The problem with the garden squirrel is that they destroy the garden plants and digs a lot of holes inside the garden. If you are facing the same problem then let me know that you are not the only one. I face the same problem in my garden and try to find out the solution about how to stop them to dig holes in my garden. After a lot of research, I find the reason why they dig so much inside our lawn and garden and also find some prevention ways that I am going to share in this post
Different kinds of nuts, fruits, plants roots, and some small insects are the main food of squirrels. At the time of autumn, they normally get a lot of food. But the interesting fact is that they dig hole inside the garden and back yard in this time. It is really a big problem for most of the gardener because this is the time when we grow different kinds of vegetable and new plants inside out garden. So why do they actually do this and how to prevent them I am going to discuss this thing in detail in the below part.
Why do squirrels dig : what does it mean
There are basically four main reasons why squirrel digs hole on our garden and backyard. Those reasons are storing food for winter, To remind themself of food locations, searching for food that other squirrels bury, to protect their nuts from their neighbor squirrel. In below we talk about each of these points in detail.
1. Storing food for winter
Winter is the hibernate time for squirrels. This is the time when they spend most of their time by sleeping. But they have to eat at this time. Types of food that they are usually eat to survive are unavailable at winter. So they try to store some of the extra food that they get in autumn. Because of this reason they dig our garden and backyard and try to hide their foods especially nuts and plants seeds under the soil of our backyard. This is basically one of the main reasons why they dig holes.
2. To remind themself of food location
Research shows that a gray squirrel has a memory span of almost two years. But this memory span varies from one species to another. But when they bury their food under the soil they sometimes forget the exact location where they bury their food. But squirrels are smart animals. To remind themselves where they bury their food sometimes they dig the same location in the garden several times of the month so that they can easily remember the place at the time of winter.
3. Searcing for food that other squirrels bury
This point is really interesting. As I said earlier that squirrels are quite clever animals, their this behavior will really surprise you. Squirrels know that other squirrel will also store their food for the upcoming winter and sometimes they try to dig our garden so that they can steal food that other squirrels and animals buried under the soil.
4. To protect their foods from neighbor squirrel
Squirrel knows that other squirrels can steal their foods. So to protect their food from other squirrels sometimes they digs multiple holes inside a garden and backyard so that the thief squirrel can easily deceive and be confused by seeing multiple holes. As a consequence, the thief squirrel can not find the exact location of the food. This way squirrel can protect their store food sometimes
Why squirrels dig holes in flower pots
Squirrels dig holes in flower pots in general for three reasons. Those reasons are To eat plants bulbs, potting soil is easy to dig, easy to remember the hidden food location. Below I discuss in detail about it.
To eat plants bulbs
Squirrels love to eat plants bulbs. In some cases, we plant different kinds of flower bulbs like Irish bulbs inside a pot. Most of the time they dig the pot to find out those bulbs. So that they can eat them
Potting soil is easy to dig
Inside a flower pot we normally use poting soil. These types of soil are soft and easy to dig. That’s why sometimes squirrels dig flower pots and hide their food in there.
Easy to remember the hidden food location
we generally use colorful and interesting shape flower pots in our backyard and patio. Those shapes and colors attract squirrels because if they hide their food in that pot they can easily remember it.
How do you stop squirrels from digging
There are several techniques that people talk about but from my own experience I can say the most effective ways are to cover the garden bed with chicken wire, spread chili powder in the lawn, Keep guard dogs, Do not feed them, use an animal statue
Cover garden bed or pot with chicken wire
If squirrel digging holes on you garden bed or pot it is advised to cover your garden bed where you plant bulbs or seeds with chicken wires. After that put some mulch over the chicken wire. This way squirrels can not dig your garden and you can protect your new seeds and plants on the garden bed and pot .
Spread chili powder
Squirrels have a strange sense of smell. There are several types of smell that they do not like. Among them, chili powder smell is most effective to prevent them from digging hole in the yard. But do not use any extra spice chili that will eventually be harmful to garden plants and also for pets. Just spread over the chili powder in the garden two times a week and squirrels will not come on your garden again.
Keep guard dog
Guard dog-like german shepherds, rottweiler are very good to deter squirrels from the garden. So keep a pet like those dog can be an easy solution also. But some dogs line labrador, golden retriever like to play with squirrel. So make not to use that type of dog if your purpose is to stop squirrels inside your garden.
Do not feed them
It is undeniable that squirrels look adorable. So sometimes we intentionally feed them. If you are also a person who is already doing this then no matter what technique you will apply you can not stop them to dig hole on your backyard. So the first thing that you have to do is to stop them feeding and also make sure not to put your dog, cat or chicken food outside. Those are some of the easy sources of food that squirrels also like to eat.
Use animal and bird Statue
There are different types of animal statues available in the market that not only help you to decor your backyard and Lawn but also keep squirrel away from there. Like the statue of owls, falcon can keep squirrel out of the garden because squirrels are afraid of those birds.
Squirrel holes vs Rat holes : how to identify
Squirrel and rat both dig holes inside our garden. So sometimes it becomes difficult to find out which animal made this hole. To find out this we need to check two things. In general rules, we have to see the distance of the hole from one another, the amount of darts outside the hole.
Distance of the hole
If I find irregular distance holes inside my garden, in most of the cases, those wholes are made by squirrel. But If I found holes in a regular distance inside my garden most of the time those homes are made by rat or mole type aminal.
Amount of dart around the hole
If you find a lot of darts around the hole there is a high chance that holes are made by squirrels. But if you get little to no dart and a dipper hole then the chance is those holes are made by rats.
how to fill ground squirrel holes?
Fill the hole with soil, put some stone inside the hole to block the entire tunnal area, and make sure to use some chili powder at the entrance point of the hole because they hate the smell of spice .
How do you know your lawn is targeted by squirrels?
The first sign that will indicate that your lawn is targeted by squirrels is that you will find a lot of holes inside your lawn . Most of those hole will be around two to three inches deep. Secondly, you will find a plethora of nuts inside those holes. These two are the early sign that will indicate that your lawn is targeted by squirrels
Do squirrels dig for grubs?
The main foods of squirrels are different types of plants seeds and nuts. In most of the cases, they dig our lawn to hide those things. But Squirrel also eat grabs and can dig our lawn for grabs.
Do squirrels dig holes at night?
Squirrel sleep at night. They normally move around in the daytime. So squirrels do not dig holes at night. If you find holes on your lawn and garden in the night time is definitely any other animal-like raccoon, rat, or mole.
Each and every animal have some pivotal contribution to our ecosystem. I know its always annoying and frustrating when this little creature destroys our garden. But I never support killing squirrels to stop them. Because each and every animal have the right to live in this planet. Instead of killing them if we follow the prevention guide that we already said above I believe we can stop squirrels to digs holes on our lawn and garden