Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests

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Squirrels are especially active in late summer and into autumn, as they look for food sources to help them survive during the winter months. They can be easily spotted and can visit gardens numerous times, destroying crops and eating from bird feeders. Here’s how you can deter grey squirrels from your outdoor space without causing them harm.

Jordan Foster from Fantastic Pest Control explained: “You can keep squirrels out of gardens with humane methods.”

This included using hot peppers to deter the animals from eating crops.

The expert said: “Squirrels hate the taste and smell of peppers. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper, hot sauce or chilli powder flakes on the soil to repel squirrels.

“Alternatively, grow hot peppers – they won’t come close to them.”

Flowers can also be planted in the garden to keep the animals away. These can be placed in borders or in containers.

Jordan added: “Daffodils, snowdrops, hyacinths, and marigolds are allium plants that keep squirrels away naturally.

“Avoid planting tulips and crocuses because they attract the animals.”

Britons can also make their own squirrel deterrent using apple cider vinegar. The expert said: “This is a DIY repellent. Combine apple cider vinegar with peppermint oil or cayenne pepper.

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“Then spray it on your plants or wherever you want squirrels to smell it.”

The expert said the more scent deterrents placed in the garden, the more likely the animals will stay away.

Whilst using these items will work, it is important to try and prevent squirrel issues from arising in the first place.

This includes covering bird feeders and not leaving any waste exposed to attract the animals.

Jordan said: “Bird feeders can be squirrel-proofed by changing the feed. Squirrels love sunflower seeds but hate safflower seeds, so switching will be beneficial if you have bird feeders. 

“A squirrel baffle (a special cone) keeps squirrels away from bird feeders because it creates a barrier they can’t cross.”

Gardeners can also place plastic or resin owls or snakes in the garden to scare them away. 

If possible, the expert advised moving them every day and adding some noisemakers.

The pest expert continued: “Install row covers too, bird netting, or chicken wire. You can also line the bottom soil with hardware cloth to keep squirrels away.

“These options protect your plants from them while allowing sunlight and easy watering.

“You can use a commercial repellent too. You can buy repellent spray made with the urine of squirrel’s predators.

“This includes hawks, weasels, racoons, snakes, owls, foxes and more. Use the repellent regularly to keep them away from the garden.”

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