Things You'll Need
Placing a handful of coffee grounds or red pepper flakes in the ground as you plant may prevent squirrels from digging up plant roots and bulbs. You can also sprinkle the grounds or pepper around plants already in the ground.
Discourage squirrels from entering your property by hanging bird feeders with baffles to keep the squirrels out, minimizing food left outdoors, and covering newly planted areas with chicken wire to minimize digging.
Commercial squirrel repellents depend on scents and flavors repugnant to the pests. You can create your own homemade repellent using a similar method from nontoxic items in the home. Repellents do not prevent all squirrel problems, and some individual squirrels may still brave the area to feast on your flowers or chase off the birds from your feeder. Using the repellent with other tactics, such as exclusion and plant protections, can help minimize the squirrels in your yard.
Combine 1 teaspoon mild dish soap, one 5-ounce bottle of hot pepper sauce and 1 gallon of water in a large storage container. Stir the ingredients together until they are fully combined.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle that hasn't previously held any harmful chemicals. Label the spray bottle with the contents.
Spray a thin layer of the pepper repellent on plants, bird feeders or in other areas where squirrels are a nuisance. Test the spray first to ensure it doesn't damage the plant or leave stains on outdoor surfaces. Reapply the spray every two or three days or after heavy rainfall.
Collect human hair or pet hair from your dog or cat, which carries the scent of these natural squirrel predators and may help repel them. Save the hair from haircuts or pet grooming until you collect enough hair to fill several bags.
Cut an 8- to 10-inch square from a piece of cheesecloth. Place a handful of hair in the center of the cheesecloth and gather up the edges of the cloth to enclose the hair. Tie a string around the gathered cloth to hold it closed, leaving a loop for hanging.
Hang the bags around garden beds, on fence posts or near bird feeders. Alternatively, set the bags on top the ground in areas where squirrels are digging. Replace the bags periodically as their effectiveness wanes.
Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.