper sprays designed for keeping squirrels away from plants can be effective. Sprays like Exterminators Choice – Squirrel Defense Spray are non-toxic and safe for use around pets and children.
Invest in ultrasonic sensors that emit soundwaves at frequencies that bother squirrels. Devices like the HOSOLO Electronic Ultrasonic Squirrel Mouse Repellent are safe, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.
Plants That Deter Squirrels
Certain plants and flowers are known to deter squirrels due to their strong odors or unpalatable taste. These include alliums, daffodils, fritillaries, hyacinths, galanthus (snowdrops), lily-of-the-valley, geraniums, goldenrods, marigolds, mint, lavender, and rosemary.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Avoiding common mistakes can increase your chances of keeping squirrels out of your window boxes. These include not using physical barriers, relying solely on natural repellents, ignoring the importance of location, and not using visual deterrents.
In conclusion, keeping squirrels out of window boxes requires a combination of methods, from physical barriers to natural repellents, commercial products, and strategic plant choices. With patience and persistence, you can enjoy your beautiful window boxes without the constant invasion of squirrels. Remember, the goal is not to harm these creatures but to coexist with them peacefully.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I apply natural repellents?
The frequency of application for natural repellents like coffee grounds or hot pepper spray can vary based on weather conditions. Generally, you should reapply after heavy rain or at least once a week to maintain their effectiveness.
Are there any risks associated with using commercial pepper sprays or ultrasonic sensors?
Most commercial pepper sprays and ultrasonic sensors are designed to be safe for use around pets and children. However, it’s always best to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Pepper sprays should not be ingested or get into the eyes, while ultrasonic sensors should be installed in areas where they won’t cause annoyance to humans or pets.
Can I use a combination of these methods?
Yes, in fact, using a combination of different deterrent methods can often be more effective than relying on just one. For example, you could use physical barriers along with natural repellents and strategic plant choices.
Will these methods harm the squirrels?
No, the methods mentioned in this guide are all designed to deter squirrels without causing them harm. The goal is to keep them away from your window boxes, not to injure them.
What should I do if these methods don’t work?
If these methods aren’t working, you might consider consulting with a local pest control expert or wildlife removal service. They can provide additional strategies and solutions based on your specific situation.