If you are a gardener, birder, or simply a homeowner you have most likely had a problem with the cute but destructive rodents known as squirrels. When a gardener sees three squirrels gnawing on his newly planted vegetables or digging up his bulbs, or when a birder watches a squirrel sitting on his feeder and cleaning it out of his expensive bird seed, there is a frantic an immediate search for a squirrel repellent to stop (but not hurt,) these animals from their felonious thefts. I have included a few tips to make such incidents not result in an impulsive and wasteful purchase of a squirrel repellent product.
These products, many of which do work according to reviews, come usually in sprays, powders, or powder packets for use in the yard, garden, and birdfeeder. Here are a few of my tips before you rush out and buy one in your squirrel induced rage:
1. When Shopping Remember the Purpose for Which you Need a Squirrel Repellent
This may seem obvious but you really need to know (actually simply remember) the purpose, and specifically the area, e.g. vegetable garden, ornamental plants, bulbs, or bird feeder, where you intend to use the squirrel repellent. Some of the products which may be for “the garden” are meant to be used on ornamental plants and bulbs, but are not safe for the edible vegetable garden.
In the case of bird feeders there may be some more cost effective ways to stop the squirrels from cleaning out your feeder. This may include a proven “real” squirrel proof feeder or a product that treats the actual bird seed to be squirrel repellent.
Again, sometimes in “rodent induced fury,” many people will rush out, or go online, and buy a spray with the label “Squirrel Repellent” and receive the product only to find out it can’t be used for the purpose for which it is intended. Remembering the specific area for which you intend to use the product will help you buy intelligently, safely, whether you are at the store or online, and may also lead you to explore more economical alternatives which may accomplish the same result.
2. Make sure the product is safe for family, pets, birds, outdoor critters, and for the purpose intended
Make sure, even if the product suits your need and area of use, that it is safe for all outdoor animals, your pets, and your family. I don’t mention this because I assume that consumers will blindly go out and buy a squirrel repellent without reading the label; However, I do mention this because there are products which are safe to repel squirrels away from yard foliage, ornamental plants and bulbs, but are not safe for use on edible vegetable gardens. Likewise there are squirrel repellents for bird feeders that you would not want to put in your vegetable garden.
Lastly, safety is important because although we want to repel the little thieves, we don’t want to kill them. Read the label carefully in regard to its’ effect on all animals.
3. Environmental Considerations…Is it safe for the environment?
In today’s age we are all trying to be more “green” and environmentally safe, as we should be.
It is reassuring that many of the squirrel repellents are made from natural components such as, believe it or not, fox urine. These products prey on the squirrel’s great sense of smell and fear of predators.
However, as this is not the component in all squirrel repellent products, you should make sure to read the label to make sure it is “safe for the environment.” Very an environmentally approved product will say “EPA Approved” or “EPA Registered.”
In summary, sometimes, even if a product will not kill or harm an animal does not necessarily mean it is something you want soaking into your garden beds for environmental reasons.
4. Does it work? Don’t spend before you have a good idea!
No point in spending money on any product that doesn’t work, this includes squirrel repellents. With the age of the internet it is easy, for most products, to find the results others have experienced with the product.
If you are buying directly from any manufacturer who is on the web don’t rely only on permanent “testimonials” on the manufacturer’s website.
If there is a squirrel repellent product that you have “zeroed in on” through a manufacturer’s site you can go to Amazon.com and see if the product is there. If it is, you can see what others who have purchased the product have said about its’ effectiveness.
There is one caveat to be added to the product reviews when it comes to products relating to squirrel control. In researching the products I have noticed that there can be 5 reviews with 4 of the reviews swearing that they never had a squirrel in the treated area again and give it a rating of “5 of 5”; the very next review then gives the product a review score of only “1 of 5.” You should look for a “general consensus of opinion” about whether a squirrel repellent product works rather than one positive review or one negative review. As you can imagine, the results of products for squirrel control depend on a lot of factors, e.g. the size of the area its is being applied, the squirrel population in the area, etc.
5. Economical Considerations…Make Sure you Know How Much You Need and Buy Enough
This really applies to buying any product…products are cheaper in higher volume than they are in smaller amounts. There is nothing more frustrating than buying a 32 oz. bottle or canister of any product for $19.00 only to find you need another bottle or canister to cover the area which you needed it for. This is especially true when if you had bought the 64 oz. to start with it would have only cost you $25.00 instead of the $38.00 you eventually paid when you had to go back to the store and buy another one.
I only mention this because people often don’t know how large an area their gardens or flower beds are. Any squirrel repellent product should have at least the approximate amount of area which the product will treat. Once you have determined that you need a product and determined which one to buy, make sure you get enough….it is cheaper! Trust me, treating one area of your garden with a squirrel repellent will not keep the squirrels from the non-treated area.
In summary, in order to not waste money you should be educated about any squirrel repellent product you intend to use. It would only take a little time to research such potential purchases on the internet. Read reviews to make sure the general consensus is that the product is effective. Once you have decided on a product that you have concluded is effective and safe for your family, pets, birds, outdoor critters, the environment, AND the purpose intended, e.g. edible vegetable garden, make sure you buy enough because “partial” treatment will do no good. Always explore alternative measures, e.g. a squirrel proof birdfeeder.
Finally, if you do purchase a product please be kind enough to leave us a comment at squirrelrepellent.net, and post a review on a site such as Amazon.com, so others can benefit from the results of your experience.
REMEMBER: REPEL, BUT BE NICE!